I took myself off dancing Saturday night.

The woman I had a dance with asked me how old I was?

When I told her I would be 68 in August, she nearly collapsed on the floor. Luckily “Death on the dance floor” wasn’t playing…

What is it with age?

Why do we associate and label someone? Pigeonholing them when we know their age. I don’t buy into the sixty is the new 50. Or 40. Sixty is the new 60, and I’m happy and proud to be part of the sexagenarian tribe! We are not all geriatric and peeing in our trousers!

Remember when you were young and thought we’d live forever?

It's a state of mind thing.

Some say that age, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. It’s a state of mind thing. “You’re as old as you feel,” I feel in my prime – more knowledgeable, self-aware and raring to go than ever. And we are living longer, but time still takes its toll on our bodies. From extra pounds to wrinkles, the aches and pains rear their ugly head on occasions, but hey-ho, I’m in my 60s. 

I've never done the worrying about my age thing.

What’s the point? After all, the one thing we can’t turn back is time (unless your Doc from “Back to the future” and have a flux capacitor!) Although, I must admit the only time the death toll rings for me is when I hear on the news that a celebrity or someone of note has died aged 74. Then, worryingly, I count backwards from death to my age and realise I may only have a handful of years left to live! At that point, I have a stiff (sorry for the pun) drink and go lie down in a dark room.

I love this quote from Jan Masters article in the Telegraph magazine on Saturday “I’m not going to go all positive guru on you and argue 60 can be anything you want it to be. Because that’s cobblers.” And I agree with her.

By the time you reach your 50s

Now in my 60s, I have come to know myself pretty well. But, unfortunately, time is perceived differently after 50. People begin counting backwards, thinking in terms of years left to live. But that may be forty years or more, and how you choose to live those years and how magnificent you make them is down to your mindset.


What was once thought impossible is now possible. It’s all down to what you believe you are capable of achieving.


And almost anything is – creative rebirths, business start-ups, going back to college or university, a plunge into politics (watch out Boris), bailing out of a toxic relationship, new permission for reinvention, fun and second chance romances, or reigniting a life long marriage.

Of course, the increased life span alone does not promise a rich second half-life. The added years a merely a blank slate; it’s what we write on them that makes the difference.

Living and working longer

With 727 million people over the age of 65 in the world – a number expected to jump to 1.5 billion by 2050 – scientists are making significant strides in the field of gerontology, with better diagnostics and more advanced treatments.


Today 3 in 10 adults in England alone are aged between 50 and 70 (Office for National Statistics). And one in 4 of the UK population can expect to be over 65 by 2036 (ONS).


And there have been tremendous medical advances and changes in how we work, live and play. And more of us in our 50s, 60s and even beyond into our 70s and 80s are working longer than ever – either by choice or necessity. So we are rewriting the rule book and fighting our corner on ageism.


And I’m a firm believer when you have been around the block a few times like me, there’s no point in re-inventing the wheel; what goes around comes around in my book. And Gen Z and millennials could benefit from some grey hair wisdom in their organisations.

Being a coach

I could bang on about how you only have this one life. There’s no dress rehearsal, and that is true. You only have this one life and what counts is what you do with it, And there’s plenty of evidence that suggests the one thing we human beings want more than anything is to be happy.


And being happy is about choice; you can be it at any moment. There’s no rule book or permission required. Happiness is about being present in the moment. So, no, I’m not going to go all “Mindfulness” on you. But how many of us actually are happy with our lot?


For me, being happy is about family and friends. It’s about love and connection. As human beings, we all crave it. We all feed off each other.


Do you remember those terrible 9/11 phone calls home from people trapped in the World trade centre, knowing they were about to die? And telling their loved ones how much they loved them and reminiscing about a BBQ on the beach and how the kids buried him up to his neck in the sand? They never mentioned, “Make sure you look after my BMW and share portfolio!”


So, It’s never about something you go down the shop and buy. It’s not a transactional experience of when I get this thing – car, house, watch, trophy partner-  it will make me happy. 


Unfortunately, we buy into feeding the happiness hamster wheel, buying into the belief that things purchased on the outside will make our-self happy on the inside. It’s like putting a sticking plaster over an infection instead of treating it. 


And for some, happiness is a power they give away. A lifetime thinking the path to it is derived by people and invitation pleasing. Saying yes when inside, they yearn to say no.


Now in my sixties, I have learnt to say no to things I can’t be arsed to do. So now, I make sure whatever I am doing aligns with what I want. Does it fit with what I will or want to do? Otherwise, I don’t do it.


So what about you? What are you still saying yes to that you yearn to say no to? What’s it costing you? Saying yes to the meet-up with friends for a coffee that you have nothing in common with anymore. Or the annual Christmas family get together. Or the boring dinner date where the conversation on the next table is far more interesting.


Now that you are in your 60s, the-eyes-to-the-no gets easier. The more you practice it, the more it’s liberating. It’s like a muscle. The more you flex it, the stronger and easier it becomes. 


So try it. I promise you will enjoy the outcome.

Like what you hear

You might be wondering how I can help you? Why not grab yourself a coffee and let’s have a chat so you can find out. No obligation. If all this call did was inspire you to take action, would it be worth it?