Transition to 60

by | Career, Turning 60

Transition to 60 is different to transition to 50.

Back when I turned 50, I got into travel. I had 3 big holidays, and these were a major change from the standard all-inclusive beach holidays to proper adventures. The Christmas before and after my birthday I went on small group back packing holidays with Intrepid to Northern India (Slowly down the Ganges) and Southern India. For my birthday I went on a camping safari in Namibia. These were low-cost holidays, they needed to be, to do 3 big holidays in a year and exactly what I wanted. More about experiencing the new than luxury and drinking.

I had also lost weight, and whilst not slim, I had lost well over 6 stone.

Work was good, as a consultant/career psychologist I had a good number of private clients along with consultancy. I also appeared on TV as the featured career coach for Tonight (with Trevor Macdonald) and this led to the first of 6 career books.

Work was important to me, I enjoyed it, got a lot of satisfaction from it, and worked hard. I prioritised my work over other things.

When I turned 60, I again had 3 holidays. By now we had more money and I had 2 long haul holidays with business class travel. So, 8 weeks in Australia with NYE in Sydney, on a small boat in the harbour. The end of my birthday year was a month away including a small ship adventure in the Indian Ocean with hiking in Madegascar and swimming on deserted beaches in the outer Seychelles reached by zodiacs. My birthday was spent in Croatia on a small boat cruise. It was a big expense, but the mortgage was paid off and my philosophy was to do things now when you have your health.

Transition to 60 has affected me more than 10 years ago.

Transition to 60 and I am still healthy although I have had some health setbacks – I had a DVT 4 years ago. I can no longer do everything I did at the gym no more walking lunges and dead lifts. But I have learnt to dance and am stronger at hill walking and can swim a kilometre maybe slow, but I can keep going.

I still enjoy working and I am more confident in my work. I no longer chase every opportunity, nor accept every request to contribute to an article to raise my profile. I work less, but more effectively with the confidence I can say no.

I am also making changes with the creation of a mini site and consideration of a PhD focused on ageing, and a new book on rethinking retirement.

I have a better relationship with my mum. She is now 85 and I want to make sure we do good things together, so I have good memories, and do nice things with her so that she is happy with her life.

I am more accepting of my weight gain, I still weigh less than I did 10 years ago, but it is heavier than I want. I still want to lose 20 pounds, but that will do, no point in aiming to be back to a size 12 when the effort of staying at that weight will be too much. I do enjoy food! But the weight is harder to lose, and it’s frustrating when I have many items of clothing I can no longer fit in.

Transition to 60 and I am now aware of my mortality.

Whilst still in good health and enjoying work I also look to the future. I always have, always thought about life 20 years ahead. If I look to the future, I want to be happy with the life I have.

So, it led to a change.

I now live alone, my husband and I have said thanks for the life we had but gone our separate ways. It’s a big change and I am transitioning.

I could have stayed, but part of who I am is being authentic and I wasn’t being authentic by settling. I’ve now got more interests, and made new friends, my life is more active and fun. I have things to look forward to, and people to chat with.

There is also the uncertainty of how my life will turn out but that’s part of the process. I like these quotes

I’d rather regret the things I’ve done, than regret the things I haven’t done – Lucille Ball

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. Mark Twain

I think these next 10 years will be good years. I’m taking time to rediscover who I am and to create a life that’s right for me.

So many things I could do, and it would be easy to rush into decisions. But the best thing to do is to take my time and enjoy the journey.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the transition to 60, and feel free to add comments below.

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Denise Taylor

Chief Inspiration Officer, The 50 Plus Coach.