A view from age 74: Giles

Advice to those in their sixties:

*Delegate to others more than you think you can safely do!  You can't do it safely.  How did you learn? Don't delay this!

*Get out into nature and meditate, pray, ask questions of yourself - you are god or whatever you call that thing.

*Recognise crises as invitations to break through old patterns, beliefs and views.  They are milestones to be celebrated and a good crisis should never be wasted.  You now have the wisdom to deal with any chance or any shit that comes your way.

*Let go of stuff you are holding onto.  For each self-imposed manacle released, there will be a boon.

How did I feel approaching 70:

Getting a hit of my teenage thoughts about the absolute improbability of being around in 2012, more the century and the year than the idea of being 70.

I had been retired for a year, but had planned that as a gradual process over 6 years, so it was not the dramatic cross-roads many experience. On the other hand, I have been just as busy in the 4 years since, but the nature of my busyness has been increasingly moving away from the preoccupations of the previous 30 years of "work life" and been more mellow than busyness.

A fuller appreciation of my partner of 42 years and my 5 sons, through calmer listening, not acting or speaking out every urge or thought I have. For me a key challenge has been to let go of having to be useful.  Another has been to avoid having an unrealistic agenda of things to do - most of them are unnecessary, can be given to others or massively simplified.

What has helped my transition to the seventies

*Talking to young people about absolutely anything they are interested in.

*Putting heart before head to a greater extent in deciding what to do this minute, this hour, this year or for years ahead. This is truly liberating, often adventurous and always energising.

*My sons - vitality, different takes on life, their love

*My wife - her changing wishes as to how our partnership works as each of us accept and pursue personal change, whether physical, mental, emotional or, combining all, spiritual

Staying happy in your 70's:

*It's the people and the truth and love you bring to dealing to them ALL that count, not your or their appearance, behaviours, plans, status, achievements &c.