I was chatting with a couple of my girlfriends recently. Somehow, we got on the topic of age differences in spouses.  My dad was 12 years older than my mom.  They asked me how old my mom was when my dad died? I was shocked when I remembered that she was ONLY 72  –  too close to my own age for comfort! She seemed so old at the time.

By the time my dad died from colon cancer, Mom already had a history of breast cancer, a heart attack, and coronary bypass surgery.  She also cared for my dad at home until he died.  I know she wanted to do some traveling, but poor health quickly caught up with her and she wasn’t able to spend her later solo years the way she had hoped.

Fast forward to 2023.

I have a number of single friends who are my contemporaries.  They are all healthy, able to travel, and are 100% engaged.

My new friend is a great example.  She has been widowed for almost 20 years.  After she retired from her tech career, she was a ski bum for a bit and is still an avid golfer.  She moved to our neighborhood recently from another state and has jumped into life here with gusto.  In addition to golf, she goes to the gym regularly, and we are walking buddies.  Speaking of walking, her dog also keeps her moving. She recently took an art class and is always on the lookout for learning opportunities.  She is on the board of our home owner’s association and active in a local women’s club.  I can’t keep up with her 😊!

Her son and his family lives nearby and she sees them regularly.  But, she has her own life here. While she makes frequent visits back to her former haunts, she is fully engaged in this community.

I follow Cindy Hattersley Design.  Her recent post, Can You Change Your Life At Any Age?, was a keeper.  It brought my new friend to mind. Cindy linked to a great Healthline article with 13 tips for aging gracefully – it is a ‘one stop shop” blueprint with everything I needed to know on the subject and is worth a read:

  1. Be kind to your skin
  2. Exercise
  3. Mind your diet
  4. Mental health matters
  5. Stay physically active
  6. Lower your stress
  7. Quit smoking and decrease alcohol consumption
  8. Get enough sleep
  9. Find new hobbies
  10. Practice mindfulness
  11. Drink plenty of water
  12. Take care of your mouth
  13. See a doctor regularly

Maintain a healthy lifestyle, surround yourself with people you love, and do things that bring you joy.

Adrienne Santos-Longhurst

My friend follows these tips to a tee (pardon the pun). I best catch up!




  1. I try to emulate your friend on every account. I believe taking to heart and adopting what we know about health and wellness, these strategies will help us stay as vibrant and healthy as possible as we age. One example: I exercise daily, walking 33-35 miles a week. I do functional exercises 5-7 days a week. These physical therapy exercises have helped to reduce pain in my neck, shoulders and lower back and strengthen my core. I have a great group of woman friends that encourage healthy lifestyles, although we all struggle from time to time. We are there for each other. Relationship are significantly important to me. I’m always working on the strategies because they are good for me and actually help to maintain my physical and mental health, and my overall happiness. I’m always a work in progress. Thanks for sharing my friend. I’m grateful for you💜 PS. Tom surprised me yesterday and put a deposit on our long delayed trip to Egypt in October.


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