Friday, May 9, 2014

Average Age of American Widow is 55, and other Shocking Travel News

Are you the kind of wife who makes plans for retirement vacations? If you are any one's wife at all, and you are still happy to explore the world in your 50s, a few extravagant vacations can likely come to mind. I know they do with me! That is why I read with shock the statistic in Parade Magazine's recent issue that the average age of widowhood in the United States is 55.

I am not ready to retire yet (thus elaborate travel is still in the planning stage), and my 55th birthday is a few months away, but this piece of trivia really got my attention. I decided to do a little research to see if this statistic was real, and I did find some governmental statistics that quoted figures of "average age of widowhood" at 55 to 58 years old. I think we need to talk.

Why does this headline get my attention, and perhaps yours as well? I have been in the process of implementing a Live a Vital Life in Our 90s Protocol at the Holland House since 2008! That was the year I made up my mind that with specific lifestyle choices and putting my growing health knowledge into action, I would be able to live a vibrant life well past 90. In fact, this little "program" of mine has snowballed into a full-fledged career as a Holistic Health Coach! It is just fascinating to me how the simple choices I make every day can add years to my life as well as life to my years. My husband has enjoyed the lifestyle changes that have progressively happened in our home for the past six years, and his health has never been stronger. Each book I read on the topic of longevity and wellness has a magical way of ending up in his reading stack, and we are having lively discussions about all the pros and cons of expert advice and the latest health and wellness research results. I truly believe that my husband and I will outlive the statistics and dance at our anniversary party in 2050.

If I think about all the ways in which we have improved or tweaked our daily choices to live longer and with more vitality, I would have to claim the following as the changes that make my Top Ten list. How many of these efforts are part of your healthy lifestyle?

1. Be an Artist   Creativity is a healing human endeavor and expanding our vocabulary by expressing ourselves with our art is a superb way to stay young. Do you believe that your creativity is valuable? There are as many ways to be artistic as their are people on this planet.
2. Move to Monaco   Did you know that the average life expectancy in Monaco is 89.68 years? I am thinking of adding this destination to my retirement travel plans. I want to see first hand some of these vibrant folks!
3. Choose Wonderful Friends   The feelings of isolation will age the human spirit almost as fast as overeating donuts. I use the word Wonderful to be crystal clear about my feelings regarding Ruthless or Apathetic friends, whom I plan to avoid.
4. Cook with Joy   This lifestyle choice has morphed into a larger effort which is giving us great results, and that is to cook whole foods with joy. The energetics of eating mostly produce and making 90% of our food at home is a lovely habit. I also feel joyful every time I see my husband chopping salad vegetables.
5. Buy Better Mattresses   The importance of a good night's sleep is not some future-tense sort of benefit. Being well rested is great for longevity, as well as being great for this very day. I believe it is the foundation of optimism.
6. Drive with Care   This could also read, Don't Get in Car Accidents. It could also read, Ride your Bike more often.
7. Find Reasons to Laugh   I try to laugh every single day. A real belly laugh is my favorite core workout.
8. Sit Less and Garden More   Set a timer when you sit down to read or use the computer. When it rings, go garden or take a walk. I seriously do this. I am not saying I have the luxury of time to take a long walk or plant for an hour, but I am saying that small bursts of bending, moving, stretching and squatting are awesome ways to add functional fitness for my future well-being.
9. Cherish my Spirituality   Embracing my connection to the Divine and my place in the universe is primary food for me. Taking a moment to quiet my mind and center myself is not only a spiritual activity; it is also a stress reliever that lowers my blood pressure and comforts my body.
10. Take Great Vacations   And thus, I have plans for retirement vacations! There are many lovely places that my husband and I want to see, and many of them are in my home state of Colorado. Good thing we have 40+ years to explore.

Thanks for stopping by,


Anonymous said...

Love your list, we've embraced many of the same goals/habits. I'd add: 1) take a short nap with the puppies...when you're stressed or tired, listen to your body, 2) recycle/sell/find good homes for the stuff you're not using, de-clutter your life.

We also decided not to put off for retirement those things that are really important (my mom passed one year after my dad retired.) Our goal is to travel to the farthest destinations now in our 50s & 60s then travel closer to home. Thanks for sharing your blog via FB, Georgeanne. ~Teresa

Michelle José said...

Wonderful, thanks for sharing x

Georgianne Holland said...

Thank you Teresa and Michelle! Great to know you are embracing your own "greatest yet to be"! Warm wishes to each of you.