Wisdom Through the Ages

Wisdom Through the Ages

By Jennifer Myers

New Mexico woman from all ages were asked to consider what wisdom they might pass on to a woman 10 or 20 years younger than themselves. This is their advice to us.


Arlene Espinoza-Armijo

20s – Arlene Espinoza-Armijo

“Stay curious. I believe the fluttering questions of curiosity are your heart’s breadcrumbs to your calling. Take time to listen to people’s stories — to slow down and prioritize connection. Our collective stories carry so much wisdom. And don’t let the world put you in a box. We hear from an early age what people think we’re good at, but just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean you have to do it.”

When you fail or are disappointed: “Reflect on the data points that were gifted to you along the way. Retrace, learn and try again. God’s teaching us lessons in all of it. It’s up to us to surrender to the lesson.”

These are the days of: “Depth and knowing of my heart, and understanding how I weave into the tapestry of women and the community.”

The secret to loving life in your 20s is: “Presence. Not worrying about the next five steps or the last five. It’s about showing up for who’s right in front of me.”


Lauren Garcia

30s – Lauren Garcia

“Save your money, dump him, and move on from your high school insecurities. I had a hard time letting go of my high school friends and I should have done that much sooner. Stop trying to fit in and start being you.”

When you fail or are disappointed: “Try to see the glass half full. I’m not going to let myself be upset because that’s not going to make it any different. And I’m done editing myself. It’s exhausting.”

These are the days of: “Poop, glitter, giggles and coffee. It’s chaotic joy. These are the most stressful, emotional, draining days I’ve ever experienced.”

The secret to loving life in your 30s is: “Just slow down. I like to get things done on my to-do list, but sometimes I let the laundry pile up and leave the dishes in the sink, and I think that really matters. It creates joy. Give yourself that permission occasionally.”


Melinda DerGregorian

40s – Melinda DerGregorian

“Self-care is loving other people. You can’t love other people unless you love yourself too. Kindness is always a choice. And being vulnerable is not being weak. Being vulnerable is the place where you grow.”

When you fail or are disappointed: “Don’t see it as failure. Failure only means growth. I don’t see it as a bad thing anymore. Fruit doesn’t grow on mountaintops. It grows in the valley.”

These are the days of: “Discovery and growth.”

The secret to loving life in your 40s is: “Finding the positive and the good in everything. There’s always a positive.”


Sally Hoffman

50s – Sally Hoffman

“Spend idle time with those special people in your life. You don’t realize how quickly a day goes by, and then it’s a week, and a month, and a year, and then they’re gone. Take time off from feeling like you must be doing something. Spend time on trips with friends and family. Free up some brain space. What comes from that is beautiful. Make memories and don’t worry about material gifts. We remember experiences.”

When you fail or are disappointed: “Show yourself some love by not beating yourself up. Learn from it. Maybe it wasn’t the right time or place or person. I have to choose that perspective. I don’t learn when I beat myself up.”

These are the days of: “Finding joy in all that I do. I keep growing and creating ways to stretch my own boundaries and stepping out of my comfort zone.”

The secret to loving life in your 50s is: “Gratitude. It’s being gracious and kind to myself and others. In doing that you see the beauty in life.”


Ann Nevarez

60s – Ann Nevarez

“Develop a relationship with yourself. You’ve got to look at yourself in the mirror and really love yourself. Accept who you are or change who you are if that’s what you want to do. Make memories every chance you can —rather than buy something do something. And don’t be afraid to try new things. Have a little taste of something without feeling like you have to jump all-in. You can take a cooking class without committing to a culinary degree.”

When you fail or are disappointed: “Try meditation, which I think is key to developing your relationship with yourself. It goes a long way to stop the voices in our head.”

These are the days of: “Appreciation and anticipation. I’m appreciating everything that is in or has been in my life and that made me who I am today and anticipating what lies ahead.”

The secret to loving life in your 60s is: “Appreciation. Last night seeing the moon come up over the Sandias. Seeing sunsets, sunrises, the fall colors. Maybe it’s just noticing. At one time in my life I missed it because I was jumping in the car to hurry somewhere.”


Roberta Montoya

70s – Roberta Montoya

“Don’t sweat the small stuff. Give it it’s due time and move on. Be true to yourself. It doesn’t matter what other people think if you’re trying to do the right thing all the time. If what they say is negative, they’re wrong. Hold on to your faith and be of service. That’s what it’s all about. If I have any regret it’s that I could have done more for someone.”

When you fail or are disappointed: “Don’t see it as failure. I did the best I could do and it didn’t quite work out. It’s a temporary setback maybe, but don’t get disappointed too often. I always say, ‘Lord, it’s in your hands.’ Life is short.”

These are the days of: “Looking outside myself to serve those in need. Are they hurting and can I help? How can I reach out to these people? I try to quietly reach out. When I reach out to somebody else, it makes me feel better.”

The secret to loving life in your 70s is: “Being grateful for faith, family, friends, all that I have and all that I don’t have. I’m able to get up in the morning, and that’s one more day of serving.“


Marian Bruno

80s – Marian Bruno

“Eat healthy, nutritious food and exercise every day. Don’t gain weight and keep up with your friends and family.”

When you fail or are disappointed: “Try to change when you can, but accept it when you can’t.”

These are the days of: “Living life with less stress and doing the things you love to do.”

The secret to loving life in your 80s is: “I can’t stress it enough — eating healthy and exercising every day. I’m so thankful that we have no large medical bills. And it’s nice to have a husband who loves to cook.”