S5-EP8: Debbie & Sam on 50 Years of Marriage: Gratitude, Celebration… and Grief

Feb 3, 2023


Debbie and Sam talk about 50 years of marriage in this episode: gratitude, celebration, grief, mortality, and appreciating the present moment. Feb. 3, 2023 is their 50th anniversary. They were in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.


Episode Notes

Debbie brings her favorite recurring guest, husband Sam Harrington, back onto the show. This is a special episode because they are celebrating 50 years of marriage on Feb. 3, 2023. They were in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

They were married a half century ago, in 1973. It was truly another age,  pre-Internet and so much more. They were both 21. That’s an astonishing fact: they were obviously too young to get married. But they did and the marriage has lasted, with many ups and downs.

They acknowledge how lucky they are and how much they have to be grateful for.  They have six grandchildren, they like hanging out together, and Sam is still teasing Debbie and making her laugh.

They talk about the trivial and the existential and how it’s okay to feel grief when they look back at their youthful passion and how young and beautiful they were. And how now is a time to think about their mortality and to try and enjoy each present moment.

Things do change in a long marriage, as you’ll hear.

One thing doesn’t, however.  As always, Debbie and Sam disagree about a lot of things. “But that’s all good…” A phrase they’ve adopted after watching W1A, a very funny British TV series starring Hugh Bonneville.

Mentioned in this episode or useful:


Previous episodes featuring Debbie Weil and her husband Sam Harrington:


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Our Media Partners:

  • CoGenerate (formerly Encore.org)
  • MEA and with thanks to Chip Conley
  • Next For Me (former media partner and in memory of Jeff Tidwell)


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Thanks to our media partners

Encore.org, our newest media partner, is an ideas and innovation hub tapping the talent of those 50+ as a force for good. Founder and CEO Marc Freedman is an award-winning social entrepreneur and author, most recently, of How to Live Forever: The Enduring Power of Connecting the Generations. Looking for a great gap-year transition program? Check out Encore Fellowships, which match skilled, seasoned professionals with social-sector organizations in high-impact, paid assignments.


Modern Elder Academy is a program dedicated to navigating mid-life transitions. MEA, based in Baja California, Mexico, provides the place and the tools to start reframing your lifetime of experience. Grow whole, not old. Founder Chip Conley is a New York Times bestselling author, award-winning hospitality entrepreneur and a rock star of the mid-life transition movement. His newest book is Wisdom @ Work: the Making of a Modern Elder.


Next For Me is an important new resource for the 50+ crowd focused on rewriting life. Taking a gap year or timeout may be the best way to figure out "what's next" when you're in this stage of life. Founder Jeff Tidwell explains, Next For Me "connects and inspires our generation to evolve our post-50 lives through new work, a new purpose, or a new social contribution."