It is October 2021 and things seem to be improving here in the U.S. and around the world—mostly. I say mostly because even though Thom and I have returned from traveling during the summer—seeing great sites, enjoying cooler weather, laughing with friends, etc.—I’m still feeling a bit discombobulated. And don’t misunderstand, I’m quite happy to be home where the weather is cooler, my bed is amazingly comfortable, to reconnect with friends and family, and to have stayed healthy through it all. But something still feels a bit off—in me and in the world. Then I listened to Brene Brown interviewing Amy Cuddy and it started to make sense. Many of us, me included, are still immersed in what Cuddy calls Pandemic Flux Syndrome. After unpacking that idea and learning more about what flux is and how it affects us, the fog is lifting.
During the summer of 2020, one year ago, Thom and I traded in our regular bicycles for e-bikes. Thom had been reading up on them for a couple of years but we kept resisting the urge. We believed, like many others, that you get a lot more exercise from regular bikes than with “pedal-assisted” e-bikes. But then after about 5 months of COVID with no end in sight, we thought, “Why wait?” Within minutes of getting on my new bike I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face and wondered why we waited so long. But in case you are wondering, you still need to pedal. The pedal-assist option just gives you a little “fun” boost with the process. It also seems to bring back feelings of coasting through life as free as a kid. However, like most things in life there are always a few lessons that can be found and this blog post is a few that come to mind after our most recent ride. [Read more…]
Two weeks ago, when I published a post about our summer adventure, I featured a few of the gorgeous sites we witnessed along the way. Besides enjoying and appreciating cooler temperatures, we were awestruck at the beauty of nature that combined ocean, rivers, streams, forests, trees and scenic vistas. But something has occurred to me in the weeks that have followed. And that is, no matter how beautiful the scenery, what I remember most vividly are the people we meet and connect with on the way. So rather than provide you with yet another travel log of our trip showing some of the sites, this time I’m talking about the people. Besides, if you really just want to see the sites, simply follow me on Facebook. [Read more…]
When I first decided to take a break from my weekly blogging schedule for a month or two, I had no idea how easy it would be. In fact, except for a couple of times when Thom and I made short video clips (a potential vlog) along the way, I didn’t think about blogging at all. Now that I have arrived at our first destination here on Vancouver Island, I must admit that I’ve had a few twinges of guilt about not being more productive. But other than those twinges I’ve been just happily experiencing being a nomadic “sort-of” retired person for the time being. However, that doesn’t mean that we haven’t taken dozens of photos (along with our short videos) that I decided I wanted to share with any of you who are interested. So here are a few of the best I thought you might enjoy! [Read more…]
I read one time that each of our individual lives is an experiment of one. Where we are born, what family and culture we are born into, and our biology are either random or part of a larger cosmic selection. From there, what we do once we grow and the circumstances we either choose, or have foisted upon us, mold us into the people we eventually become. Regardless of whether we believe (or not) that a “cosmic force” continues to be involved in our lives as we age, much of it still seems to be an “experiment of one.” So, with encouragement from Ralph Waldo Emerson who said, “All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better,” my own experiment will be conducted in the next coming months. [Read more…]
Have you ever wondered why Scandinavian countries continue to show up at the top of all surveys and research done on happiness? Especially when you consider that for much of their winters they have very little sunlight and temperatures are freezing. Still, over and over those countries demonstrate that the people who live there rate highly in what most researchers call “subjective wellbeing.” So even though that environment is near the bottom of my personal list of where to live, and I doubt the people there walk around with giddy smiles on their faces, they clearly have something precious and desirable. Is it possible that what makes living there so unparalleled is something called “lagom?” And could it be that lagom is just the Swedish word for the practice of rightsizing?
Let me tell you a little secret. I am a bit obsessed with the peeling on the manzanita tree. It’s similar to the attraction you might get after your husband or child gets a sunburn and you see their skin start to flake and peel off. The temptation to “help it along” is very strong in me. I would never touch a scab, but there is something about that flaking skin. So, every summer when we stay in the mountains and I see the manzanitas beginning their annual shedding, I just have to participate. Naturally that got me wondering. I know humans peel after a sunburn, and snakes and other reptiles peel on a regular basis. But why the manzanita? After a little research I realized how I too might benefit from an “annual shedding and letting go.” And perhaps it would be SMART for each of us to consider our own benefits from peeling away certain parts of a life we may have outgrown.
We’re back with another SMART Living 365 Vlog! Join both Thom and me as we share a discussion on why the topic of “living everyday as though you are dying,” just might be the most important thing any of us can think about today. It’s been on our minds lately and we thought it not only made a provocative discussion, but it also helped to remind us both that every day is precious and that we need to make the most of it. Agree? After you watch it, if you have any ideas or thoughts you can add to our discussion, please share them either on YouTube or here in the comments.
When was the last time you hugged a tree? Believe it or not, I’ve spent the last couple of days doing just that. Remember a couple of weeks ago I recommended that we all spent at least 21 seconds a day hugging someone (or a pet) that we care about for our own physical and mental health? But what about trees? Ever since I finished a book titled Braiding Sweetgrass, the act of connecting deeply with nature has become so much more necessary than I ever realized. So, while I don’t know if any of you reading this will ever be motivated to do the same, I wanted to at least invite you to consider how important that connection could be to both your wellbeing and that of Mother Earth as well. [Read more…]