I believe that an ongoing focus on life-long learning is an important quality for those of us who want to live a happy, healthy and rewarding life. And what I’ve noticed is that if we pay attention, we can learn something from just about every experience (and yes, every person) we encounter. With that in mind, as some of you know Thom and I just spent over a month in an Airbnb in Ajijic, Mexico. Not only was it a very enjoyable experience, but it also got me thinking about a few life lessons I learned along the way and things I want to remember in the years ahead. [Read more…]
Happy New Year Everyone! For the last several years Thom and I have chosen a WOTY (word of the year). Recently I have read on a number of other blogs that the authors wouldn’t be doing one this year because the practice didn’t seem to serve much of a purpose. We are the opposite. My word for 2021 has been on my mind all year long and I can honestly say it has helped to guide my days in a positive way. With that in mind, Thom and I decided to not only pick a word for 2022, but to do a new Vlog and share our words with you. It’s a short video and we hope you enjoy it and most especially, that it encourages you to pick one of your own. As a teacher and author I have followed for many many years named Alan Cohen recently wrote, “The energy you start the year with will be a big factor in the year you experience. Choose a word that represents the keynote experience you wish for your year, and let it resound through 2022!” May your WOTY do exactly that in the days ahead.
For the last four years I have considered it a privilege to scour the internet for what I consider to be the best blogs and websites about positive aging and retirement I can find. While my list certainly doesn’t contain all the sites available on these topics, they are personal favorites that I believe are noteworthy and offer thoughtful and provocative insights on the subjects. Plus, for the most part, I believe they are also fun to read and uniquely different. Thank you to each of the authors and creators who put in the time and effort to provide such helpful ideas and information while sharing their lives and experiences with all of us throughout the year. Taken together I believe that those of us who read the wisdom found in these sites will surely benefit with a healthier, happier, more content and SMART life as the years go by.
Imagine you’re a taking a late afternoon walk through your favorite woods. The distant chatter of birds and the tranquility of the late slanting sunlight is suddenly disrupted by the appearance of a large black bear. Upon seeing you, the bear raises to his back feet, lets out a roar, and starts eyeing you like a prime rib. What do you do?
When faced with such fear, there are likely four responses. First you run as fast as you can. Second, you freeze, third you faint, or four you try to fight (really?). What you probably won’t do in those first precious moments is to try to figure out when you will write your next blog post or how to resolve that issue with a friend/relative. That’s because when we are deeply stressed, all the blood from our brain drains away. While we might “think” we are thinking, all our energy and brain power is focused on survival. And even though you likely won’t be faced with a bear in the woods anytime soon, anything that triggers fear, anxiety, outrage or loss is reducing our ability to think clearly and react wholeheartedly. An antidote? Refuse to take most things so seriously. [Read more…]
Anytime I find a book, article or podcast that explains a new way to become more self-aware I can’t help diving into the subject. That was the case when a week ago I listened to an interview with author Diana Chapman where she asked, “In any given moment are you above the line or below the line?” If or how you answer that question offers great insight into our own individual awareness. It also reveals several paths to becoming more conscious and deliberate about your life and relationships. But what we tend to first think about living above or below that line isn’t quite what Chapman is after. Instead, it is the understanding, possible growth and acceptance of where we are in any moment that offers the greatest benefit of all—and then choosing where to go from there. Interested?
Ever felt like you were in the latest Matrix movie and like Neo, the main character, discover that the world around you is nothing more than a virtual matrix? Even if you haven’t seen the series of movies, it is enough to know that Neo gradually finds out that like most humans, he’s been kept alive in a pseudo reality rather than seeing and living a “real” life. I felt a bit like that this last week when I learned about a psychological behavior called The Drama Triangle that is very predominant in 90% of all our lives. Be it workplace, family, community, nationally or even within ourselves, most of us operate throughout our days within the three walls of that dynamic. Unfortunately, it is so habitual that we likely have no clue about how it defines us and limits us. But once we do know we do have the choice. Like Neo, we can choose to take the blue pill and keep on living comfortably asleep. Or we can take the red pill and start recognizing what roles we play in the triangle and how we have perpetuated the code for our own matrix. [Read more…]
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…]