As some of you know I grew up in the desert southwest. My love of sunshine continues to this day but unfortunately, my skin has paid a price. In my pursuit of the perfect tan, my skin (particularly on my forearms) has become ridiculously thin so that it often bruises and sometimes bleeds at the slightest injury. By the same token I was listening to a podcast this week that asked, “Are we all becoming very thin-skinned and fragile these days?” It went on to ask if our pursuit of comfort and convenience was making us “bruise or bleed” at the slightest inconvenience, threat or annoyance. Regrettably, those questions struck a bit too close to home. Everywhere I look (especially on Facebook!) people are bruised and depressed about how awful things have gotten (climate change, no gun control, schools, etc.) and how mean and impatient other people have become. And don’t even mention religion or politics! Fortunately, there is a cure. Just like using a powerful sunscreen on my arms helps—enhancing our antifragile selves could allow us to live more peacefully in our stressful world.
Lately, one part of me can’t seem to sit down and write a blog post. It’s not that I don’t want to write or intend to give up blogging. The problem is another part of me has found dozens of other equally important or fascinating things to do with my time. Ever find yourself in the same position where you want to do something but other actions seem necessary or important? Or what about when you know you should do something but find yourself mindlessly scrolling on the computer? Well last week I happened to be listening to a podcast while doing my morning walk and discovered the likely answer. Apparently, each of us has many different “selves” within us that have different needs and agendas. I learned that the concept of multiple selves has existed within the psychological and philosophical awareness for decades. And according to some “experts” it can be very beneficial to us all to learn to understand, appreciate and orchestrate these selves into a coherent harmony. Let me explain. [Read more…]
Sorry, but now that I have your attention I must confess that there is no real secret to my happy marriage. It’d be nice though, huh? It might also be tempting to believe it is luck. A part of me admits how very fortunate I’ve been to be in a relationship that just keeps getting better as the years go by. Surely luck has something to do with it when the same has alluded so many wonderful people. It’s also inviting to think it’s because I’ve got relationships all figured out. But although I’ve made some great choices, what you haven’t seen is all the road-bumps I’ve/we’ve encountered. Even so, on the eve of my 45th anniversary, I am gratefully aware of the privilege of living and loving the same human for such a length of time and believe there are a couple of elements that helped to make it happen.
To begin with, before we even got together we both held a strong intention to create an extraordinary relationship. [Read more…]
I’m not sure why I requested a review copy of the book Trust & Inspire—How Truly Great Leaders Unleash Greatness In Others by Stephen M.R. Covey, but I did. Like many of you, I don’t have a business or employees. Not only do I not manage other people, I sometimes don’t seem to manage myself that well either. But I do deeply admire the author’s father—the late Stephen Covey author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, so the name caught my attention. And when I think about it, the idea of trust has been on my mind as well. Do I truly trust myself to do what I say I will do? Do I trust those around me? Do I trust the products I buy and/or the businesses that sell them? Do I trust my government? As Covey points out, if trustworthy people don’t see others as trustworthy (even if they are) then trust is absent. And is that the kind of world I want to live in?
Like most people my age (65+) I feel that time appears to be going faster than ever before. For example, when I look at the calendar it is difficult to believe Thom and I have been back from our three-month trip for over a month now. Of course, we have gone and returned from Tucson twice since then, moved up to a rental cabin in the mountains, visited with friends and caught up on dozens of to-dos that we put off while traveling. But looking back over that month, especially when I admit that I planned (avoided?) writing a blog post (or two) during that time, my excuse is that I just didn’t have time. Does time actually go faster as we age or am I just getting pickier and pickier about how I spend it?
It may have appeared to those who followed along with my recent travels that I was experiencing the trip of a lifetime. Several people even stated that in comments to my posts here on the blog and on Facebook. But honestly, “It wasn’t.” Sure, the trip was great in so many ways, but in my opinion I hope to never experience a trip of a lifetime. That’s because I intend to keep experiencing trips that are amazing and hopefully better. Plus, even though I tried to be honest about a few of the challenges that popped up during our 90 days of travel, lots of things happened along the way that were completely unexpected. Isn’t that how it is in life? What’s the saying, “No matter where you go, there you are.” And I’d add to that, “No matter how well you plan or hope, stuff happens!” So, in reflection I thought I’d mention a few thoughts that could benefit us all (me!) when “stuff happens” in our future—regardless of when or where they happen. And if you have a few practices that work for you, I hope you share them in the comments below.
When Thom and I left home three months ago I never planned to write about our travels. So even though I took my computer with me, I wanted complete freedom to take the summer off from writing if I didn’t feel I had anything to say or share. But if you’ve been following along then you know that several weeks after leaving home, I challenged myself to write a post that included a few photos and thoughts about our travels up to that point. Ten posts later, we finally wrap up our trip spending both a week in Porto and a week in Lisbon, Portugal. Our time in both locations gave us an opportunity to settle into each city and reflect on our trip. And as usual when our travels draw to a close, we began to look forward to returning to our lives back home. [Read more…]
One of the larger reasons Thom and I enjoy traveling in the summer is to escape the heat of our desert home in Southern California. We call ourselves “weather chasers” because we tend to prefer sunny, but temperate, climates. This summer was no exception and we’ve been very fortunate during our travels. Unfortunately, after leaving the Sintra near the coast of Portugal we headed inland to Tomar. And yes it got hot! Not as hot as back home, but hot enough to make us adjust our plans accordingly. Of course, one thing that is an essential item to take along when taking any adventure is flexibility along the remembrance that we are fortunate to be able to travel in the first place. So yes, we’ve still enjoyed our time in spite of soaring temperatures across Europe this July. [Read more…]
Portugal has been on my short list of travel for several years now. I kept reading about and hearing from others about how many people love it and plan to retire here in the future. Not just those from the U.S. either. It is popular with many expats from other parts of Europe as well. Why? The weather, the ocean, the culture, the people and the food. Obviously we had to check it out. We flew from Rome and landed in Lisbon. There we rented a car and headed south to the region known as the Algarve. Thankfully, after the heat in Rome, the weather was clear and cool. [Read more…]
After spending time on the Amalfi Coast it was time to head inland to visit our good friend Cheryl Morgan. Cheryl fell in love with Italy years ago and it was always her dream to buy a home there and do her version of Under The Tuscan Sun. So about four or five years ago, during one of her visits, she bought a house near a lake southeast of Rome in a little town named Posta Fibreno. Not only did she turn her new home into a lovely retreat, two years ago she bought another house nearby. When we heard she was remodeling it and making it available to guests, we figured it was time for us to visit. And it was just the sanctuary we needed for a few days. [Read more…]