For over 30 years I have been self-employed and for the most part, worked alone. Although there are many advantages to being a self-employed writer, I’ve never had the luxury of meeting co-workers after work or sharing life’s ups and downs with fellow employees. And because I am childfree, I also never bonded with other moms over the joys and challenges of raising kids. But since the media recently exploded with news bits equating loneliness and isolation with such health risks as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, making new friends is now a priority. Not only is it SMART to recognize that loneliness is a potential life hazard, it is also beneficial to come up with ways to reverse the trend. [Read more…]
Around ten years ago my husband Thom and I got serious about living a more simple, minimal and rightsized life. But as most of us know, a simple life isn’t like a college degree where once you have it, you hang it on the wall and never think about it again. So, when offered a review copy of the book, Soulful Simplicity—How Living With Less Can Lead To So Much More—I eagerly accepted. The book not only reinforces many of the practices I’ve learned along the way, it also gently shares a number of new and soulful ideas about how living with less truly leads to a life of living so much more. [Read more…]
This morning during my morning walk I listened to Abraham-Hicks on audio as she explained the Law Of Attraction to someone at one of her seminars. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a fan of LOA, because even though I don’t agree with everything it proposes, the majority of the message is positive and self-empowering. This morning Hicks offered a phrase I’ve never heard before—a “poop-to-value ratio.” She also explained that a friend of hers came up with the expression, but usually uses a more descriptive word than poop. Naturally, the audience laughed in acknowledgment. But even though it sounds a bit crude, what struck me as important was how clearly this phrase reminded me of the choices, decisions, and tradeoffs we each face every single day. And the best way to know if we’ve made the right choice for us is being aware of the poop-to-value ratio involved. [Read more…]
Early this year I set the intention to publish another book. I am incredibly pleased to announce that Positive Aging: A SMART Living 365 Guide to Thriving and Wellbeing is now published and available on Amazon. It is available either as a paperback or on Kindle. While it took longer than I expected and several challenges popped up along the way, I believe it turned out even better than I hoped. And, in true SMART Living fashion, I also learned a few things about myself and the process that I thought some of you might be interested in learning, regardless of whether you write or not. [Read more…]
We live in amazing times. That doesn’t deny that certain aspects ought to be changed or addressed for us all to live with equality and peace of mind. But if we can let go of what isn’t working for a minute, and focus on the advantages of this time and space—it’s possible to fill the mind with admiration and gratitude for what we do have, right here and now. Sometimes that feeling comes from something as simple as reading a great new book.
One such book is Life Reimagined—The Science, Art, and Opportunity of Midlife by Barbara Bradley Hagerty. With a background as an NPR correspondent, Bradley Hagerty knows how to tell a story and fill it with pertinent facts and research. And now, with millions of us around the world hitting midlife and beyond, all the attention, focus, and research about how to make the most of the coming years is inspiring. Bradley Hagerty distills that information in wise and funny ways to remind us all that with design, growing older means growing better. [Read more…]
This week SMART Living 365 introduces you to Lynne Spreen as our last guest blogger before returning from our trip. I am a friend as well as a reader of Lynne’s blog Any Shiny Thing. On her blog, Lynne often writes about positive aging and other SMART ideas that I find valuable. Thank you, Lynne, for filling in and sharing these great ideas.
In 2007, a billboard in my town advertised a new housing tract that featured two master bedroom suites, available in their biggest model. It sticks in my memory because I was appalled. Who would buy a house with two master suites?
This was just before the Great Recession, a period of real estate excess when people were buying way too much house and, in some cases, flipping homes like pancakes. [Read more…]
This week SMART Living 365 is pleased to introduce you to Bob Lowry as our guest blogger. I have been reading Bob’s blog A Satisfying Retirement for over a year and believe he offers ideas that are practical and SMART regardless of whether you are retired or not. Thank you, Bob, for filling in and sharing your thoughts with us this week.
The sky was beginning to cloud over, kids were playing, ducks were looking for bread crumbs, bikers rolled by while teens on skateboards defied gravity. Sitting in a folding chair and watching the scene my eyes were drawn to the surface of the lake. The sun was at just the right angle to cover the water with sparkles. It was beautiful. I was enjoying a satisfying retirement day.
Within a few minutes, the sun’s angle had changed and the sparkles were gone. Or, were they? From someone else’s viewpoint they probably were just as fabulous. They were simply gone from my view. [Read more…]
Nearly 40 years ago, in early October, Thom and I got married in the mountains of Colorado. Although the air was briskly cool, the sun was shining in the bright blue sky. Standing in front of a small wooden cabin surrounded by pine trees, we repeated our vows to each other in front of the seven people in attendance. I can vaguely recall being utterly in love with the young man standing next to me. And optimist that I am, I never doubted we were taking the next, best step for our relationship. Still, never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would look back after all these years and recognize the gift that my marriage would become. While I realize that Thom and I have shared a great deal of good fortune along the way, a big part of our happy marriage can be boiled down to four simple (but not always easy) elements of an extraordinary relationship. [Read more…]
Did you know there are several unique locations in the world where people typically live to be over 100 years old? Not only do the majority of the residents live past 100, they also remain physically active, mentally sharp, and are remarkably free from common diseases. Best of all they rate themselves happy. Called Blue Zones, these regions offer one of the most intriguing formulas for a long, healthy and vibrant life. Surely it’s SMART to explore the identifiable traits found in several Blue Zones to see how they might help us all create our own zone no matter where we live? [Read more…]
As many of you know, international bestselling author, speaker, publisher and inspirational leader Louise Hay passed away at age 90 this last Wednesday. In remembrance of her, I reread her short but classic book You Can Heal Your Life yesterday. Like putting on a pair of comfortable slippers, I could almost hear her voice as it watered the seeds in my mind planted there many years ago. With an awareness of how she influenced my thinking, I thought it only fitting to share some of the key ideas she nurtured within me that helped me create the life I am living today. [Read more…]