A great amount of validated research proves that volunteering is good for both our health and our longevity. But unfortunately only about one in four people in retirement (or 27% of those over 65) actually volunteer in any given year. Then a week or so ago I had a zoom chat with some friends, all women who are retired, and for the most part none of volunteered or even wanted to. Each were healthy, smart (if I do say so myself) and came out of advanced creative professional occupations before retiring. Plus, I know that they are all readers so surely they are aware of the benefits attributed to regular volunteering? Naturally, that got me wondering why. What would keep any of us from volunteering when it is so beneficial to us? Here are five things I think stand in the way. [Read more…]
Hi! My name is Kathy and I’m a happiness addict. Just about any article or podcast that explores the topic jumps to the top of my to-do list. That’s why, when I saw that The Atlantic magazine was hosting an all-day online conference called In Pursuit Of Happiness I signed up. While I only watched a small portion of it live, I later spent a couple of days listening to over a dozen speakers with a wide variety of “happy” topics. And you know what? Even though I am pretty well versed in happiness ideas and research, I learned a few things that I thought would be good to share. Interestingly enough, one of the suggestions about how to be happier included the idea that we should share anything we hold dear to us because that helps magnify the experience. So here goes!
This weekend I will be turning 66 years old. When I was young that sounded pretty old, but as any of us who have arrived here (or beyond), our age has little to do with how we think and feel at a particular number. I am actually quite happy to be 66 for all sorts of reasons and while I can’t do some of the things I did at younger ages (nor do I want to!) , my awareness, my sense of self and the world, my internal and external resources are far, far better than then. Plus when checked it out, I realized that SMART Living 365.com will be turning 10 years old in a week or two. So it is a time of birthdays for both of us and what better way to celebrate than to throw my version of a potlach! Are there gifts? Of course—what kind of potlach would it be without them?
Richard Leider, co-author of the new book, Who Do You Want To Be When You Grow Old? highlights four things that many seniors feel are missing in older age. Those four things, along with numerous other gems of wisdom, are included in this book that was sent to me to review. And while I don’t know about you, with my 66th birthday happening later this month I grow increasing interested in such topics. Plus, as a person who has suffered from FOMO (fear-of-missing-out) much of her life, I don’t want to be one of those used as an example with such regrets. In fact, not only do I not want to miss anything that will keep me from experiencing what the authors call “the good life”, I look forward to becoming all I can become as I grow older.
What if I told you there was one simple step you could take that would very likely improve your life when you get older? Would you take it? I’m guessing most of us say we would, but evidence is to the contrary. That simple step is getting your hearing tested and if the test proves you have a hearing loss, you get and wear hearing aids. See I told you it was simple. But statistics show that even if you need them, you won’t wear them. That’s unfortunate for many reasons because I am here to tell you that after wearing hearing aids for six years now, I am a huge fan. It’s not just because I can hear as good (or better now!) than most. Instead it is because of all the proven health benefits that come from wearing aids that correct my hearing loss.
I’ve heard it said that most people spend more time planning a vacation than they do designing their lives. I’m guessing that is particularly relevant as we get older. Sure we might plan for retirement, but once we get there, then what? And I don’t know about you, but have you noticed that if you just let one day follow the other without any particular intention, the next thing you notice is that a week, month or year has gone by and not much has changed? Of course we all have a good excuse with the pandemic. And while things are looking more optimistic on that front, we aren’t completely out of the woods yet either. So while I’m all for going with the flow and not fighting what we can’t change, this morning during a podcast interview I heard something that struck me as very important—and that was the habit of reviewing and reflecting on our lives on a regular basis. After all, if we saying personal growth, life-long learning and other core values are important to us, don’t we owe it to ourselves to at least reflect and review on where we are—especially if there is a simple way to do that? [Read more…]
Sports have never been my thing. Sure I like to play at a few sports—like pickleball, golf and swimming but usually only with likeminded friends that are there like me, to have fun and socialize—not sweat. So when I heard a recent podcast by Brene Brown interviewing a woman named Abby Wambach, I only vaguely knew who she was. For those of you who are even less familiar than I was, Wambach is a two-time Olympic gold medalist with a ton of other accolades and awards including the highest all time national soccer goal scorer for women and 2nd for international soccer goals for both women AND men. That’s a big deal! At 40 she is retired and has gone on to write a couple of books. Regardless of whether you are a sports fan or not, this impressive woman is able to offer a unique perspective for women of all ages in our times. I found her New Rules to be excellent reminders as we collectively co-create a better world for us all.
I think most all of us believe we are very truthful people and believe we only want the truth from others. But is that always true? I think we also believe that our “beliefs” are valid or we would never consider believing them. Really? One of the books in my bookcase that I like to pick up now and then is one by Anthony De Mello. Filled with short stories and parables, I find them very thought provoking. In his book titled, The Song Of The Bird, the story “ The Truth Shop” is one of my favorites. It reminds me that as much as I love the truth and are not afraid to question my beliefs, there are still plenty of times I’m not quite ready for it all—100%.