Twenty plus years ago I had a very close friend I’ll call Susan. Shortly after we met she invited me to lunch and I came right out and told her that while I knew a lot of people and had quite a few friends, I was really looking for a very close friend. Was she? In agreement, we then spent over five years talking, laughing, and sharing our lives. I felt closer to her than my own sisters. Then? She ghosted me. Of course, it wasn’t an immediate thing. I knew our circumstances had changes—that we had changed. The phone calls got shorter and fewer, and the times together dwindled. Sadly, it ended a slow death, and I never knew exactly why. I mourned that relationship for many years.
How I spend my time continues to be on my mind since writing the last blog post. So, my attention was triggered when I started listening to author Daniel Pink discuss his new book about regrets during a podcast. Is it possible that acknowledging regrets can help us spend our time in a more meaningful way—rather than events we try to avoid (or forget) as much as possible? That is part of the basis for Pink’s new book where he explains how and why our regrets can point us in the direction of what matters most to us. Not only can we use our regrets to create a better life, they can also teach us more about ourselves and help us make changes and choices that will lead to a more fulfilling future. And most important, how giving voice to our regrets can often help motivate us to take steps and absolve them for once and all.
At the beginning of every new year I face a big temptation to start planning how I hope my year will unfold. Even after COVID hit in 2020-21, I managed to chart out certain activities that I knew would be enjoyable and meaningful. Some happened—some didn’t. Now at the beginning of 2022, I find myself drawn to my usual pattern, but this year is a bit different for two reasons. First is because I found myself hesitating a bit when it came to travel planning this summer after my recent health scare in Mexico. Second is because I came across an interview of an author with a new book that challenged my perception of time and how we as humans often have a very dysfunctional way of dealing with it. Since listening to that first podcast and several others, I’m beginning to see time in a new way and how that can lead to creating a more peaceful and meaningful life in the future. [Read more…]
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.