The following list of sites (compiled at the end of 2020) are the best on the web that share information and personal insights about positive aging and retirement. Besides offering current and interesting news on an ongoing basis, most offer glimpses into the life of those living these experiences. While these are certainly not all the sites you can find on these topics, they are personal favorites that I believe are noteworthy, informative and often fun to read. Thank you to each of the authors and creators who put in the time and effort to provide such helpful ideas and information to all of us throughout the year.
Some people are born storytellers. That’s why I have been, along with millions of others, a fan of Robert Fulghum. His short essays nearly always manage to touch my heart and remind me of what really matters in my life. So although I know we all have a lot on our mind with the holidays unfolding around us, I thought I’d share one of his short stories that will lead to what I am guessing we all hope to experience this holiday—and into 2021.
“One year I didn’t receive many Christmas cards. One fetid February afternoon this troublemaking realization actually came to me out of the backroom in my head that is the source of useless information. Guess I needed some reason to really feel crummy, so there it was. But I didn’t say anything about it. I can take it, I’m tough. I won’t complain when my cheap friends don’t even care enough to send me a stupid Christmas card. I can do without love. Right.
This last week I passed a friend and her young son while taking Kloe (my dog) for her morning walk. We paused to chat, from a distance of over six feet apart of course, and immediately Joey the son began to excitedly recite what was on his Santa List. After listening for a few minutes about Joey’s ambitiously long list, we said our goodbyes. Then as Kloe and I headed for the nearby park, I couldn’t help but feel grateful that my little girl has never developed the habit of making a Christmas List. Of course, even if she did, it would likely be far different than the vast majority of young children in the U.S. Would you agree? [Read more…]
Is today starting to look a lot like yesterday, and the day before? That’s a sure sign you are living safely within your box. Have you tried something new or taken a chance lately? If no, there’s that box again. Is your life primarily focused on security, sure-bets, and hanging on to what you have? Yep, that’s a very comfortable box indeed. But at what cost? During the last week I’ve been asking myself these sorts of questions as I’ve read Seth Godin’s new book, The Practice – Shipping Creative Work. And make no mistake, while he does insist that we all have the ability to be creative, it is not limited to painting, writing or the typical actions we usually tie to creativity. His version of creative boils down to generously providing solutions for whatever matters to you in your world that could not be solved or supplied without your unique contribution. And the practice? It is the journey of sharing your creativity with those you serve. [Read more…]
Some people probably don’t realize one of the gifts of blogging is the people you will meet on the journey. That’s why when one of those “gifts” sent me an email a few weeks ago telling me they would be in town this week, I responded immediately. Yes we could figure out how to do a physically distant “safe” lunch—but I had a condition. Would they also do a live interview with Thom and me? Of course doing a live interview outdoors is tricky enough. Then throw in the restrictions of a pandemic, other people, and swarms of gardeners and you never know what you will end up creating. However, when you are willing to take a chance with your blog, your vlog and life itself, great things can and do happen. Thanks to Michelle and Jedd Chang from IntentionalTravelers.com for a great interview. And a special thanks to Thom for managing to film and edit another complicated Vlog for us all despite the challenges!
Do you ever spend any time wondering why it is that you were born? I mean besides the obvious that your parents got together one time and got lucky? And I’m not really talking about spending a great deal of time and energy on the question, I’m instead questioning the thought behind the thought that might occasionally pop in your head. Things like have you ever wondered, is this all there is? Or what about considering that surely life is about more than just growing up, getting a job, paying bills, procreating and then hopefully retiring with enough money to enjoy some free time before we die?
Well this week I rediscovered an author I have enjoyed in the past named Martha Beck and she has a lot to say about following our life’s purpose. But she isn’t really talking about “what do you want to be when you grow up”—any more than she’s talking about “what do you want to do when you retire?” Instead she is talking about finding and then following your ongoing life path, regardless of your age.
A couple of weeks ago in a Vlog I shared how important walking is to my physical and mental health. When I consciously quit smoking nearly thirty-five years ago, walking was the replacement and ever since I’ve been getting up and walking every morning. I can’t even conceive of how I would have gotten through 2020 without that activity. And yes, having a walking buddy like Kloe my dog to join me is encouraging. But someone asked me how I can walk the exact same route each and every day—isn’t it boring!?! The answer to that is I have been saved by podcasts. In this post I decided it might be good to share some of my favorites with you in case you too would like some free inspiration, new and intriguing conversation ideas, and if you’re a writer a wealth of topics to explore. [Read more…]
I am putting up this post to send you on Wednesday, the day after the election. That’s because Thom and I are heading out of town for a few days in honor of his birthday. I think everyone is well aware that there is a lot of uncertainty happening here in the U.S. about the election right now and who knows where it will lead. It’s not clear who won, who lost and how that transition will take place. Whenever I find myself in a circumstance that is out of my control, I am reminded of the amazing Victor Frankl who in the midst of a Nazi Concentration Camp where people were being brutalized and murdered all around him he could still hold on to this freedom. No matter what the outcome of our current election, or other circumstances in our lives, we would be SMART to remind ourselves this on a regular basis.
A few weeks ago I posted a quote by e.e. cummings that said, “To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best night and day to make you like everyone else is to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” That quote continues to speak deeply to me. It is based upon my own desire to be true to myself even though I really want to be accepted and yes, loved, by everyone else. And I’m guessing that many of us are feeling that contradiction in these times—whether that be related to politics, COVID, systemic racism, income equality, or others. Fortunately, one of the answers to that predicament came to me this week around the topic of conformity. When is conformity a good thing, and when is conformity a jail cell that we are in without remembering the door isn’t even locked? When does conformity keep us safe, and when is it holding us back? [Read more…]
This last week Thom and I were talking about how fortunate we have been to stay healthy and sane during the last seven months of the pandemic. But it hasn’t been entirely by luck. Of course we have practiced the basics that we’ve all heard over and over. But there are also a few other actions we think have tipped the scales in our favor. Today we want to share three of the ideas that we believe are a bit different, but important. And we also experimented by making the video a bit more active. We hope you enjoy it and invite you to offer anything you feel has helped you to get through these times (with your sanity and good health intact) in the comments below.