I’m fairly sure that I first received my first AARP solicitation when I was only a few months shy of 50. What? How did they know my age and why would they think I was interested? Not only had I not even considered retiring, the idea of getting older was still very foreign to me. In fact, I wasn’t even willing to admit I had hit midlife, let alone become a senior. But things change and here I am 14 years later. And yes, I am now a card-carrying member of AARP. This last weekend I sat down and read one of their latest publications and that got me thinking about why I find them helpful—and what I find annoying. Interested? [Read more…]
Did you smile today? It matters—at least according to research by college professor, psychologist, and author Barbara Fredrickson, Ph.D. Yet most of the time we tend to believe that a smile, while nice in the moment, is too tiny or inconsequential to make much of a difference. But according to Fredrickson every smile, and all the other positive emotions we have during the course of the day, add up to tremendous benefits to the quality of our mental, emotional and physical health. So yes, it matters whether you smiled today. In fact, it could be one of the most important things you do for yourself or others as your future unfolds. [Read more…]
I’ve been a big fan of Mark Nepo after hearing him give a lecture at an Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) Conference years ago. Both his prose and his poems are pearls, or blossoms if you prefer, that draw us in and speak to many of us. He continually reminds me to stay true to myself and freely share that with the world. Then, without struggle, the bees will come.
Unless you live in a very remote area and are essentially off the grid, you know that our world is facing at least two major challenges—climate change and political corruption. But before you stop reading because you think I’m going to get political (I’m not) and/or tell yourself neither of those have anything to do with you, I beg to differ. I do agree it is tempting to just pretend everything is just fine, or distract ourselves into believing those issues are someone else’s problem. However, I don’t think that’s the SMART approach. That’s because it is obvious to me that the people and the world around us have a significant influence on our wellbeing, our health and particularly our future. So regardless of what country you live in or what side of the fence (wall) you happen to be on, you and the people you care about are being touched by world events. What do we do? I believe there are three things we all can do to stay sane, relatively happy and hopeful in the days ahead.
Are you facing a transition in your life? If yes, you might be interested in a new book I’ve just finished by a fellow blogger named Patricia West Doyle. Pat is the author of Retirement Transition—An Innovation Approach. And even though I’m not yet retired, I still found a few ideas in it that could prove valuable to others—especially those of us facing a transition. Of course, when you think about it transitions happen repeatedly to all of us over the course of our lives. So why not prepare before we’re in the middle of one? [Read more…]
I know that I mainly write about how beneficial Rightsizing can be from a Baby Boomer perspective. I sure hope that doesn’t turn off Millennials, because I honestly believe that the sooner a person starts rightsizing, the better their life will be from then forward, no matter what their age. So with that in mind, I decided to focus on why I think rightsizing works even more advantageously if you begin when you are younger. And hopefully, it might also remind those of us who waited until we were older, that there is no better time to rightsize than right now! [Read more…]
Thom and I are renting a cottage at the beach until the end of September. Sounds wonderful, right? But I’m torn. Yes, it’s still sizzling hot back home in our desert community, but once September hits things start to kick off. Although not officially the beginning of the “desert season,” once school starts more and more activities pop up on the calendar. Traffic picks up, meetups get scheduled, and friends start calling with plans. So even while I’m loving the cooler weather at the beach, part of me is anticipating seeing those friends and getting involved in social and volunteer events back home.
When I think about it, that tension between what I have and what I’m possibly missing is something that happens to me/us all the time in one form or another. It’s similar to the oxymoron of celebrating life in one moment and yet feeling pain or sadness at the same moment. Or how about feeling optimistically excited, and yet somewhat anxious about what’s ahead? And probably the biggest one, feeling grateful and happy while recognizing deep in our heart that there are huge challenges going on all around us. How do we handle those paradoxes, and where do we go from there? [Read more…]
Last week I explained how a big part of Thom and my ability to travel frequently comes from living a rightsized life. Yet although that’s the starting point, the successful details of our vacations usually boil down to a few simple tips—or hacks as they are often called these days. While these certainly won’t apply to everyone, they do work for us. And because a number of people seem curious, I decided to share them with you. If I can inspire just one of you to explore your options, not to mention save money, then I’ll consider it worth my time. [Read more…]
As some of you know, my husband Thom and I took a road trip in July. As usual, we were seeking a way to avoid the summer heat in the desert that we call home. As planned, we figured that a road trip to the Pacific Northwest just might be a great solution for part of that time. It was. Not only was the weather spectacular, we also met with family in Seattle, old friends in Kelowna, B.C., as well as a planned meetup with some of my friends who blog. With a little forethought and design we had a wonderful vacation. However, once we returned people continually questioned how it was possible to spend several months both traveling and renting out-of-town houses for over three months, while most people are stuck at home. And remember, we aren’t retired either. Our go-to answer is always, “Because we rightsized our life.” [Read more…]
I’ve been a big fan of Mary Oliver’s poetry for most of my adult life. She offers so many great quotes that it is difficult to just pick one. But this one jumped out at me today for two reasons. First off I am drawn to the idea of having an instruction manual for life. And second, I love the idea that life isn’t as complicated as we tend to think. Today, I want to remember to just pay attention, be astonished and then tell about it. How about you?