One of my book clubs is reading Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistle Stop Café. I have seen the movie, several times, but never read the book before now. Not only is the author, Fannie Flagg a great story teller, the tale she tells introduces us to characters so alive I wish they lived down my street. At the same time, she addresses a number of timeless issues like equality, morality, kindness and forgiveness all wrapped around a story that feels hopeful and familiar to us all. Then this morning I listened to a podcast interview of a woman I consider to be one of the best story tellers alive—Rachel Naomi Remen. Not only is Remen convinced that stories hold the power to heal our individual lives, she believes they are also the key to healing the entire world. Could it be that authentic stories about love, loss, meaning, purpose and courage are what is missing in the world today? [Read more…]
In case you haven’t noticed from my writing, I love to travel. Fortunately, Thom does too, and we intend to do as much of it as possible while we are physically able. Of course, it hasn’t always been easy. When we were young our work and our finances often took priority. Then we rightsized our lives and most of that changed for the better. But one thing that has always been a concern is what to do with our pets. Kloe, like each of our former dogs, is a big part of our family and adds an incredible amount of good to our lives. But managing her needs with our travel needs can be tricky. Fortunately, we have discovered a great solution. After three very successful experiences, I’m finally ready to recommend this service to everyone who faces a similar challenge with wanting to travel while cherishing a pet. Not only does it cost a fraction of traditional care, I think it provides Kloe with the best attention possible. [Read more…]
Open any magazine or watch any number of tv commercials and you’ll soon come across an ad that will tempt you with the possibility of looking young and living forever. Anti-aging products make the promise sound within our reach, while technology and the medical industry are spending billions to make it appear possible. But is it true? While none of us wants to admit that we are going to die, how many of us really want to live forever? That provocative question is raised in a new book titled, How to Live Forever—the Enduring Power of Connecting the Generations by Marc Freedman. I was so intrigued by the title that I contacted the author and requested a review copy just so I could discover a new way of looking at this age-old question. [Read more…]
A popular practice around the first of every new year is to pick a word for that year. Much easier, not to mention more intuitive, than making New Year’s Resolutions, picking a word to serve as a North Star can be very beneficial. During 2018 my word was flexible. I wanted to be more flexible in my body, my mind and my emotions all year long. Not only did it get me into a “mostly” two-day-a-week yoga practice, it also helped my thinking relax and flow as the year progressed. It was such a success for me that I decided to come up with a new word for 2019. I’m hoping this word will guide and direct my intentions as much as the last. And yes, I strongly encourage every reader to take the time to figure out what one word might inspire and pilot them in the next 365 days. [Read more…]
Why Vietnam? Why Cambodia? Why not? My husband Thom and I recently returned from a three-week trip to this part of the world. One of the more exotic locations we’ve explored, this trip was on Thom’s bucket list—and after all, he did turn 65 this year so it was his turn to pick. We’d also had several others tell us about how much they loved this part of the world and why it was worthy of the time and money to visit. So, after much planning and anticipation we experienced a variety of adventure and insights that I thought some of you may enjoying hearing about.
Here are few things I will always remember.
This week I’m happy to introduce you to Michele Vosberg as my guest blogger while Thom and I are traveling. Michele is one of the most recent bloggers I began following in 2018, but when I began reading her posts I knew without a doubt that she fits into the SMART Living lifestyle. With a strong intention to help people become all they are meant to be, her blog Life Redesign101 is sure to help any of us who appreciate self-awareness and personal growth. Thank you, Michele, for filling in for me and sharing some of your ideas about rethinking (and rightsizing!) our goal setting for the future.
This is the time of year that many of us are focused on goal setting for the new year. At this stage of life, we are likely accomplished goal setters. We have successfully navigated the demands of the working world. We’ve also successfully juggled the responsibilities of caring for homes, children, pets and even parents.
We have manipulated our Day Planners and multi-tasked our way through many projects and life challenges. We don’t need another lesson on S.M.A.R.T. goals (not to be confused with SMART Living!) We don’t need a bigger planner with more hours in the day. We want to get off the hamster wheel, live in the moment and enjoy our lives without checking off our accomplishments on an endless to-do list. [Read more…]
This week I’m pleased to introduce you to Beth Havey as my guest blogger while Thom and I are traveling. Beth is actually a neighbor of mine here in Southern California (about 150 miles away)—but we haven’t met in person—yet! But I do feel like I know her because I have been reading her blog Boomer Highway for several years now. There she writes about many things that I believe are heart-felt and SMART. Thank you, Beth, for filling in for me and sharing some of your ideas about relationships during the holidays.
Ebenezer Scrooge said: “I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year.” That saying is just one of the hundreds of memories in our hearts that help build our traditions during the winter holidays. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukka, Kwanzaa or other traditions associated with the winter solstice or eastern religions, it is a time of year that gathering friends and family together helps create a warm environment of food and friendship. Clearly, such gatherings help us deal with the bleakness of winter. Christmas, like the other holidays, is most often about the people in your life. [Read more…]
Two years ago I began publishing a list of the best blogs and websites on positive aging and retirement I could find. Now, for the third year in a row I want to continue to promote and provide exposure to those sites that I believe deserve recognition. Like most of us know, it is very easy these days to get lost in the shuffle of the blogosphere. But what I’ve also discovered is that most of the authors and blog publishers in this field especially, are passionately committed to spreading the word about how great it can be to get older. This year I am even more excited and enthusiastic because the research and news continue to show that nearly every single person who ages (no matter what their current age) can look forward to a longer, more meaningful and yes, happier life as they grow older—retired or not. Want to know more? Then check out my updated list below of the best resources I’ve found from 2018. [Read more…]
I have never been a slave to fashion. I’m certain that anyone who knows me personally will attest to that! Growing up as a tomboy with a chunky body, along with braces and freckles, I knew trying to be a fashion symbol was a losing battle even when I was young. So instead of striving for a body image I could never fulfill, I mostly focused on my mind and imagination. Even more fortunate, I later found a man who loved me for who I was—not just how I looked or dressed.
So, I’ve pretty much considered myself beyond the shaming that so many women receive for not conforming to cultural or peer standards about beauty. But that has changed some lately. The current discredit seems to be coming from other pro-aging women who imply that if you are still coloring your hair then you are denying your age and afraid to get older. They also imply that unless you embrace your natural-gray-colored-hair you are contributing to the ageism problem in the world. Sorry? I don’t agree. From where I stand hair color has little to do with how a woman feels about getting older. I happen to believe, like with so many issues, it is actually our internal self-acceptance and attitude about ourselves (and about aging) that makes the real difference. [Read more…]
As many of you know, I’ve been writing about rightsizing for several years now. The concept of rightsizing constantly helps me to focus on designing a meaningful life journey—not a particular destination I’ll ever fully experience. So when I recently came across an article about how values offer a similar perspective, it caught my interest. I’ve since learned that values, like rightsizing, are a direction. Sort of like getting in the car and heading north. You might be more north than you were yesterday, but you’ll never arrive. Once we discover how to live our values or how to rightsize our life, we are better able to appreciate the road we are traveling, regardless of whether we hit a few road bumps or we ever even reach a final destination. [Read more…]