During the last few months I’ve chatted with a few other bloggers who like me, have been blogging for a very long time. The question about whether to continue seems to be popping up a lot. And while I fully intend to keep blogging, others aren’t so sure. Obviously, the entire field is changing both with the millions of blogs flooding the market, the influence of AI, and podcasts becoming the new “thing.” But for those of us who feel called to write, it still offers a wonderful way to express. However, even with that there is the inevitable trade-offs, priorities, and choices. Do we spend our time doing one thing? Or do we do another? It doesn’t matter if it is writing a blog post or doing something else you feel is more important. Each of us needs to decide what takes priority today. The good news is that many of us have choices. The bad news is—many of us have (too) many choices! [Read more…]
Since turning 68, I’ve been increasingly interested in what it means to grow older in a vibrant and purposeful way. Much like my work with rightsizing, I see aging not as an inevitable loss or sacrifice, but instead as an opportunity to get to the heart of what really matters to each of us as living, breathing beings on this planet—and then sharing that with our community and the world. Plus, with so many of us nearing ( or at) retirement with many years to come, isn’t is SMART to recognize that making the most of those years seldom happens by chance? So instead of merely growing old and waiting for the unavoidable, we set the intention to learn what makes us whole and happy—and make the most of our remaining time on Earth. [Read more…]
I have been a big fan of science fiction my entire life. Back when I was a kid, I couldn’t wait to watch the latest episodes of The Jetsons, Lost in Space, Outer Limits and of course Star Trek. Recently, Thom and I agreed that one of our favorite rides at Disneyland used to be Carousel of Progress. In 1977, the year Thom and I met and married, theaters gifted us with the first Star Wars movie—and we saw it at least seven times that summer along with every sequel and prequel ever since. And let’s not forget books like Dune or everything written by Ursula K. Le Guin or Robert A Heinlein. I think the attraction is the mostly positive vision of life, people and worlds so creatively different—and yes, all wrapped around an adventure. To me, science fiction requires unlimited imagination and open-mindedness. If we can’t imagine something different and yes, impossible—how can we ever hope to create or achieve it? And now, a new sub-genre of science fiction called solarpunk raises that bar in optimistic and innovative ways.
Did you ever play house as a kid? I did. And while once in a while my play house would contain a family with kids, most of the time my play revolved around adventure and the experience of living somewhere new. Then like most of us, I assumed I gave up playing house when I became a teenager. But this last week I realized that in many ways I still play house on a regular basis. In fact, every time Thom and I rent a vacation rental we are “playing house” in a similar way. Taking that a step further, this last week Thom and I bought a Park Model in Tucson and it hit me—this is just another way to play house! What about you? Did you play it as a kid? And are you playing a variation even today? [Read more…]
Last week a blogger friend died unexpectedly in her sleep. Rena McDaniel was 55. I didn’t know her well. But I’ve been following her online since I began blogging over 12 years ago. Her first blog posts focused on caregiving her mother with Alzheimer’s. Then when her mother passed on five or so years later, she switched to writing about blogging itself—how to do it, best programs, and even served to help others with repairs. In other words, Rena was someone who spent her life helping others. While I never had need of her services, her presence in my blogging world was always there. And now it’s not. I’m only guessing, but from my perspective I don’t think Rena ever reached her “golden years.” That got me wondering about how many of us ever really do? What does “golden years” even mean? And like so many thoughts I have these days—maybe it is time to stop waiting for some time or some “place” in the future—and instead live life right now. [Read more…]
It’s that time again! For the last five years I have considered it a privilege to scour the internet to find what I consider to be the best blogs and websites I can find. Like SMART Living 365, these are personal blogs and not commercially driven websites to make money. I tend to focus on the topics of positive aging and retirement but I decided to include all my favorites this year. Why not? And while my list certainly doesn’t contain all the sites available on these topics, I think that they are noteworthy and offer thoughtful, creative and provocative insights.
While some are the same from past years, as always, I have added some new ones and trimmed a few old ones that are no longer active. 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. They cost nothing except the time to read. [Read more…]
Have you ever wondered why Scandinavian countries continue to show up at the top of all surveys and research done on happiness? Especially when you consider that for much of their winters they have very little sunlight and temperatures are freezing. Still, over and over those countries demonstrate that the people who live there rate highly in what most researchers call “subjective wellbeing.” So even though that environment is near the bottom of my personal list of where to live, and I doubt the people there walk around with giddy smiles on their faces, they clearly have something precious and desirable. Is it possible that what makes living there so unparalleled is something called “lagom?” And could it be that lagom is just the Swedish word for the practice of rightsizing?
The short answer is YES! But I often find myself needing to explain why because so many people equate the idea of it with square footage. In reality, a rightsized life has little to do with size, and is instead about so much more. Then last week I had the opportunity to chat with Krista O’Reilly Davi-Digui about rightsizing during an interview for her YouTube Channel. Krista is the author/creator of the blog named A life in Progress (links below) and while we talked about rightsizing, we also talked about self-awareness, writing and living a values-based life. Afterwards I came to the conclusion that while we didn’t speak exclusively about rightsizing, all of those topics lead to what I consider to be a rightsized life. Sure many people are introduced to rightsizing by the thoughts of sustainability, getting rid of clutter and downsizing their living space—but once those are considered, the journey of a rightsized life continues on and is open to everyone at any age.
As you may have noticed I spend a lot of time looking for ways to improve myself and my world. From there, one of the joys of doing this blog is to share what I’ve learned with others. So this week in a podcast by Brene Brown I was introduced to a man named Scott Sonenshein who gave me new ways to think about a couple of topics I write about quite often. His book, Stretch—Unlock the Power of Less and Achieve More Than You Ever Imagine describes people as either stretchers or chasers. And while the title might sound like a business or motivational book, it essentially offers several good ideas about how each of us can increase our wellbeing, peace of mind and creativity. Today I am sharing four ways each of us can stretch ourselves toward greater fulfillment. [Read more…]