I caught a cold this weekend. Yeah, I know it’s not a popular thing to do—or especially to admit. After all, how many times have you heard someone say, “I NEVER get sick!” Which is odd, when you distinctly recall just a short while (week, month, season) ago they were moaning about feeling awful. Besides, now that most people have a Facebook Timeline we have proof of their past experiences! But being sick and trying to heal while not fighting the process got me thinking. That’s when I decided it might be SMART to come up with a few lessons all of us could remember when we have a cold. [Read more…]
As some of you know, Thom and I just spent ten days in Taos, New Mexico. We went there to attend a music festival and ended up staying for a week. After seven days in one place, we discovered several things that made Taos really special. And that got me thinking—what is it that makes anyplace special? And is there anything we can do to make wherever we are the same? [Read more…]
It’s been over two years since my father made his transition*. I still think of him regularly and miss him more than I actually expected. With Father’s Day (in the US) being just around the corner, he’s been on my mind more than usual. But who says you can only celebrate Father’s Day when your Dad is present and available? Besides, if the true sentiment behind Father’s Day is to honor fathers and paternal bonds, maybe the holiday is a good excuse for all of us to acknowledge the care and guidance our father provided—and to celebrate the fathers among us who take the time to nurture and encourage children in many different ways. [Read more…]
Happy SMART Day Everyone!
Several years ago a book entitled, “A Complaint Free World” became an overnight sensation. To date, nearly ten million people have read the book and obtained purple rubber bracelets to help them recognize how much they complain on a regular basis. The practice was designed so that once people recognized their complaints they could put an end to them and gradually transform their world. This last week I came across my little purple bracelet and immediately realized that the bad habit of complaining was worming its way back into my life. Right then I admitted I could use another dose of “complaint-free living” in my life and in my world. [Read more…]
Happy SMART Day Everyone!
Now that the largest Mega Millions Multi-State Lottery is finally behind us, let’s talk about luck. According to estimates, nearly $1.5 billion dollars was spent with the hope of winning $640 Million. Unfortunately, those who bought tickets were in reality 50 times more likely to get hit by lightening—and some guy in Kansas actually did on his way home from buying three tickets at a local store. But those odds didn’t stop hundreds of people from standing in line over five hours in nasty and cold weather for the miniscule chance of becoming a mega-millionaire. News reports say there are only three lucky winners and dozens of others who will share in lesser prizes. Do those winners have a secret the rest of us can use to increase our odds in the future? The answer is yes—lucky people do have a formula. But it isn’t exclusive and you and I can benefit every day of our lives by knowing certain behaviors that can increase our odds. [Read more…]
Not long ago, a woman named Chris went with a friend to Disneyland. There in the massive parking lot of the Magic Kingdom, two other women approached asking if they would like free passes to the “Happiest Place On Earth.” The women offering the gift said they had two extra, and just wanted to give the other two away. This simple act of generosity reminded Chris and her friend of the kindness of others, and restored within her a reminder that people are intrinsically good. In fact, that charitable act inspired her to be more kind and generous herself. [Read more…]
This last weekend Thom and I drove to Carlsbad to visit with our friends John and Michelle. It took some gas money to get there, but once we arrived, we hunkered down with a couple of bottles of wine, a great dinner that Michelle prepared, and talked for hours, and hours. We eventually went to bed (lucky for us they have a guest room) and then got up and talked and laughed over breakfast before returning home to the desert. Once the overnight bag was put away, it occurred to me that our brief trip was one of those priceless moments with friends that takes relatively little money but offers huge returns. In fact, cultivating deep friendships may be one of the SMARTest things any of can do on a regular basis to live a great life. [Read more…]
Happy SMART Day Everyone!
I just read a short interview by author and activist Gloria Steinem. In it, she was asked to offer three words that have guided her life. They were: Hope, Ideas and Friends. And while I think all of them are indeed valuable and important in my life as well, it made me ask myself, what three words do I feel enrich my life the most? Whether you agree with Gloria, or me, it may be worth the time for you figure out three words that bring value to your life and help make them more prevalent in your life today. [Read more…]
I’ve never considered myself an expert on relationships. Instead, I’ve always thought of myself as extremely fortunate that I had such a great marriage and partnership. But this Valentine’s Day is a year when Thom and I will be celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary and I can honestly say I love him now much more than when we first got together. So, upon reflection, I might not be an expert, but I do believe that along the way I’ve learned a few things that makes for a happy life between two people.
Over the weekend, Thom and I had dinner with a friend whose lifestyle changed dramatically in the last couple of years. Our friend, Tami* was single for most of the 30+ years we’ve known her. Then a couple of years ago she married a very wealthy man. Although Tami was always financially secure in her life, she now admitted how great it was to never have to worry about bills or finances ever again. Unfortunately, her joy was short-lived. Within five minutes, she began complaining about the high amount of taxes she and her new husband would be paying for 2011 along with the drain her new husband’s adult children were on the family. Later she grumbled about how unfair it was of the current political administration to even consider raising her tax rate. The conversation was a great reminder that it is easy to forget that our sense of well-being, comfort and peace of mind has less to do with how much money we have—and everything to do with how we think about it. In most cases, regardless of how much we actually have—we only have enough when we think we have enough. [Read more…]