A week ago I turned 60. And while the number sounds much older than I feel, I am also extremely aware of how great my life is at the same time. In fact, thinking back I am hyperaware of how much my life has improved during the last 30 years. But how can that be? In a culture obsessed with youth, is it possible that we’ve all been mislead about what happens as we age? Or maybe those of us who have lived to midlife and beyond stay too silent about the benefits? Either way, now is a good time to let those who follow know that not only can we get better as we age, but life itself can be more sweet, meaningful and SMART as it goes along.
Several years ago I read the book How Full Is Your Bucket? by author Tom Rath. Although the message was simple, I clearly remember its advice for creating a happy and fulfilled life. So when I was offered a review copy of Rath’s newest book Are You Fully Charged? I jumped at the chance. After all, who couldn’t benefit from a book with a subtitle like “The three keys to energizing your work and life”? And if you’re anything like me, it doesn’t matter how many times I am reminded of positive and life affirming messages, I’m always open to hearing them again in a new way and different way. [Read more…]
My husband Thom and I have watched Chopped for several years now. Even though we are not big fans of reality TV, there is something about the mix of tasty food, cooking, creativity, and drama that caught our attention. If you haven’t seen it, Chopped is a weekly program on the Food Network that showcases four different chefs each week as they compete to create the most artistic and flavorful dishes in a set amount of time. After watching dozens of episodes, it occurred to me that many of the things we witness week after week is similar to what we all face on a regular basis. That’s when I came up with seven life lessons contained in every episode of Chopped. [Read more…]
“If you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life.” ~Confucius
A good friend of mine plans to retire in the next couple of months. She’s earned it. After working at a challenging job for over 25 years, she’s more than ready to move on to something new. But underlying that excitement I detected a bit of worry about the uncertainty before her. That mixed message of elation and concern got me thinking about how Thom and I are approaching our future. What I realized was that in our quest to rightsize our lives, Thom and I have gradually slipped into what we are calling semi-retirement in a natural and stress-free way. While so many people our age are asking an all-or-nothing question about retirement, rightsizing right now might be the best solution of all.
The phrase, “you create your own reality” has been part of the Western vernacular for at least several decades now. Originally a statement promoted by those with a more progressive perspective on life, the idea behind the phrase is now commonly found everywhere from books to television, to popular music and in movies. But while I’ll admit that it is empowering to think I influence my world, and easy to imagine that your reality can be very different from mine, obviously that doesn’t mean I can just flap my arms and fly just because I want to “create that.” So what does the statement really mean? Is it true? And if yes, how does that lead to a SMART and happy life? [Read more…]
On Friday, February 20th, all around the world thousands of people came together to write, tweet, sing, paint and speak out in the name and practice of compassion. The idea started a couple of months ago when several bloggers were sharing ideas of gratitude and began wondering what would happen if they gathered a 1,000 (or more) voices together to write about compassion and focus on the good in the world. On that day, compassion and #1000Speak showed just what can happen when thousands of us come together for good. And at the core of that compassion, I can’t help but believe it all boils down to the spirit behind the word Namaste’. [Read more…]
At the end of 2014 and just like last year, I thought it might be interesting to do a review of some of the things that occurred here on SMART Living 365. Lest you think this post is all about blogging and has little to do with you, please keep in mind that it is SMART for all of us to look back occasionally to see what we have faced and overcome, what we’d perhaps like to do differently, and how that might impact the future. So, with three and a half years of experience behind me, here are several things I learned and experienced during the past year. [Read more…]
I am proof positive that a person can be a semi-minimalist, anti-consumer, nonreligious, childfree person who lives in the desert southwest where it never snows, and STILL love Christmas. That’s because I don’t equate the holiday season with any of those labels. To me, Christmas is a time to celebrate the life I have been given and to share and generate peace on earth and good will to all people. And because so many others also celebrate the season in a somewhat similar manner, I think the vibration of joy, peace and happiness is amplified as many of us come together with the same perspective. With that in mind, I spent some time this week looking through hundreds of quotes about Christmastime in order to help me remember and share some of what I consider some of the best thoughts behind the holiday. [Read more…]
Every year between Thanksgiving and Christmas I force Thom (my husband) to sit with me and watch the most corny holiday movies imaginable on television. Yes I confess, I love the sweet, sappy and heart-tugging stories that cover the airwaves during the month of December. And on this, the final couple of days of my 2014 Third Annual Gratitude Challenge, I took the time to research several of my favorite movies from the past that generate a feeling of thankgiving within me. Perhaps if I can find these on cable, Thom will be saved from what shows up on the Lifetime or Hallmark Channel in the next couple of weeks? [Read more…]
Have you ever noticed that when you pay attention and stay grateful for the little things in your life, most things seem to go well? As some of you know, since November 1st I’ve been participating in a gratitude challenge where every single day I write down ten-things–of-thankful (TToT) and post them on the SMART Living FB page. Now that I’m around 2/3rds through the challenge, it’s becoming obvious that most of what I list are little and routine pieces of my day. Gradually I’ve come to realize that when we recognize (with gratitude) those little things that happen each and every day, we just might be keeping them from becoming big things that lead to unhappiness. [Read more…]