Have you ever heard the quote, “Comparison is the thief of joy?” That great quote comes from former President Teddy Roosevelt. And I completely agree. But this week I realized that comparison is also a thief to feeling grateful—and without gratitude, how can we feel joy? Of course, like so many issues of awareness, this seems obvious. The key is to remember it on a daily basis. Because if you are anything like me, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of seeing and comparing what others have or are doing—and then overlooking the good in my own life. Fortunately this week, two great examples popped up to drive this idea home. Even better perhaps, they happened to others rather than me. Ever notice how we can often catch behaviors in other people far more easily than in ourselves? [Read more…]
My older sister Ann passed on this week and rather than make myself crazy with everything I am called to do, I decided to share a post I wrote many years ago instead. It was, and is, a simple and SMART reminder for us all.
This week Thom and I experienced a dramatic reminder of this truth—don’t take anyone for granted and share your love with those you love every single day. While most all of us would agree that this is an important part of SMART Living, everyone—me included, can use a reminder
Our “lesson” in this regard came this past Monday evening. There was nothing special about the day—nothing bad, but nothing amazingly wonderful either. We’d finished dinner and Thom was in the kitchen doing dishes. I could see that the sun had finally set so I knew it would be getting cooler outside. Our small mixed-terrier Kloe was watching me closely to see if it was time to go to the dog park before dark. But before we did, Thom decided to take the garbage out to the trash bins with Kloe trailing behind. [Read more…]
I tend to be the sort of person who looks to the future rather than the past. But when some good friends of mine did their DNA test several months ago I had to admit a curiosity. Then when one of them discovered an unusual family link, I couldn’t help but wonder if mine might contain something unexpected as well. So with some casual curiosity, I signed up my husband and myself for the process. What did I learn? And is it worth the time, money and effort? Maybe yes, maybe no.
It turns out that some people are obsessed by their family tree. An article in Salon Magazine claims that Genealogy may indeed be “the second most popular American hobby after gardening and the second most visited category of Web sites after pornography.” My interest doesn’t run nearly that deep! [Read more…]
Every blogger I know is aware of how well our posts are doing. How many people visit? What are people reading? Do people comment? Is anyone out there? After all, most of us spend a lot of time and effort writing something that we think others will find interesting enough to read and hopefully share with others. If we have commercial aspirations, numbers translate to income. If we are writing just to share ideas with others, we still want to know if people find our writing helpful. Programs exist that show us how many clicks an article receives, whether the entire article is read—or just the opening paragraph. Some programs are able to clock the amount of time on each page. Even when a blogger attempts to stay true to her mission and intentions, the numbers are difficult to ignore. [Read more…]
This week Thom and I are celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday with friends in Baja Mexico. And because I have over 35o blog posts here on the site and many new subscribers, I decided to pick one of my favorite posts that I wrote about gratitude in the past and repost it. I sincerely hope that you enjoy the reminders it contains. I also want to thank each and every one of you for taking the time to read my blog and stay in touch with me. I am grateful for the opportunity to connect with you all on a regular basis, and together, I hope we will all continue to live happy and SMART 365.
Did you know that some people believe it is impossible to live thankfully and gratefully on a regular basis? Are you one of them? What catches my interest most of all is how the reasoning to avoid gratitude is so similar to those who likewise sidestep feeling happy on a regular basis. That led me to investigate some of the more common myths that exist for happiness—and observe at how those same myths apply to living thankfully 365. [Read more…]
During the last couple of years, my focus for creating a happy and meaningful life has shifted. Now, in addition to exploring ways to create the most positive life possible for myself and others, I’ve begun including ideas of how we can all age well and happy. And because I happen to believe very strongly in the power of our focus, along with the benefit of affirmations, I went in search of the best quotes I could find on the subject. Any of us who believe that, “what we think about, we bring about,” as well as “what we dwell upon we become,” might benefit by reading the following quotes on a regular basis.
One of my daily practices is to remember to look for the good no matter what is going on in my life. It helps a great deal that I’m married to someone who does his best to remind me of this on a regular basis. It also helps that I am a naturally optimistic person, in good health, with many other lifestyle advantages. But even then, I still need to be reminded on a regular basis to stay focused on what’s good, rather than its opposite. That’s why nearly all my writing here on SMART Living 365 serves to re-enforce the positive over and over. Still, what I seldom acknowledge is the huge helping of grace that makes it all possible.
I don’t use the word grace much in my writing. I’m aware that it is a trigger for some people like my husband Thom, to a former religious perspective that created pain and skepticism rather than comfort. I certainly never intended to use the word in the title of my first work of fiction, Finding Grace. But after the main character ended up naming herself, and as her journey unfolded, no other title came even close to fitting as well. That’s how grace often works. When we follow the trail of what seems to be good, we end up with the grace of unexpected gifts. [Read more…]
Every summer my husband Thom and I rent a house up in the mountains about an hour from our home. We do it mainly to get out of the summer heat of our desert environment. But behind the more obvious reason is that it connects us to feelings of beauty and nature that we can’t get sitting at home in front of the computer in our air-conditioned house. So, when I happened upon an article that offered an even better reason why our yearly sojourns have become so important, I wasn’t surprised. It turns out that being in nature, and finding and experiencing an ongoing sense of awe and wonder, is critical to our feelings of happiness and wellbeing. Oh, and besides that, it also makes us nicer people to be around. [Read more…]
I am very pleased to announce that my latest book is now published and available in either print or as an ebook on Amazon. Titled Rightsizing * A SMART Living Guide to Reinventing Retirement, this book is the second in what I hope will continue to be a series. What is Rightsizing? Simply put, rightsizing is the conscious choice to create a life and a lifestyle that more sustainably aligns with your unique Self in the best possible way at every stage. This small volume compiles the best of what I’ve written on the subject here on SMART Living 365 along with some bonus ideas that presents them in a way I think most readers will appreciate. The good thing about rightsizing your life is that it doesn’t matter what your age or situation. Although many reach retirement before finally making it happen, rightsizing can benefit everyone and leads to more happiness, fulfillment and peace of mind than ever before regardless of circumstances. Of course, just like most things that are desirable, it comes at a price. Here is a list of the most common obstacles that keep many of us from choosing a rightsized life. [Read more…]
Chances are good that you’ve heard that California is in the midst of a severe four-year drought. If you don’t live here you might not think that has anything to do with you. But if you live in the U.S., there is a good chance you’ve eaten some of the food grown here—or at least used to be grown here. And if you live elsewhere around the planet you likely know that fresh drinkable water is becoming more precious everywhere humans live. But rather than scare ourselves to death about the dwindling supply, I instead want to remind myself of this precious resource that deserves our protection and appreciation. When we love something, when we value something, it is always easier to do whatever it takes to insure its continuation. So this week’s post is my tribute to water. [Read more…]