My husband Thom and I recently spent some time talking with a young couple we know about the direction of their life. With one small child and hope for one more, they are considering moving to a larger home to give them all more space in a slightly more prestigious neighborhood. That certainly means larger mortgage payments, higher utility costs, more stuff, and a longer commute. Still, they seem convinced it would all be worth it. After all, isn’t that the American Dream—more, bigger, better? Thom and I kept our mouths shut because they appeared to want encouragement more than advice. Yet because I wish someone had tried to explain to a younger me that the dream we sought was not really a bigger house or more stuff, I thought I’d share what the joy of real abundance has come to mean to me after all these years. [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…]
There is nothing like traveling to another country to help you appreciate what you have back at home. It’s also easy here in the U.S. to take so much of what we have, and routinely do, for granted. So even though I told you I was done with writing about our recent trip, here is what I immediately learned to appreciate the minute we crossed the border. Of course it is only SMART to remember these each and every day. [Read more…]
So May is my birthday month. On May 23rd I turn 59. Yes, really! I only get to say that once so here it is in writing. And as I was sitting around thinking about how I wanted to celebrate I came up with a couple of ideas. Most importantly I want to offer all of you, my SMART readers a gift. If that’s sounds even remotely interesting, and/or you are curious about what I am giving away, please read all the way to the bottom of the post to discover how you can claim your free birthday gift from me.
But my thoughts about birthdays don’t stop there. By the time you get to be my age you’ve certainly been-there done-that with traditional ways to celebrate. So how can we celebrate in a way that makes this year stand out and not only be different, but be one of the more special years of all? [Read more…]
As many of you know Thom and I have been on the path of simplifying our lives for several years. Every January we like to sit down and discuss ways we can better live that example during the coming year. But in case you haven’t noticed, there are many people offering lots of advice that it’s challenging to decide which way to approach the topic. So while we don’t consider ourselves experts on the subject, we do think it’s helpful to list what we consider to be most important. From that point forward we each can then decide where and how we can put our attention during 2014.
So here are our Top 10 Commandments:
The end of 2013 marks two and a half years of blogging at SMART Living 365. From a statistical perspective it is an excellent reminder that perseverance is one of the best qualities a writer can bring to her craft. At the end of 2011 I had barely 50 email subscribers and a handful of feed subscribers. Now two years later I want to thank the thousands of readers who have stopped by and made SMART Living a part of their lives.
With that in mind I went through and looked at my top posts during the previous 30 months. With so many new followers I’m assuming many of you may have missed some of them. As usual they reflect some angle of what I consider a SMART Life. And always my goal is to share ideas that will help us all live a more happy, peaceful and meaningful life. Here they are: [Read more…]
After spending the last 29 days thinking, reading, talking and writing about gratitude, I’m pleased to say that I’ve accomplished a big part of my Gratitude Challenge. I can now say that I’m definitely more grateful for every single thing—big and little—in my life. Similar to when you decide you want to buy a new car and suddenly, everywhere you look that same car pops into your view, I now see gratitude in all sorts of places that I never imagined before. It is my sincere hope and desire that each and every one of you reading this blog feels that your gratitude level has been heightened and improved as well. But just in case you still need a little gratitude pinch, this post will include a final thought on taking your gratitude even deeper, AND my first ever Blog Hop. [Read more…]
Last week my post talked about three challenges that I think stand in the way of many of us living gratefully each and every day. What occurred to me from some of the comments and other conversations I’ve had during the week is that there are a number of people who aren’t convinced that we should live either gratefully or happy every single day anyway. What’s interesting to me after all the research I’ve done over the years about creating happiness, is how closely the reasoning to avoid gratitude on a daily basis appears the same. That led me to explore some of the more common myths that exist for happiness—and observe at how those same myths apply to living thankfully 365. [Read more…]
In scouring the Internet for the blog post links listed below I came across one that very simply listed 50 things they were grateful for in their lives. What a GREAT idea! If you believe the concept that what we think about grows, what we dwell upon we become, you might want to try it yourself. (If you want to go directly to this week’s gratitude links—scroll down to the bottom of this post)
So, here are 50 things I’m grateful for in my life right now: [Read more…]
Here are all quotes used during our SMART Living 30-Day Gratitude Challenge. For a quick pick-me-up or to remember that we all have lots to be grateful for, just read through these every now and then.
November 30 “We think we have to do something to be grateful or something has to be done in order for us to be grateful, when gratitude is a state of being.” ~ Iyanla Vanzant [Read more…]