Recently I watched a new documentary entitled Coming Of Age In Aging America. I expected the focus of the film to be similar to much of the other information I read almost daily on the Internet. Sure the movie covers a few of those common themes prevalent in the positive aging message. But more importantly, the major focus is a deep inquiry into the sustainability of how most of us view the overall life-progression or life-course of all Americans as we age. What do they mean by that? And why do I believe it is important for all of us to begin to rethink the current model of aging and retirement that most of us unconsciously hold as sacred? [Read more…]
Do your thoughts determine how you age? The answer is “Yes” according to Professor Ellen Langer. During the last forty-five years, this Harvard social psychologist has studied the way our mindset affects both our health and how we age. At the core of her work is unifying the mind and the body rather than how the conventional medical and psychological world typically treats each as separate. Langer is convinced that a unity offers a far better understanding and hope for making positive change. Fortunately, her studies provide us with plenty of science to back up her assertions. [Read more…]
A big topic in my age group is retirement. About half of my friends are looking forward to it while the other half are already there. As for Thom and I, we see ourselves standing with a foot on both sides. We aren’t retired, but neither are we chained to our work. What makes us different from others hoping to retire soon is that we’ve embraced what I call rightsizing. Rightsizing is a process that any of us can do to come into greater alignment with our most cherished values and goals. On a practical level, rightsizing points to actions we can make at any age that will help before, and especially after, a person retires.
In case you are wondering, I am not a financial advisor. Most retirement “planning” comes from people who would like to manage your finances. That approach tends to put the focus on how much money you make, how much money saved, and how much you need in the future to maintain your current lifestyle. Rightsizing, on the other end, downplays money and instead puts the focus on what is most rewarding in your life.
Yesterday I finished reading a new book by Jo Ann Jenkins, the CEO of AARP, called Disrupt Aging—A Bold New Path To Living Your Best Life At Any Age. Not only did it remind me that the prejudice of ageism is alive and well in our country, it suggests that the way we think about aging and retirement is due for a big shift. While I didn’t find the ideas in it as bold as advertised, it did get me thinking about aging and retirement in a few new ways. I was also reminded that the only way such a disruption can ever occur is when enough of us begin to see, think and talk about new and positive ways we can all approach aging in the days to come. [Read more…]
During January Thom and I decided to experiment with our diet. We had attended a lecture in December that warned us about how eating wheat and sugar was detrimental to a healthy and aging brain. That caught our attention. So during the month we avoided bread, pasta or anything containing wheat. We also eliminated desserts, juice or any beverage with added sugars. While it wasn’t without challenges, it wasn’t that difficult either—mostly because we were doing it together. Perhaps with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it’s SMART to remember that some of the greatest gifts of long and happy relationships are our collective health, happiness, and well-being. [Read more…]
Have you ever heard of the word, “hygge?” If not, it may be because you’ve never lived in Denmark where the concept has been around since the 19th Century. But in 2015, a prominent article written about hygge for the BBC website went viral and exploded across the U.K. and Europe. Now it is coming to the U.S. Why so popular? With a simple definition of “coziness” or “content togetherness,” hygge (often pronounced hoo-gah) just might be the perfect solution for anyone feeling the stress of the coming holiday or recent political events. Even better, hygge offers a possible path for those of us exploring living well and positive aging. [Read more…]
I arrived on this planet 61 years ago, and I don’t think I’m old. Sure, I’ve been around a while and have certainly aged. But again, I don’t think that necessarily makes me old. Then this last week a friend and fellow blogger wrote an article saying that it was “ageist” to deny that we aren’t old past a certain age. While my friend didn’t mention when that exact number occurs, just knowing she is only a year or two older than me, made me guess that she believes I’m in the same boat. But the thing is, I don’t think she is old either, regardless of her age.
Of course, I do agree with her that rampant age discrimination exists in our country. It’s been around for as long as I can remember and I’m guilty of it too. I distinctly recall thinking my parents were old when I introduced Thom to them back in the late 1970s. At the time, they were in their early 40’s, and I am now two decades older than them at that introduction. Your perspective clearly changes as you age and until you reach certain milestones yourself, it is tough to relate. [Read more…]
Last night Thom and I sat down to watch a new Syfy thriller on television. Although the reviews were promising, after about a half hour of watching things blow up, people dying, and young-twenty-somethings behave in idiotic ways, we turned it off. After all, what was the point? That question has been on my mind after finishing a book entitled The Point Is by Lee Eisenberg. The author believes that how we answer that question should help each of us make sense of birth, death and everything in between. And maybe, just maybe, answering it on a regular basis could assist us in living SMART and making the most of every precious moment of our lives. [Read more…]
During the last four and a half years I have written and published every post here on SMART Living 365. But as Thom and I prepared for a three week trip over the holidays, I decided to invite three other bloggers I enjoy and admire to contribute and share their SMART advice. Today’s Guest Post comes from author and writer Tom Sightings from his blog Sightings Over Sixty. I’ve been reading Tom’s blog for several years and greatly enjoy his diverse topics, his perspective on life, and his sense of humor. I hope you enjoy this post and I strongly encourage you to check out his blog if you get a chance. Thank you, Tom, for sharing your SMART, practical and funny wisdom with us all.
Let’s face it, soon or later we all get old, assuming we’re still around at all. There’s nothing we can do about it — except maybe try to do it with some class, and not burden ourselves or our loved ones with all the consequences and complications.
It doesn’t matter if we’re 55 or 75. We can still approach our senior years with some style and grace. Here are a few suggestions that have occurred to me. Maybe you have others. [Read more…]
The late afternoon has always been my favorite time of day. So this weekend when I found a quote by Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist and founder of Analytical Psychology, it grabbed my attention. He said, “The afternoon of life is just as full of meaning as the morning; only, its meaning and purpose are different….”. Intrigued I continued to read how Jung believed that the approximate time between ages 56 and 83 offer each of us the opportunity to make the process of aging a positive and life-enhancing experience. Regardless of whether we find ourselves only approaching that “afternoon” of life, or deep within it, the SMART perspective is to learn and stay conscious about what we can do to live an ongoing life of quality and purpose. [Read more…]