My dog Kloe is normally one of the happiest and perkiest dogs alive. Most of the time if just mention the “w” word (as in walk) she starts spinning and doing her happy dance. I’m sort of the same way. Most days I wake up and am convinced that something wonderful is about to happen and I am incredibly fortunate just to be alive. But to be honest, there are days for both Kloe and I when one or the other of us wakes in a funk. We aren’t feeling necessarily bad, just blah. What I’ve gradually learned is that the blahs aren’t usually something to fear, fix or fight. Instead, the SMART thing to do is remember we always have more options than we know and sometimes relaxing into the moment is the best antidote. [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.
I keenly remember my mom working a garden in several of the homes she lived in later in her life. One was little more than rock and gravel patch of dirt, yet she managed to harvest a few tomatoes and zucchini in spite of the inhospitable ground. And while I always enjoyed the taste if she had any extras, my life was far too important and fast paced to even imagine having the time or interest. Now here I am so many years later, spending time nearly every day nurturing tiny green plants in my care. Though it’s taken a while, I’ve gradually come to realize that many of the hidden benefits my mother harvested from her garden went far beyond the obvious. In fact, after reading up on the benefits of gardening I’ve come to realize that this simple action might be a cure for what ails many people, as well as the planet herself. [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…]
Yes, I’m a quitter—smoking that is. No I won’t pretend it was ever SMART or healthy. Unfortunately back when I was a smoker we didn’t think much about it. But just like how eating too much sugar is considered bad today, every time I’d cough I suspected there would be a price to pay. Thankfully I quit over 25 years ago and hope I’ve compensated for the risk. Sadly, my mom wasn’t as lucky and paid for it with her life. That’s why today I’m a strong supporter of the Great American Smokeout (GASO). I agree with the GASO theme for 2014, which states, “Quit Together. Win Together.” I don’t regret much in my life but I do regret not being able to help my mother quit so we could both have won against this addiction together. [Read more…]
The Internet is full of posts, articles and photos of people who are embracing a more minimal lifestyle and promoting the Small House Movement. Just Google if you’re curious. One guy has remodeled a trash dumpster and now calls that home. Others are living in RV like structures with only 200 to 300 sq. feet. Even though some of these homes are adorable and decorated to make the most of small spaces, there is only a minority of us in the U.S. that will ever embrace that lifestyle for any length of time. But that doesn’t mean that the focus on a small (er) home isn’t worth promoting. In fact, my experience has convinced me that it was one of the best moves we ever made. [Read more…]
This week for the first time SMART Living 365 is hosting The Best of Boomer Blogs #379. My links have been featured on each of the blogs listed below during the last month and I’m happy (and grateful) to now share these writers and their blogs with you. While I realize not all of you are boomers, some of these links should be of interest and help you no matter what your age. This type of link sharing is called a “blog carnival” and features an interesting selection of news, feature articles, and personal blogs. So jump on the merry-go-round, join the conversation and leave your thoughts, questions, and comments below! [Read more…]
This week Thom and I celebrate our 37th Wedding Anniversary. Whew! It’s strange to think that I’ve been married longer than many people I know have been alive. It’s even weirder to think that when we met all those many years ago I had the foresight to know that Thom was the one. Not just one, but THE ONE. Obviously, my life as I know it would have been dramatically different with any other man, Plus I would probably be much different than the person I now know myself to be. In the big picture, I’m sure there are several reasons why we’ve lasted while so many other good people haven’t. But one thing I know for sure is that my marriage to Thom differs tremendously from both my parent’s marriage and that of my in-laws in a couple of very distinct ways. And perhaps that offers some clues to others who would like to create a marriage of a lifetime.