During the last several years I knew that my hearing wasn’t as good as it used to be. But like millions of other baby boomers I told myself I was far too young to worry about it. But because I prefer preventative medicine to reactionary medicine, I decided to get a hearing test just to check things out. Even then I was somewhat shocked and dismayed to learn just how bad my hearing really was. After digging around on the Internet I was equally shocked to find out how common impaired hearing is for millions of Americans. Even more important is why the denial of it can become such a huge problem if left untreated. [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…]
In 2015 I turn 60. Yep. I was born in 1955 and that means I, along with a bunch of other people I know, will turn 60 during the coming year. But rather than lament the event, I intend to celebrate all year long. Then when I heard from a fellow blogger about the idea of 60-FOR-60, I decided to take it on as a way to commemorate this important milestone. I’ll explain the details a bit further but regardless your age, you too can participate. But first, in order to achieve this goal or intention, I returned to a book I read last year that offers some great reminders about how every one of us, 60 or not, can achieve their goals in the coming year. [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…]
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…]
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…]
What every good traveler knows is that every trip contains unexpected surprises. Some surprises bring a wide smile to your face at the first sight of a natural wonder or touch your heart at the unexpected kindness of a stranger. Others make you laugh out loud or purr with delight. Of course on the flip side, events sometimes occur that make us frown with disappointment, wince in pain or even snarl with anger. No matter where you go and what you do, life happens. So even when most of a trip flows pleasantly as expected, learning to accept and flow with unexpected events is the key to traveling SMART. [Read more…]
Two weeks ago I was walking my dog Kloe down the street near the house we rent in the mountains every August. Gawking around and enjoying the beautiful day, my left foot slid on some gravel and twisted violently to the left. @#$&! To compensate, I jerked to the right and slammed my right knee into the pavement scraping away the skin. Double *&%#$! I sat there for a minute on the side of the road assessing the damage. Gradually I managed to get myself standing and hobble home.
It hurt—both the ankle and my knee. But what hurt more than anything were the thoughts flooding my mind at the same time. How could this happen? Thom, Kloe and I had spent the previous week scampering up the side of steep and slippery mountainsides without a bit of trouble. During the week before we had clocked in at probably 15-20 miles of mountain terrain. Health-wise I felt as good as I had in the last ten years and both of us were getting in shape for our upcoming trip to Southern Mexico in September. How could something so stupid and unnecessary happen? Right from the beginning I allowed the pain in my foot and knee to spread to my mind—that’s where it became suffering. [Read more…]