Science Says YES! To Happiness

Science Lady 291x300 Science Says YES! To HappinessIt’s probably obvious that I spend a lot of time thinking about how all of us can get and stay happier on a regular basis. Fortunately I’m not alone in this quest because there are hundreds of books and lots of other websites devoted to this topic as well. My last post explained why I think leaning towards happiness is so important. Today I thought it would be helpful to provide even more information about growing and sustaining our happiness based upon the science behind how our minds work. Fortunately I’m reading a new book called, Hardwiring Happiness that helps do just that. Continue reading


A Quick Quiz About The Cult Of Positivity

Happy or Sad 300x147 A Quick Quiz About The Cult Of Positivity

Take the quiz to find out which side you’re on.

A few weeks ago I received a comment on my blog accusing me of promoting “the cult of positivity.” To make sure I wasn’t blindly encouraging thinking and actions that could be harmful to others, I did a little research.   What I found is that although some believe that positivity is a dangerous “cult” there are as many, or more, who recognize that positive emotions and optimism offer many benefits to a person’s life. Still, it is always SMART to stay awake and aware of both the benefits and hazards of any line of thinking. With that in mind, here’s a quiz to help you discover whether what you believe about positivity is either true or false. Continue reading


30 Inspiring Movies I Am Grateful For

SMART Grateful Movies 300x229 30 Inspiring Movies I Am Grateful ForEvery 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? Continue reading


Grateful For The Little Things

Grateful for the LitA41E75 204x300 Grateful For The Little Things  Have you ever noticed that when you pay attention and stay grateful for the little things in your life, most things seem to go well?  As some of you know, since November 1st I’ve been participating in a gratitude challenge where every single day I write down ten-things–of-thankful (TToT) and post them on the SMART Living FB page. Now that I’m around 2/3rds through the challenge, it’s becoming obvious that most of what I list are little and routine pieces of my day. Gradually I’ve come to realize that when we recognize (with gratitude) those little things that happen each and every day, we just might be keeping them from becoming big things that lead to unhappiness. Continue reading


Why I’m A Grateful Quitter And Why I Wish Everyone Else Was Too

Kathy Mom photo  300x300 Why I’m A Grateful Quitter And Why I Wish Everyone Else Was Too

Mom & me in Hawaii in 1983 a few years before I became a quitter. And yes, Mom has a cigarette in her hand.

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. Continue reading


Ten Reasons I’m Grateful For A Small (er) House

IMG 1615 300x199 Ten Reasons I’m Grateful For A Small (er) House

Our small (er) house.

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. Continue reading


SMART Living Features Best of Boomer Blogs

SMART Living 365 214x300 SMART Living Features Best of Boomer Blogs

Good advice for all Boomers!

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! Continue reading


3rd Annual SMART Living Gratitude Challenge 2014…Ten Things of Thankful TToT

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” ~Thornton Wilder

1ed57 tenthingsbanner 3rd Annual SMART Living Gratitude Challenge 2014...Ten Things of Thankful  TToT

TToT Banner

I believe being grateful and thankful is a big part of a happy and SMART Life. In fact, in case you didn’t know it, the “T” in SMART stands for thankful. Because of that, during November for the last three years I have challenged myself, and any of you who are interested, to a monthly gratitude practice that I’m convinced will increase our awareness of its importance. If you are interested, here’s what I did for the 2012 Gratitude Challenge and the 2013 Gratitude Challenge. For this year, I have gravitated to the idea of several other bloggers here on the web promoting what they call TToT, or Ten Things of Thankful. Using their example, I intend to simply write out ten things for which I am grateful for each and every day for the entire month of November. Continue reading


When Was The Last Time You Felt Passionately Alive?

Dad dancing 300x286 When Was The Last Time You Felt Passionately Alive?

Dad learning to hula in Hawaii.

Remember back when you were a teenager and every thing that you did was either the beginning or the ending of the Universe as you knew it? The angst, the drama, the excitement, the thrill of life is usually never more vivid than during that time of such strong feelings and emotions. But as I shared in a previous post, I’ve had a couple of challenging weeks and it occurred to me over the weekend that I was severely “fun deprived.” In fact, it was four in the afternoon and I couldn’t even remember if I’d laughed once, let alone cracked a smile. That’s the exact opposite of feeling passionately alive. Continue reading


Money SMART At Any Age

Money SMART 300x218 Money SMART At Any Age

True wealth is…

As most of you know Thom and I have been mainly self-employed since we got together over 37 years ago. Fortunately, we are currently more financially secure and wealthy than we’ve ever been throughout our lives. Are we rolling in money? Not hardly. But not a week goes by that we don’t hear how so many others are stressed about money, how difficult are these economic times, and how financially things seem to be getting worse everywhere in the world. So what makes me feel so good about money these days? It’s probably because Thom and I take a money SMART approach to our finances. Continue reading