Not My Monkey. Not My Circus.

Monkey Quote SMART V2I’m not sure why but I tend to be almost fanatical about my commitments. If I say I’m going to do something, come hell or high water, I’ll do it. For the most part this quality has served me very well. However, sometimes this obsession gets me in trouble. That usually happens when the edges of my commitment get fuzzy with the actions or non-actions of others. Before I know it, I’m sucked into involvement and drama that is not of my doing, and often not even in my control. That’s why the Polish proverb, “Not my monkey, not my circus,” has become a valuable mantra for my life. Continue reading


Letting Go Of the Need To Be Right

SMART Living 365.comI think if you ask most people, they will agree that being happy is more important than being right. But if that’s true, why do so many of us, me included, frequently choose the opposite? For the most part, we hang on to our ideas, beliefs and perceptions as though our lives depended upon them. Even when it is a relatively minor point like what toothpaste to buy, many of us will clutch our opinions like dogs with a bone. Unfortunately it is easy to see that the more that we insist we are right, the more we alienate others, frustrate ourselves, stymie our growth, restrict our ability to change, and cut ourselves off from our true nature. So I decided during 2015 as part of my 60-for-60 project, to take a look in the mirror and do my best to let go of being so attached to be right—starting now. Continue reading


9 SMART Financial Actions for Midlife Women

SMART Living 365.comI recently read a shocking bit of information revealed by the 2013 Allianz Women, Money and Power Study. That study claims that almost half of the women in the U.S. often or sometimes fear losing all their money and becoming a bag lady. As you might expect, the highest percentage of those with that fear were single (56%), divorced (54%) and widowed (47%). But perhaps even worse, 27% of the women who generate over $200,000 per year of income also felt that way. Clearly, many women have a deep insecurity about their finances and how to manage their money in a SMART and responsible way. So here are 9 tips that I believe any woman should consider regarding her money. Continue reading


60-FOR-60 And Achieving YOUR Intentions/Goals in 2015

SMART Living 365.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. Continue reading


EOY 2014—A SMART Blogging Year in Review


SMART Living 365.omAt 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. Continue reading


30 Christmas Quotes To Get You in The Holiday Mood

SMART Living 365.comI am proof positive that a person can be a semi-minimalist, anti-consumer, nonreligious, childfree person who lives in the desert southwest where it never snows, and STILL love Christmas. That’s because I don’t equate the holiday season with any of those labels. To me, Christmas is a time to celebrate the life I have been given and to share and generate peace on earth and good will to all people. And because so many others also celebrate the season in a somewhat similar manner, I think the vibration of joy, peace and happiness is amplified as many of us come together with the same perspective. With that in mind, I spent some time this week looking through hundreds of quotes about Christmastime in order to help me remember and share some of what I consider some of the best thoughts behind the holiday. Continue reading


Science Says YES! To Happiness

SMART Living 365.comIt’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

SMART Living

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 Living 365.comEvery 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 Lit#A41E75Have 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