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

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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

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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

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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?

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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

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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


Five Big Ways My Marriage Differs From My Mother’s

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Wedding Photos —Thom & Kathy–in the mountains above Colorado Springs 1977————Alice & Rudy, Burwell, NE 1951

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.

Continue reading


The Power, Mystery & Variety Of Prayer

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Click on the photo for a link to MC’s song “Pray”

A well-known study done in 2008 by Brandeis University reports that 90% of Americans believe in prayer. In fact, according to medical centers across our country, prayer is consider the most commonly used “alternative medicine” practiced. But what does that really mean? Are we all thinking, feeling and practicing the same way? Hardly. In fact, I’m fairly certain that the prayers I practice are very different from the prayer that you say or do—if you do. But if 55% of our country’s population say they pray every single day, who or what are they praying to, what are they experiencing and what do they expect as a result? Obviously the power, mystery and variety of the practice deserves more discussion.

With that said, I’d better point out that I am not religious at all. I do consider myself spiritual—actually a spiritual being having a human experience—but what I sometimes call God is likely very different from how you define It. Fortunately I don’t need you to agree with my definition of All-That-Is to receive the full benefit of my understanding. By the same token, I hope you don’t need me to agree with your definition for you to receive your benefits as well. Continue reading


7 Things Mexico Taught Me Not To Take For Granted

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Rural life on the outskirts of Oaxaca, MX

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. Continue reading