Choosing To Be Time-Rich Instead of House-Broke

SMART Living 365.comThe young couple who live across the street from me are selling their home. I’ll be sad to see them go because they’ve become friends and we’ve watched their son Timmy grow from a toddler to a boy. Where are they going? They’ve decided it’s time for a bigger house in a more affluent neighborhood. Of course, it’s hard to sit in judgment after doing something similar years ago. Still, I hope they never find themselves so pressed for time that they forget what gives life meaning, and instead becoming slaves to a big mortgage and extravagant home expenses. In other words, I hope they never find themselves house-broke and unable to do anything about it. Continue reading


SMART Thoughts on Birthdays, Blogging and BFFs!

#BAMC16 SMART Living 365


Last weekend I attended my first ever blogging conference. In many ways, it was my birthday gift to my blog. At the end of April, I will be celebrating the 5th anniversary of SMART Living 365. But what does any of that have to do with you, my dear readers? Just like with so many other SMART topics, when we think about it, we can learn and grow from any situation we experience. Even better, when we open our minds and our hearts, there is a good chance we can also have a fantastic and fun time. With that in mind, I jotted down a few things I learned over the weekend that I thought might prove SMART for us all. Continue reading


Tom Sighting’s View Of Rightsizing Your Retirement

This week I will be out of town attending my first ever Blogging Conference.  So when I recently read this article that Tom Sightings wrote for U.S. News Online explaining his view of rightsizing, I asked him if I could share it with all of you.   I’ve always believed that rightsizing is individual to each of us and hearing different versions is helpful to us all.  Thanks Tom for allowing me to share your perspective!


SMART Living

Rightsizing isn’t about sacrifice. It’s about finding the right fit for everything in your life.

According to a survey by the Demand Institute, almost half of Americans between ages 50 and 64 plan to move within the next five years or so. Some baby boomers — especially those who have been renting all their lives, or who never moved up from their starter house – actually plan to spend more on their homes in retirement. But more often than not, the baby boomer move will involve downsizing – trading in the old family home for smaller digs, perhaps in a less expensive neighborhood. Continue reading


Mindfulness – The Cure For A Busy and Overthinking Mind

mindfulness SMART Living 365.comWho are you? I mean who are you, really? I think it is easy for all of us to forget sometimes that we are more than the skin-encapsulated egos that we wake up as every morning. Even when we stop and pause to remember that we are more than our minds and egos, it’s far too easy to fall asleep and slip into our frequently unconscious way of living. That’s why the practice of mindfulness holds such promise. In fact, reading the new book The Mindfulness Edge by Matt Tenny and Tim Gard, Ph.D., helped me go beyond merely understanding why heightened awareness is so beneficial, to a deeper edge of the practice itself. Continue reading


7 Simple Ways We Can All Lean Toward Happiness

Leaning to Happiness SMART Living 365.comMost mornings when I take my walk, I listen to taped talks and lectures I find online.   A particular favorite is Abraham-Hicks and their discussion of Law Of Attraction. One thing I’ve always appreciated about them is the constant reminder to us all to recognize how we are feeling at any given moment, and from there to choose a more beneficial thought. On a particular morning last week I heard Abraham say to a deeply unhappy woman, “Just pick a slightly better thought, and slowly lean toward happiness.” That reminded me that while it’s nearly impossible to be happy 100% of the time, most of us have the ability to lean in that direction no matter what.   From there, I came up with seven simple things all of us can do to make the leaning easier. Continue reading


Adventures In Cohousing — It Is About Community And Shared Values

Cohousing SMART Living 365.comLast weekend my husband Thom and I drove to Tucson, AZ to visit three thriving cohousing communities. As I wrote about in January, even though the concept of cohousing is still relatively young, it’s appeal is growing as others discover the benefits. Ever since I first heard about them, I recognized how many ways they mimic the advantages I find from rightsizing. After touring all three facilities, it is also evident that they embrace the core values of SMART*. Is cohousing a wave of the future? It likely depends on whether you value community, and if you see them as a path to living your values. Continue reading


4 SMART Agreements To Master An Awesome Life

Four SMART Agreements * SMART Living 365Like millions of other Americans, I first read The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz nearly 20 years ago. According to Wikipedia, the book sold over 5 million copies in just the U.S., was a New York Times bestseller for over seven years, and has been translated into 38 languages. Not a bad run for such a small book. But in spite its success, now might be a good time to update those agreements from a SMART perspective.   After all, if life is continually changing as Ruiz says, then, “The best path to happiness is learning to change as rapidly as life does.” Continue reading


Growing Whole Instead Of Old

Becoming Whole Not Old SMART Living 365Since turning 60, I’ve been increasingly interested in what it means to grow older in a vibrant and purposeful way. Much like my work with rightsizing, I see aging not as an inevitable loss or sacrifice, but instead as an opportunity to get to the heart of what really matters to each of us as living, breathing beings on this planet—and then sharing that with our community and the world.   Plus, with so many of us nearing retirement age, and yet living many years after, isn’t is SMART to recognize that making the most of those years seldom happens by chance. So instead of merely growing old and waiting for the unavoidable, learning what makes us whole and happy is worthy of our attention. Continue reading


3 Reasons Why Arguments Can Better Your Relationships

SMART Living“…if you are spending more time on Facebook than face-to-face with your partner, you may be yearning for connection, for belonging, or to matter.” ~ J. Wright, EdD


My husband Thom and I married 38 years ago and never once did I think our fights contributed to our great marriage. Until now.   Both of us are verbally energetic which is wonderful when we are happy, excited and in harmony. However, just mention the word “no,” or express an opposing opinion, and the words can fly fast and furious. Fortunately, after all these years we’ve learned a great deal about each other and what triggers defensive or aggressive retaliation. These days our energetic discussions usually end quickly, and are far fewer and further between. But now, a new book titled, The Heart Of The Fight by Judith and Bob Wright, EdDs, puts our arguments in a positive new perspective. According to the Wrights, at the heart of the every fight is a tremendous opportunity for all relationships, and for each individual to grow and thrive. Who knew? Continue reading


The Courage To Live Your Creativity With Stubborn Delight

IMG_4487My mother Alice Pfeif was an artist. In middle age when all her daughters were grown and gone, she blossomed as a painter. A deep lover of horses and most animals, Mom painted hundreds of pictures of animals using photos and her imagination. Gradually she evolved into sculpting, working with paper, clay and bronze. Although she sometimes created art true to life, nearly half the time she made playful, funny art with animals doing unexpected things. One of her best was a huge circus elephant sitting on a couch with a trainer holding court. Unfortunately, her art teacher at the time had the gall to tell her that her elephant sculpture wasn’t art at all. He claimed, “Art is supposed to be serious!” Fortunately, she ignored him, entered the piece in a local art show, and won first place. Although I was oblivious at the time, I now know my mom created her art with tremendous courage and stubborn delight. I desperately hope to follow her example. Continue reading