Most of the time I think I am one of the most fortunate and privileged persons on the planet because I get to write and do what I love all the time. I began writing seriously back in the mid-eighties then took up blogging seven years ago. Four years ago I created SMART Living 365 and every week since do my very best to share ideas about how each of us can live a happy, meaningful and rewarding life every day of the year. But although the mission of SMART Living usually keeps me focused on those things that inspire me and others, I do have my challenges. Ordinarily that has nothing to do with the writing, and everything to do with managing a website with limited technological understanding—like the last two weeks! Yet even then, the gift of blogging extends far beyond putting out an article on schedule and having everything go as planned. Ever wonder why a blogger, blogs? Maybe it’s because blogging offers life lessons available to us all. [Read more…]
Last weekend I had the amazing gift of two sets of girlfriends come for a visit. Like every summer, I’m out of town renting a cabin in the mountains with my husband Thom to escape the desert heat near our home. While we always enjoy handfuls of guests during our summer retreats, this was the first year in over 20 where I’ve enjoyed so much female company—and it certainly felt like something special. Maybe it’s my age or maybe it’s my own awareness, but having good female friends is a simple, SMART and rewarding aspect to any happy life. [Read more…]
A new popular book on Amazon is titled, Desperate: Hope For the Mom Who Needs To Breathe. And although I’m sure that young moms sometimes feel desperate and need hope and encouragement, don’t we all now and then–especially at midlife? So although I’m not a professional, I came up with five big issues that could trigger desperation for those of us in our midlife years, along with some possible solutions for helping us get through it and not only breathe, but thrive.
For the last couple of years one of my favorite speakers to listen to when taking my morning walk is Abraham-Hicks. Regardless of whether the source of their inspiration comes from one woman’s mind or channeled spirits from a higher realm, I find much of it to be an empowering way to look at life. With a big emphasis on finding happiness and feeling good about life in general, what I hear during my morning walk is both healthy for my body and good for my soul. This week I heard Esther Hicks say something that made me stop, pause and make a note to myself as a reminder. That’s when I realized it might be good for me to share other favorites that prove beneficial to me on a regular basis. [Read more…]
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…]
Several years ago I read the book How Full Is Your Bucket? by author Tom Rath. Although the message was simple, I clearly remember its advice for creating a happy and fulfilled life. So when I was offered a review copy of Rath’s newest book Are You Fully Charged? I jumped at the chance. After all, who couldn’t benefit from a book with a subtitle like “The three keys to energizing your work and life”? And if you’re anything like me, it doesn’t matter how many times I am reminded of positive and life affirming messages, I’m always open to hearing them again in a new way and different way. [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.
Several months ago Thom and I went to see the movie Birdman. The plot, the symbolism, the acting, the humor and cinematography all create a movie with enough going for it to have won the Academy Award for Best Picture of the Year. But while all the elements made for an entertaining movie experience, what attracted me most were the questions it raises about the universal quest for relevancy. After all, don’t we all want to believe our lives matter? Don’t we all want to grow older thinking we’ve achieved something of distinction? And if yes, what steps are we willing to take to insure it happens? [Read more…]
I 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. [Read more…]
It’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. [Read more…]