What SMART Living Looks Like in Kathy Gottberg’s Life

I love the way the blogging world works. Liesbet, who writes the blog Roaming About: A Life Less Ordinary, told me some months ago about Kathy Gottberg who writes a blog called SMART Living 365 and she told Kathy about me. Liesbet thought that we would have a lot in common.

Neither Liesbet nor Kathy know this, but when I first heard the title of Kathy’s blog, I wasn’t so sure. The capitalized SMART is a very well-known acronym in education and business. I lived it for thirty years so the very last thing I wanted in my retirement was to be working in ways that were specific, measurable, achievable, results-oriented, or time-bound. Yuck!

But because I trust and value Liesbet’s opinion, I looked further and found that Kathy’s SMART acronym wasn’t what I expected and neither was her blog. Liesbet was right. Kathy and I have much in common. I’m grateful that she has joined our Profound Journey tribe, and that she took up my invitation to choose and answer some questions about her beliefs and her life. Here’s Kathy —

Since starting my blog SMART Living 365 nearly eight yeas ago, I’ve done my best to not make it about me. My purpose there is to share ideas with others that I find inspiring and helpful towards living a happy and fulfilled life. I do my best to point out things I’ve discovered, read, or stumbled upon rather than talk directly about myself.

But when Karen invited those of us who follow her blog to answer 25 Totally Terrifying Meaning of Life Questions Worth Asking, I was intrigued. I happen to love a challenge, especially any called ‘terrifying’ or ‘scary,’ so I decided to give it a try.

Of course, in true rightsizing fashion, I took her three lists of not-too-scary, slightly-scary and totally-terrifying questions and answered the ones I thought most appealing. I hope you find some of my answers interesting and that they inspire you to think of how you might answer them for yourself.

Here goes:

What is your favourite quote? Why?

My favourite quote has always been, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing,” by Helen Keller. The full quote is,

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold. Faith alone defends. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.”

For a woman who was deaf and blind to have such insight is amazing and inspiring to me.

What is something about you that people might not know?

In my heart, I am actually a very happy-go-lucky person who is almost nauseatingly optimistic. I love to laugh and have fun even though most of my writing is very serious and often heavy. Experiencing joy and wonder on a regular basis is as important to me as eating.

What are you curious about?

Everything. I am insatiably curious about all sorts of things, but mostly I love learning, and writing about, why people do what they do.

What is your most prized possession?

While I don’t consider my husband Thom or Kloe (my dog) to be possessions, they are extremely important to me. About the only ‘thing’ that I would want to save from a burning building is my computer. But I can always buy another one of those.

What are you known for or would like to be known for?

As someone who inspires others and reminds others of who they really are on a soul level.SMART Living blogger Kathy Gottberg and husband inside picture frame

What kinds of people energize you and what kinds of people drain you?

People who are as interesting, fun, creative and inquisitive as I am (or more!) energize me. People who are self-absorbed, pessimistic, and small-minded drain me.

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

Before I met my beloved Thom, I was dating a guy and we were going to be married. Right before announcing it to the family he told me he wanted to date others and I was devastated (okay, I was only 21). But a dear older friend told me that something similar had happened to him when he was young, and that he ended up finding the right (and better!) person soon after. He was right. I met Thom a month or so later and we’ve been together for 41 years. That advice reminds me constantly that things are ALWAYS working out for me, even when I can’t see it happening.

What trip have you taken that had a huge impact on you?

When I was in high school, I took drama. I have no idea why except it sounded fun. I wasn’t very good at it and only managed in four years to get a few bit parts. But during my junior year, it was announced that the drama class would be going to Europe that summer and putting on a short musical/pantomime play. Anyone in class who wanted to go, could. That is, they could go if they came up with $1,700. Back in 1972 that was a big deal.

I asked my parents, knowing they couldn’t/wouldn’t afford it. They told me I could go but I would have to get a job and earn the money myself. Dad referred me to a friend of his who owned a smorgasbord and I became a hostess. I worked there for about nine months, saving it all for the trip. That adventure was my first taste of international travel. And yes, I LOVE to travel!

Best of all, I learned that if I worked for something I could pretty much go and do whatever I dreamed of doing.

What is your body telling you?

That I need to keep moving and not sit so much!collection of crosses

What have you collected?

I have a cross collection. No, I’m not Catholic, but I saw so many creative and interesting crosses when traveling in Mexico that I started a collection years ago. Since then I have brought crosses home from across the U.S., Italy (the Vatican), France (Notre Dame), all over Mexico and even an Aukh from Egypt (sort of a cross.)

My crosses are a wonderful reminder of “as above–so below” and “as within–so without.”

What is most important to you at this time in your life?

A couple of weeks ago, I turned 63. I am feeling a deeper calling to be completely okay with myself exactly as I am. Like the song by Walt Whitman,

I celebrate myself, I sing myself….There was never any more inception than there is now, Nor any more youth or age than there is now. And will never be any more perfection than there is now, Nor any more heaven or hell than there is now.”

Which culture, other than your own, speaks to you?

I have a special affinity for Mexico. Not sure why other than the language seems natural to me, and the people and the culture are relaxed and gracious. I love traveling all over Mexico and have never been afraid.

I was also drawn to Egypt during a recent visit.

What in your life might make other people envious?

My deep relationship with my husband.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Prudence…cautiousness.

If you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do today?

Spend the day talking, laughing and cuddling with Thom.

What did you start over again?

My life has been a constant example of reinvention. Thom and I started several businesses, and then started over when those didn’t lead us where we wanted to go. We moved several times–first from North Carolina to Colorado, then Colorado to California, and then several times within California. Every move started us over again.

I’ve also started over as a blogger. I started writing about the environment and then switched to lifestyle on SMART Living 365. Who knows what I will start next?

When was the first time you were afraid?

I am not a fearful person by nature. Sure, I’ve been nervous at times like learning to speak in front of groups or speaking up in certain situations. And skydiving was a pretty amazing adrenalin rush. But if I was to claim a fear, it would be related to feeling rejected by others–others finding me strange or not liking me, or feeling I was not part of the cool group. Still, I do my best not to let that ever keep me from doing what I feel called to do.

What do you yearn to give, and to whom would you give it?

I long to give away my friendship to those who would value who I am. I’ve always believed that the more you give away, the more you have.

Under what circumstances are you willing to lie?

I recently listened to a talk from Abraham Hicks that explained that any time we hope to influence others with our words, we are effectively editing ourselves to elicit the best response. When we aren’t presenting our true self to others, that manipulation could be considered a lie. I would hope that I would only lie when I thought it most compassionate and helpful to another’s life, not my own.

What was your biggest mistake?

I don’t believe in mistakes. The only time there is a mistake is when you don’t learn from what’s happened and I always do my best to learn the lesson I have been given. Even when difficult, that always pays off.

What is your purpose in life? How is it reflected in the way you use your time?

I have felt for the longest time that my purpose was to communicate what is in my mind, heart and soul to those who would benefit. Sometimes I speak it but most of the time it is by written word, such as through my SMART Living blog and books.

Describe an experience that led to personal growth.

Where do I start? I believe that every experience leads to personal growth if we stay awake, aware and willing to follow the path. My most recent experience is showing up optimistically at jury duty and having the willingness to speak what was in my mind and heart.

What is your biggest problem or issue right now?

I don’t consider it a problem, but I do hold the desire for ongoing connection to others. As a writer I spend a lot of time by myself and I would like to be part of a larger community of friends and people who are supportive, interesting and generous.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

That I stop caring what others think of me and wanting others to like me. Most of the time I speak up and do what I want, but I still have a little voice in the back of my head that criticizes me and tries to get me to be a “good girl.”

If you could choose just one thing to change about the world, what would it be?

That people would realize that we are all interconnected, and that what we do to the least among us, we do to ourselves.

What activities make you feel really useful, alive, and strong?

Writing does this for me. And discovering new, inspiring and helpful ideas that create a better life and world for others.

What will you need to do differently if you are to live the life you truly desire?

Learn to listen to my Inner Being without distraction and to follow that guidance.

To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?

LOTS….I have made many choices that have directed my life. But probably the biggest one was to pick Thom over the decision to have children. No regrets.

What will be your legacy?

I would like to hope that my writing will be my legacy…that and my quality of relationship with Thom.

What question would I add to this list?  What sustains me?

I’m not a religious person, but I do consider myself to be deeply spiritual. I’ve developed my understanding based upon my own experiences, lots of reading, and years of workshops and classes.

Everything that happens in my life, the good and anything I judge as less than good, fits into my benevolent ‘story’ of the Wholeness of all Life. I know most everyone else has a different version, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is how I am sustained every day by what I believe.

Albert Einstein said, “The important thing is to never stop questioning.” But sometimes it is SMART Living to sit ourselves down and honestly state what we believe to be true today–all the while knowing that tomorrow will bring new questions and their corresponding answers. Meanwhile, let’s do our best to enjoy all of them!

What does SMART Living look like for you? How would you answer any one of the above questions? Kathy and I would love to hear from you. 

 

 

 

 

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91 comments

  1. Hi Karen! I am SO glad that you didn’t let the title of my blog SMART Living 365 scare you off. I am aware of the typical use of the acronym but thought it might be fun to turn it on its head. My SMART stands for sustainable, meaningful, aware, responsible and thankful. Quite a bit different huh? And thank you for the honor of sharing some of my answers to your great questions. It was a departure from my usual but I enjoyed it very much! I am so glad that Liesbet introduced me to you because you’ve become one of my favorite bloggers. Here’s to many more questions–and answers in the years to come. ~Kathy

    1. Kathy I love your Smart acronym. I love what it stands for. And I really enjoyed your blog. Thanks for sharing.

      1. Hi Glennis,
        Welcome! We’re delighted to hear from you here at Profound Journey. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.
        I too love Kathy’s different use of the SMART acronym. It is so ideally suited to this time in our lives. Karen

    2. I love the twist you made to the SMART acronym. I had suspected you changed its meaning and I’m glad you disclosed it here. Each word stands on its own as a powerful value in living a life that matters.

      Many of your responses to Karen’s questions resonated with me, although in a community of like-minded spirits, that’s not so surprising. Life really is a daring adventure with so much to explore and discover. My regret right now is the feeling that I’m running out of time to squeeze it all in!

      1. Hi Joanne! Nice to meet you! I’ve been doing my blog for 7 years now so I sometimes forget that when hearing it for the first time many people might turn off a bit. And then I do get a LOT of business people who come to the site looking for the latest tech ideas or business goal planning hints–BOY are they surprised! But its been a fun journey for sure especially when I meet and connect with others like Karen who appreciate exploring ideas. And I agree that it can be easy to be concerned about our time left now that we’ve passed a certain age, but like so many things, I think we have a choice about where we want to focus. Since I’ve started researching and writing about all the benefits that can come with positive aging…it has taken away a lot of that worry. Might not work for everyone but it has really helped me. ~Kathy

        1. You and I are around the same age and I suspect we retired around the same time as well.
          I’m now 62 and I received some very good advice when I retired 7 years ago. I was told that when we stop working for a living, the possibilities of what we can do is almost limitless, however many people become paralyzed by the choice and end up just squandering the time away. I decided I didn’t want to be that person – and you definitely aren’t either!

          1. Hi Joanne! What great advice. I’m not actually “retired” (at least in my mind!) I call myself semi-retired because I still put in a lot of hours writing and helping to manage my husband’s business, but I SO-O agree about the need to “stop working for a living” and instead create a life! And yes, I agree that our possibilities are almost unlimited. And I something I appreciate is the friends and others I get to know reminding me of that over and over again! Let’s NEVER be that other kind of person! ~Kathy

          2. You definitely don’t squander your time away, Joanne. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone so determined to live life to to full. You are an inspiration. (Look at that. Last week you were mature and now you’re an inspiration. The pressure! How do you stand it?) 🙂

    3. Hi Kathy. You have a different meaning for the SMART acronym indeed, and a far superior one for this time of our lives 🙂
      I’m very glad that you stepped a bit outside of your ‘usual’ and answered the questions, Kathy. Your responses, like your life, are rich. Knowing even this much about you enriches the reading of your excellent blog.
      You too have become a favourite, Kathy. I look forward to our ongoing SMART and Profound Journey of Living wonderful lives.
      And thank you Kathy, for jumping in and replying to readers’ comments so quickly and thoroughly. I was away day and evening yesterday. It was wonderful to know that people’s enthusiasm for your post was not being ignored.

      1. Hey Karen! Such fun meeting some of your friends and chatting with them. I didn’t mind filling in for you in the slightest. And since you mentioned it, I’m thinking of a SMART and Profound collaboration in some way in the future! 🙂 This cross-pollination thing is wonderful and a good example of how I think the idea of working together, opening conversation, and seeing the world from different perspectives can lead to a more peaceful and happy world for us all. Thank you for the opportunity AND for being the catalyst for this idea in such a “profound” way. ~Kathy

    4. Hi Kathy,
      You’re probably getting this comment over and over in your email because I keep trying to move it to where it belongs – right here below your initial message! Instead, it is insistent on following you further down the page.
      In brief, because I’ve retyped it a half dozen times now, thank you so much for contributing to Profound Journey. I am beyond thrilled and thankful to have found another wonderful fellow traveller on this SMART Profound Journey we’re Living.

  2. It was wonderful getting to know more about Kathy in this post. Thank you for sharing I have been to Egypt but never been to Mexico, I have this nagging feeling that I am missing out. I love what I know of the culture. Maybe it’s time to experience it.

    1. Hi Heather! Nice to meet you! What did you think of Egypt? It was everything I hoped and if it wasn’t so far away and tricky to get to, I would go back in a heartbeat! Oh but do explore Mexico too. Thom and I are headed to Lake Chapla at the end of summer. So many places there worthy of exploration. My motto is: Do it now because there are no guarantees! ~Kathy

    2. When the time is right for you, it will be great to hear what you think of Mexico, Heather. I’ve been twice for work – to Monterey in the center of the country – but because both times were for work and because there was no time to travel around, I don’t have Kathy’s indepth knowledge of the place.

  3. Helen Keller has always been an inspiration to me. I became fascinated with her as a child – our local library had a children’s biography of her in stock and I borrowed it several times. I remember making myself unpopular with my refusal to believe that my friends had never heard of her! I’ve learned to be more tolerant of people whose interests differ from mine now. I think 😉

    1. Hi Anabel! Nice to meet you. I’m impressed that you knew at such an early age that Helen Keller was an amazing woman. I confess it took me much longer. But the first time I heard that quote I KNEW it spoke to me. I am not always as fearless as it implies but it does bring me back. And how wonderful that her work has helped make you more understanding of others point of view. That’s a biggy! ~Kathy

    2. Hi Anabel. Until you wrote, I’d forgotten that childhood is also when I first learned of Helen Keller. First in book form and then that wonderful movie with Patti Duke.
      By the way, the last two words of your comment convey your sense of humour every bit as well as the answers to a dozen questions.

  4. I’ve known Kathy for a few years now – her’s was one of the first Midlife blogs I came across and her thoughtful writing really resonated with me. I think we have similar world views (despite living a gazillion miles apart). It’s great that you two have connected and I love seeing that there are so few degrees of separation in our little blogging universe. Great questions and answers too girls x

    1. Hi Leanne! Nice to see you here! And YES we do write about many of the same topics as well. Isn’t that wonderful? I am convinced that one of the best gifts we can offer the world right now is to share ideas that bring happiness and comfort when possible. And although I know that lots of people are dealing with very challenging issues, and life can be extremely difficult, I also think holding on to hope and possibility is critical. I love that you are on your side of the world doing much the same and together, in some small (or large) way we are spreading the light! ~Kathy

    2. I’ve got a ticket for a big lottery tonight, Leanne – $60 million. I never win at these things but every so often I’ll buy a ticket because I love to dream of what I’d do with the money. A new item gets added to the list today. If I were to win $60 million or a portion thereof, I’d love to get our group of midlife bloggers together in one place for a few days. Wouldn’t we have a blast!

      1. I’m in for that Karen – Sue and I could fly over together – could we come business class because it’s a really long trip? That way we could catch up with each other and then meet all the other “girls” in your tribe 🙂 Good luck with your lucky numbers!!

        1. But of course, Leanne! Only the best for my friends. I just got up and am going to check the numbers now. If you don’t hear back from me in the next few minutes it’s a sign that I haven’t won and that our dreams may need to be deferred for a short time. But only deferred not deleted. This one’s too good and we have to make it happen 🙂

  5. One of my most favourite quotes is this.
    “Be the Change that you would want to see in the world”
    I’m not sure of the author. But I love this!

  6. hi Karen! Kathy it is so great getting to know you better and after reading your answers I feel we have so much in common. I have followed your blog and always feel inspired after reading your posts. I’m sure we would be friends IRL. This year I have connected with some inspiring Women Over 50 who are living life and enjoying each day. Thanks Karen for adding Kathy to your tribe posts. have a great week ladies. Xx

    1. Hi Sue. It was your tribe story that inspired Kathy to write this one. I love how inspirations spark from one of our group to the next.
      I hadn’t read your comment or Kathy’s response when I wrote a reply to Leanne above. Everyone, keep your fingers crossed for that $60 million win. I so want us all to meet!

      1. Hi Karen, I’m honoured that my story inspired Kathy to write hers as she is a very inspirational woman. I have everything crossed and wouldn’t it be great if Leanne and I could just pop over and enjoy meeting you IRL especially if we fly Business or First Class!

  7. Hi Sue! Nice to see you here too! I’ve been reading your blog as well for ages and I am so appreciating Karen’s forum that allows us to get to know each other better. (I read your post on here a few weeks ago!) And yes, the wonderful thing about the blogsphere is that so many of us who are writing these days have a tremendous amount in common even though we are on different sides of the globe. That is so cool to me. I also know without a doubt that if I ever visit your country I am going to try to get together with you and Leanne because I don’t doubt we could chat for hours. What do you think? Hmmmmm…… ~Kathy

  8. Hi Karen, thank you for not letting the title of Kathy’s blog deter you from checking it out. I checked it out too, thanks for the link, and have now subscribed to her blog. There are several posts on the first page alone that I want to go back and check out as time permits. I can see a lot of stuff in common between you and Kathy and your willingness to check out her blog led me to her blog, so thank you!

    Hi Kathy, first of all, welcome to the tribe. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your answers and found a lot of them resonated with me as well. Like you, I would like to stop worrying about what other people think of me and I struggle with doing just as I want or speaking up when I need to but I am always trying to do just that very thing. I popped over to your blog and have now subscribed…there are so many things to read and I will. I am an avid reader and I have a feeling that your posts on your blog are as deeply thought-provoking as your answers to the questions above were. I also have a blog called Things From Susan’s Perspective at https://susanmillard.wordpress.com although I haven’t written a post in a little over a year, My YouTube channel takes my time now as it is growing exponentially seemingly overnight. Well, YouTube and life take my time now I should say. LOL, it was a real pleasure getting to know you a bit more today, thank you for your honesty and transparency. I look forward to reading your blog.

    1. Hi Susan! How great to meet you! I sort of suspected that many of Karen’s friends could easily be my friends too. And may both of us just continue to get better and better at speaking up for ourselves and not worry about what others think so much. Thom loves the quote by Coco Chanel that goes, “I don’t care what you think about me. I don’t think of you at all.” And while that is more extreme that I want to be, I have to laugh every time I hear it! And I’ll have to check out your youtube channel…I’m not too big into video but I think we have a lot in common. ~Kathy

      1. Thanks, Kathy, for checking out my YouTube channel even though you are not big on video, On YouTube just look up my name, Susan Millard and you should find my channel no problem. My icon is the same SM in a sun that you see here – it is my brand across all my social network platforms. Thom’s Coco Chanel quote is pretty strong but I like the attitude behind it. You are right about many of Karen’s friends easily be your friends too. We are all members of the tribe because we are seeking common things in life, I think. Looking forward to seeing you around the comment sections here on PJ and on your blog of course. 🙂

    2. Hi Susan. I know that you’ll find Kathy’s site so worthwhile. Her posts are thought-provoking and always very positive, just as she is.
      I’m interested that you’ve mentioned your blog. Are you perhaps thinking of returning to writing it, or is YouTube too busy for that to be a reasonable possibility – remembering that life needs to fit in there as you say 🙂

      1. Hi Karen, thanks, I have had a brief overview of Kathy’s blog and it looks really interesting. Yes I did mention my blog mostly just to let Kathy know that I also have a blog but I did mention that I haven’t posted on there in over a year. YouTube does take a lot of my time and now with the church website to tend and “life” I think I am too busy to return to my blog. I am not shutting it down yet though so it is there should I find some time to pick it up again but for right now I have so many balls in the air I can’t possibly add even one more thing. I did find writing a blog really satisfying and a great writing outlet but life will have to slow way the heck down for me to add that back in. I like the fact that my posts are all still up there for others to read and if I get comments on posts I do try to respond as quickly as possible, still.
        My YouTube channel now has 2,863 subscribers and it keeps me hopping adding content, answering comments and add to that all the outside YouTube stuff I do… I am swamped. I need to find a way to slow down before I get burned out. :-/

        1. Hi Susan. Congratulations on your ever-growing YouTube subscriber count. Well done!
          I was just reading an interesting article about burnout being experienced by many of the big YouTube creators. Like any other work, it does require pacing.

          1. I hear that but pacing is so hard to do with YouTube. When your channel snowballs quite often it is out of your control how many subscribers join and how fast that happens. Of course, the comments on videos are the same…a lot of it doesn’t feel like it is under my control. I feel like I just have to go with the flow for fear of stymying the growth that I have worked so hard for. 🙁

  9. So nice to meet you, Kathy. As I transition from workaholic to worry-free wanderer, I have so enjoyed Karen’s insights–and you also sound perfect.

    Great answers to questions. Me too–husband and dog aren’t possession but they are first to mind on this question. Absolutely agree that every tidbit of life leads to growth. I am that bull that carries my china shop on my back and that’s fine with me.

    So enjoyed all of your answers.

    1. Hi Jacqui. I have to echo Kathy’s comment. You do know how to turn a phrase. Hmm, you must be not just a writer, but a prolific writer. Not just a prolific writer, but a prolific writer whose newest book launched yesterday – to a very positive Kirkus review no less!

      I’m so happy for you, Jacqui. I hope you’re taking a little bit of time to celebrate this major milestone.

  10. Hi Jacqui! Nice to meet you too. This is so much fun meeting Karen’s friends and finding others with similar interests. And aren’t our loved ones (two-legged or four-legged) the most important “others” in our lives? Like you said, they aren’t possessions but they do stick out as what is precious to us for sure. And I LOVE your statement “I am that bull that carries my china shop on my back”. I think I will use that myself now and then because I certainly feel that way when faced with a dilemma! Thank you for that! ~Kathy

    1. It’s a burden but mine to carry! I could have shed it any number of times. My kids might even wish I did! I just subscribed to your blog. If you’re anything like Karen, we will become fast friends.

  11. Hi, Kathy – I loved reading the answers to these questions (both here and on your site). Although I follow your blog regularly, and we’ve been fortunate to meet in person, these questions helped to get me to know you even more. I look forward to meeting up again soon!
    Thank you Karen for hosting Kathy on your blog.

    1. Hey Donna! I know you’ve been a friend of Karen’s for a while too and love seeing so many people I know here as well. Wouldn’t it be awesome for more of us to all to get-together IRL sometime? I know that it was so great getting to know you in person AND sitting and chatting about what we do on our blogs. I can’t help but believe that we would all benefit. Let’s just put the idea out there for some time in the future. What do you think? ~Kathy

    2. Hi Donna. It looks like we’ve got a theme going here and some momentum building for a future many bloggers meet up! What an amazing opportunity that would be.

  12. Hi Kathy! Isn’t it nice how we start interconnecting in the blogging world! I have followed your blog for several years and, of course, have met you and your wonderful husband multiple times. Like Donna mentioned, these more personal questions and answers help me get to know you better. Maybe we can get Karen to join us in the desert in the fall!

    1. Hi Janis. Kathy very kindly mentioned your desert get together to me, and I would so love to be there. I can’t – for all of those reasons you mentioned in your post about why you DON’T have a pet. I was away all day and evening yesterday. A friend came in and let Toffee and Shylah out a couple of times. Toffee did well. Shylah is a mess today. aargh.

    2. Hey Janis! Yes I completely agree that our connections in the blogging world add such a wonderful element to what we do. And it is especially nice when you live relatively close to other bloggers you’ve connected with. We’ve very much enjoyed our times with you and your husband too. And wouldn’t it be awesome if Karen came south in the fall 🙂 (Let’s keep planting that seed!) ~Kathy

  13. Hi Kathy!

    Good to know you better. I think you may have found at least some of the connection you are looking for here, with other like-minded individuals who are “supportive, interesting and generous”. At least that is how I find the community on Karen’s site, and of course Karen herself. 🙂
    Certainly I find from reading your piece that we share a lot of the same thinking and values.

    Rock on,

    Deb

    1. What a kind thing to say, Deb. And even more important, because you’re the Widow Badass and you say what you mean, I know you mean it 🙂
      Big virtual hug coming at you.

    2. Hi Deb! Thank you! I so agree that everyone I’ve chatted with here on Karen’s site are all that you say and more. So much fun (not to mention gratifying!) to connect this way. Looking forward to more and more ways to enhance friendships. ~Kathy P.S. Virtual hugs for BOTH you and Karen!

  14. Hello, I originally had the same thought about SMART as Karen. I am over the SMART goals concept, so I appreciate your version Kathy. It is interesting to me to realize that people I know or have read or been following their writing are connected in some way that I didn’t realize. We do seem to have a blogging community here, maybe I am just late to catch on to it!

    1. Hi Michele. I can hear the intonation – “I am so over the SMART goals concept.” If we were face to face right now, as two educators who have done a LOT of SMART goal work, we’d be high-fiving on that one!

      We do indeed have a blogging community – a vibrant and thriving one. I suspect it has been around for a while, predating us, but I’m also hopeful enough or misguided enough to believe that we’re here at a time when it is really starting to jell.

    2. Hey Michele! I am so glad I explained my SMART acronym to all of you. I guess after doing the blog for so many years I forget that I ought to clarify that more often to those who might be showing up for the first time. It could be similar with the way I use rightsizing now that I think about it….rightsizing is another word that I have “repurposed” in a positive way. Hm…am I detecting a trend here? 🙂 At any rate, I’m glad we have connected. I read somewhere at some point that some people are powerful connectors and I’m guessing Karen is one of those??? Regardless, I too feel fortunate to belong to a growing group of wonderful women bloggers. ~Kathy

  15. Hi Kathy, You’re so good at tackling so many questions. I enjoyed reading your answers and learned more about you here. Thanks Karen for hosting Kathy on your blog.

    1. Hi Natalie! Nice to meet you. And I’m glad you enjoyed the questions I picked and my answers! I suppose you could say I have practice because according to Gretchen Rubin’s four tendencies (and yes I wrote a blog post about them!) my husband is a “questioner” so I am very used to coming up with answers. Of course it helps to be really, really curious about things too! I’m guessing Karen is either a questioner herself or married to one! ~Kathy

      1. Definitely a questioner myself, Kathy, learned early from my father who was an inventor. He questioned everything. One of his many brilliant comments that still informs my actions today was, “When someone gives you two choices, look for the third.” Everything was about possibility.

        By the way, single and child-free. And, unusually I know, I’ve always been single.

        1. Ooops…okay I KNEW you were childfree but I thought for sure I heard about a spouse somewhere in there??? Definitely a hazard of reading and following too many bloggers. Sorry about that. But then, I’m not at ALL surprised to hear you are a questioner. No wonder I like you so much! 🙂

          1. No need to apologize, Kathy. I’ve been reading some nonfiction books about single women and it is still remarkably rare to be single throughout life. Someday I’ll write a blog about that 🙂

  16. Karen – thanks for sharing Kathy’s post and introducing her work. I enjoyed reading your answers Kathy and look forward to following your blog – it sounds like you and I might be running on the same wavelength!

    1. Hey Janet! Nice to meet you too! I think Karen really has something special and unique here by opening it up to so many others AND inviting us all to share ourselves with our questions and answers. I look forward to connecting with you and others both here and on my site too. So engaging! ~Kathy

  17. Very interesting, often thought-provoking, answers to some terrific questions. I also appreciate your SMART acronym. What a good reminder of what is important! Those things are so easy to lose sight of when the busy-ness of daily life takes hold!

    1. Hi Cindy. I use RAW NEWS as my acronym to keep my month in order, but I think I also need Kathy’s SMART acronym for those day-to-day, sometimes minute-to-minute decisions. Because I sure agree – the busy-ness of daily life makes it so tough to remember to focus on what’s most important.

    2. Hi Cindy! Nice to meet you! And thanks for confirming that you too agree that Sustainability, Meaning, Awareness, Responsibility and Thankfulness are good guidelines for a happy life. Even when I vere off in a new direction like positive aging, I still find that those perspectives help guide me. Just like a mission statement, I believe it’s important for us all to know what we stand for. ~Kathy

  18. A wonderful piece, Kathy and Karen. I found myself nodding as I was reading along. To remain curious and never stop questioning what’s going on around is what sustained me through ups and downs. Still does. And I always tell my son, if you learn from it, then it’s not a mistake, only if you repeat it.
    I loved reading the part about the guy Kathy was going to marry, but, thank goodness, did not. Sounds to me like there was another plan in place, and the other guy just an obstacle to getting to the right man.
    Forty-one years, wow, congrats and many more. I would answer many questions in somewhat similar ways. On what culture most speaks to me, aside from the US, that would be East Europe as a whole, Romania in particular, since I was born and raised there. I watched the French Open over the weekend, a Romanian woman won the title this year, and in watching the excited Romanian spectators in Paris, their happy faces, their pride, I felt a little closer, almost as if I was there, even if only for a few minutes.
    Thank you both. Look forward to getting to Kathy’s blog soon.

    1. Hi Silvia,
      Do you ever get an opportunity to go back and visit family and friends in Romania? I imagine that it’s bittersweet to be as close as the tv screen and at the same time as far as another continent.

      1. We were there last year for two weeks, hoping for next summer again. It’s a long ways away, but I try to make it every few years. After two weeks away it’s always great to come back to routine and life as we know it. 🙂

    2. Hi Silvia! So great to meet you! It sounds like we have a lot in common and a GREAT reason to be friends. And yes, it is so-so good that I didn’t get together with Brad. He was a nice guy but I probably would have been divorced within a couple of years had we stayed together. It turns out he married another woman shortly after we broke up and started a family. Such a different life. And I don’t know if I would resonate with Romania. I haven’t been there yet–so many places, so little time. But if the people there are anything like you I’m sure it would be a good fit. Thanks for your comment! ~Kathy

  19. Hello Kathy and Karen! I’m so glad you are getting along well. 🙂 One of the most wonderful experiences, when traveling and blogging, is to find like-minded souls to share certain journeys with. I am beyond delighted that this path is working out for both of you. You seem inspired by each other and now I see and hear about collaborations. That is awesome!

    Thanks for mentioning me in this post, Karen. I almost feel like a celebrity! 🙂

    And, great answers, Kathy. I enjoyed the full “interview” on your site – different than usual, but not in the least less interesting, educational or entertaining!

    1. You are a celebrity, Liesbet! For many reasons, not least of which is that you introduced me to Kathy’s blog and vice versa. Thank you, thank you for that. 🙂

    2. Hi Liesbet! Aren’t you just the best matchmaker! You certainly nailed it with suggesting that Karen and I “meet”. I enjoy her blog and find myself (after reading one of her blog posts) “I wish I wrote that!” She thinks about a lot of the things I think about and yet we live on opposite sides of the continent. Amazing–but wonderful. I look forward to every one of her posts and who knows? Someday in the future I’m guessing we will meet. And I think you should be a part of that don’t you???? ~Kathy

      1. I’d sign up for that meeting. If it fits in my “plans”, of course. 🙂 I’m very much looking forward to meeting Karen in person one day (which will happen), and to catching up with you again as well, which is equally as likely to happen, or even more so, since we are still in the Southwest of the US. 🙂

  20. Hi Cindy! Nice to meet you! And thanks for confirming that you too agree that Sustainability, Meaning, Awareness, Responsibility and Thankfulness are good guidelines for a happy life. Even when I vere off in a new direction like positive aging, I still find that those perspectives help guide me. Just like a mission statement, I believe it’s important for us all to know what we stand for. ~Kathy

  21. Kathy, it was great to read a little more about your personal life and history. It provides more context to the thoughtful pieces that your write on your blog.

    I find it so interesting that most of my favourite bloggers are now following each other and commenting on each other’s blogs. It really is starting to feel like a community. Yep, I’d be into an IRL get-together. It would be fun and fascinating!

    Jude

    1. Hi Jude! Why am I not at all surprised that you also follow Karen’s blog? I’m looking forward to reading your answers one of these days. And yes, as you say, so many of us follow each other. Definitely a tribe. While there are some great writers out there writing on interesting topics, it just seems natural to fall into a group of others who talk about and share ideas that matter to us all. And HOW awesome that would be to get together IRL with you too. I’ll bet if we picked a place somewhere we all wanted to go, and far enough in the future so we could plan it, that it will happen. I’m looking forward to it already. ~Kathy

    2. Hi Jude,
      Sorry about the delay in replying. And I’m to blame for not alerting Kathy to your comment sooner. Such a busy time!
      The sense of community has been developing online even better than I’d hoped. A meetup in real life seems a logical next step 🙂

  22. Karen! It is so great to see Kathy featured on your blog. And Kathy, great to get to know you even more. I’ve met Kathy in person three times now, of course with her being a fellow Californian, it’s a little easier to do so. We met at the BAM conference (Bloggers at Midlife) in Las Vegas in 2016, then again when she and Thom visited the Sacramento area, and again closer to her home in Palm Desert. She is one inspiring lady and an incredible writer and blogger! I’m slightly jealous she is at the beach this month staying away from the desert heat, but knowing her she is having a blast!

    1. You’re only slightly jealous, Terri? I’ve got the full-on green eyed monster happening here! Still, I can hardly begrudge Kathy the R&R. She certainly is all you said – inspiring and a terrific writer and blogger.

    2. Ahhhhh….blush, blush, blush. 🙂 It is so wonderful to be appreciated by friends. And yes Terri, isn’t it cool that we’ve been fortunate to meet up three different times in our relatively short blogging careers? I think it is a testimony to similar intentions and optimism and I’m happy to call you a friend. Besides that, you are wonderfully creative and constantly sharing your ideas and inspiration with everyone you encounter. And on top of that, you not only blog but you’re teaching classes, taking awesome photos and doing dozens of blogging challenges. My once-a-week blog posts seem so pedestrian in comparison!!! 🙂 And yes, I am enjoying the cool but as us bloggers know, the rewards for putting out our posts more than justifiy the time spent. I’m hoping to see you again this fall Terri! Until then, I hope you are having a great summer too! ~Kathy

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