Living a Simpler Life

Clutter drives Bea nuts!  So much so that she wrote a song about it for a January 2010 post.

And it’s that time of year again! The time of year when Bea becomes the “clutter police” for her household. She hopes that when she de-clutters the house, she’ll rid herself of mental clutter as well, along with the stress of not being able to find something that she needs right now!

Maybe instead of doing this de-cluttering just once a year, after the Christmas holidays, Bea should get in the habit of organizing stuff once a month!  Yea, like that will happen.

It’s more than de-cluttering and organizing stuff, though.  The older she gets, the more Bea longs for a simpler existence.  Too many material items hanging around the house complicates life. 

For example, for years, she’s collected Santa Clauses (is that the plural of Claus?) of all shapes and sizes to display throughout her house at Christmas time. The problem? Too many Santas, not enough room! We’ve got S.C. coming out of the woodwork here!  Enough already! Bea knows it’s time to give some of these guys the old heave-ho-ho. 

I like what fellow blogger Leo Babauta of Zen Habits has to say about living the simpler life. A simpler life, Leo asserts, leads to more “quiet and peace,” which, of course, leads to a less stressful existence.
Getting rid of excessive material things is a start. Leo also suggests spending less, shopping less, and getting rid of debt. (Bea and hubby are happy with just one credit card – this definitely simplifies finances)

Now if you really want to simplify your life, you may want to try the 100 Thing Challenge, an idea developed by a guy named Dave Bruno. Can you imagine living with just one hundred things??
He even wrote a book about this challenge to live much more simply in our consumer-driven society. 

If you’re not ready for that drastic step, (Bea sure isn’t!) you can at least have a more organized life.
Get tips and how-to’s at My Organized Life with Vickie Hansen – you can sign up for a free newsletter.

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Why I Read After 50 Living

I started reading After 50 Living for two reasons.

Reason one: I’m over 50. Heck, in a couple of years, I’ll be at the double-nickel age. Wow.

 Reason two: It’s got a lot of good stuff to read. That I can relate to. I like that in a website.

Of course, there’s a link to my favorite topic, Health and Fitness, an important consideration for those of us who are 50 plus. In the the health and fitness section, I found out that:  

The site also has a health library with an extensive list of disease and condition fact sheets.  And of course, there’s much more to discover under the site’s health and wellness link. 

Want to learn more about taking care of yourself financially as you age? Check out the site’s Your Money link for articles on: Taxes, Long term care insurance, Retirement and Personal Finance.

Hey, we’re living longer nowadays – gotta make that money last!

Do you have a personal issue or concern about this aging thing?  Ask a Pro.

You can also join forum conversations under the Social Center link, get travel suggestions at the Lifestyle link, learn more about over 50 dating on the Internet at the Companionship link.  Just to name a few interesting options at Over 50 Living

Finally, do you have a story to tell about your over 50 experiences? You can share your story

To get the full advantages of the site, you’ll have to register (registration is free). However, if you just want to read the articles, there’s no need to register. 

After 50 Living is a good read!

Good Reads From Good Blogs

I read some good posts this week on various blogs that I follow. 
From “On the Bright Side,” by Angela Gentile, who writes about the positive stuff in life:

In her post, The Great Awakening – Mindfulness Meditation Angela wrote about her experiences at a 3 hour Mindfulness workshop that she recently attended. This post reminded me about the importance of simply being in the moment and enjoying life right now. 

At the  Warm Milk Journal, written by Debra, a short and sweet post:  Thoughts of Peace for Tonight, which also mentions “enjoying the moment.”

I learned a few things from Enrique Barba’s post at his Conscious Living blog, Time Management: The Key to a Better Life, since lack of time management is one of my personal issues! 

Karen Evans, who writes Fitness: A Journey, Not a Destination, wrote about the importance of keeping up with your healthy habits even when your life is going at a crazy pace! (You know, like around the Holidays!)
Check out her post Healthy Habits and Hectic Lives.

And finally, by Morgan Petrini, a writer at the Boomer Café, A World Without Lennon. Hard to believe that it’s been 30 years since John Lennon was killed.  Three decades without (in my opinion, at least) the most talented former Beatle.  This post includes a great live version of my favorite John Lennon tune, “Imagine.”   
 John Lennon bronze sculpture with his current ...Image via Wikipedia
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Bea’s Six Ways to De-Stress Before the Holidays

A Danish Christmas tree illuminated with burni...Image via Wikipedia

Photo by  Malene Thyssen,

 The holidays are coming fast!  Are you still running out for last minute gifts?  Stressing over how much you’ve spent?  Trying to figure out a menu that satisfies everyone, even your fanatically vegan sibling?  Worrying about what Uncle Bob will say when he’s had a couple of drinks?  Hoping that your sister doesn’t bring over that tatted up guy with the earrings in his eyebrows?  Yikes! 

Well it’s time to take a deep breath and unwind a little bit. 

Here’s what Bea does to de-stress before Christmas:

  • Takes a walk.  Bea took her dog for a walk while the snow fell today, and there’s nothing like the lovely silence that snow creates, andf the stark beauty of white snow on bare tree branches, surrounded by white sky.   Even the wind that hit her when she turned that corner toward home felt invigorating.  Too cold or too hot in your town to walk outside? Try a walking DVD in front of your TV. 

  • Watches a holiday classic movie on television.  You just can’t beat The Christmas Story, which weirdly enough, seems to last all afternoon.  (Oh yea, it’s that marathon they usually do of that movie!) And Elf is another favorite.  If you’re looking for an oldie but goody, what’s more satisfying than “It’s A Wonderful Life?” 

  • Spends the evening wrapped in a blanket, reading a book (fiction, memoir, inspirational – she loves ’em all)  by the fireplace. Simply watching the fire can be very relaxing.  Adding a nice cuppa coffee with a little bit of Bailey’s Irish Cream added to it?  Heaven. 

  • Takes a car ride with the hubby to check out the Christmas light displays people put up.  Bea and Mr. B. usually vote on the best and the most pitiful.  (Ever see that program on television that highlights holiday light displays around the country?  Some of these folks are obsessed – it’s like a full time job for them)

  • When that Christmas tree is finally decorated and its lights are glowing, there’s nothing more peaceful than lying on the couch with the lights off, simply looking at that tree and thinking about the real meaning of the season.  Oh yea, and don’t forget the Christmas music in the background – one of her favorite CDs is Josh Groban’s Noel.

  • Every December there’s a special Girls’ Night Out with her best buds – a nice dinner, women’s only conversation, and giving each other small but thoughtful gifts to show we care about each other.  We all know, ladies, that “Ya gotta have friends!” 

These are just a few of Bea’s favorite things to do to get ready for Christmas.

What kinds of things to you do to de-stress before your holiday

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Looking for Financial Advice That Makes Sense?

I watch Clark Howard on television and go to his website  because he’s a consumer advocate who provides common sense financial advice. Simply teaching us how to save more dough, spend less dough, and not get ripped off! 

Check out this video – Clark advises us to avoid store credit cards.
(I knew there was a reason that I keep saying NO to those cashiers who try to coerce me into opening a store card with their “But ma’am, you’ll save 20% on your purchases today!”)
Looking for ways to live more frugally and still enjoy life?  Get some ideas from these “money blogs” listed on Bea’s post “Looking for Financial Wellness.”
Which financial guru do you get your financial and consumer advice from? 

Looking for Financial Wellness?


Crane Paper Company in Dalton produces the pap...Image via Wikipedia
Everyone likes moolah!

Are you trying to live more frugally during these tough economic times?

Do you want to enhance your family’s financial wellness? 

You may want to take a look at these $$ Money Blogs $$ for some tips:

Wise Bread – This blog covers a lot of topics – Links include personal finance, frugal living, career & income and life hacks. Save money by clicking on the “Best Deals Today” link.
This site even has a “How To” library of personal finance and frugal living guides as well as a “Best Of” Wise Bread list of articles.

Wealth Pilgrim – Written by Neal Frankle, who faced financial challenges as a young man, overcame them, and now gives people financial advice on: money and marriage, getting out of debt, investing, and more.

Frugal Dad – He defines his approach to finances as “conservative.” Links include: Becoming a millionaire (yea, that link caught MY eye), Best Online Banks, How to Get Out of Debt, and Kids and Money.

Living on a Dime – Sign up for the free newsletter and get a free mini-course titled “Five Simple Steps To Save $500 A Month On Your Grocery Budget.” Links include: Frugal Living, Recipes, Housekeeping, Freebies, and Coupons.

The Simple Dollar –  Written by Trent Hamm, who provides simple ways for people to handle their finances.  For the month of December, this blog is posting daily articles about what you can do to prepare for the new year.  You may want to check out Trent’s “14 Money Rules.” 


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Why I Started Reading: "On The Bright Side"

Every once in awhile, Bea signs onto Bea Boomer’s Wellness blog and is happily surprised to find that it has attracted a new follower! One of her recent followers is Angela Gentile, who is the author of “On The Bright Side” blog. 
Perfect timing, too, since Bea was wondering what blog or website she was going to recommend today.  She took a look at Angela’s blog, checked out some of her posts, and realized the she and Angela have a similar outlook on life.
Bea is one of those people who loves being inspired by others.  On Thanksgiving night, she sat in front of the television, in awe of the heroes spotlighted on CNN Heroes – An All Star Tribute.
She likes positivity.  She likes to sing at work, much to the consternation of her co-workers.  She also makes a point to laugh at work every day, and try to make others laugh. 
(Not as easy as it may seem – times are tough in her workplace, and employees face some not-so-positive changes in the future year. They ain’t happy about it)

Now, Bea wasn’t always like this. For many years, she tended to dwell on the negative. Then, a few years ago, she got thumped on the head by the Big Guy Up in Heaven (you know who I’m talkin’ about), who thundered: “Look, Bea, you weren’t put on this wonderful world to grouse and be crabby all the time. Take a look around you. Yea, there are some bad things going on, thanks to that demon on the dark side.” (Again, you know who I’m talkin’ about) “But Bea, there’s always, always good stuff to appreciate, even in the worst of times. I created an awesome place, and I expect you to give it the appreciation it deserves!” 

Well, Bea got the message.  She knew He was right.

She could dwell on the negative, live in the past, and be miserable.  Or she could finally get on with life and simply enjoy it while she could.  (Having lost her dear, and only brother at age 50, she knew how quickly life could change)     

So here she is today, trying to live positively, and to find the good.  And Angela Gentile is doing the same thing with her On the Bright Side blog. 

Here’s one of Bea’s favorite posts from Angela’s blog:

She also posted about the Benefits of a Positive Attitude.
Like Bea, Angela tried out the Complaint Free Lifestyle.
Finally, you may have seen this video on the Internet, but it’s worth another viewing:

Believe Bea!! You will find some fun, inspiring posts on Angela’s blog: On The Bright Side!

Want to help the CNN heroes?

More inspiration:

Inspirations by Sudhir Krishnan

The Positivity Blog, written by Henrik Edberg
The Academy of Achievement

Who inspires you to live positively and with purpose?