CAN MONEY BUY HAPPINESS

The magazine TOWN AND COUNTRY was my bible as a teen while growing up in a gritty steel town in the Ohio River. I saved all month and I couldn’t wait for each new issue to arrive at McNoltie’s Confectionery.

I used to dream over the glossy pages of beautiful people, smiling behind their big sunglasses while on their boats or at a glitzy gala. Oh, that was the life for me. I just couldn’t wait to grow up and have that life.

I would sometimes cut out images from the pages and pinned them on my watermelon colored cork Dream Board hanging in my bedroom. I figured if I dreamed enough about that life, I could make my fantasy come true. I could become rich and famous just like them.

Anything. I would do almost anything to fly away from my current steel town existence to something bigger. I deserved to have something better someday. I would dream so hard I would make it come true.

Sixty years later as I look back on my life, most of it did come true. I have been successful in my own right. I have rubbed shoulders with both the famous and richer. Am I happy? Yes, for the most part. I have had lots of valleys on my journey, but I have always been able to see the sunshine when there were dark clouds.

Are the smiling faces of the rich and famous happy? Well, not always. My teenage fantasy was just that – a fantasy.

The truth is that when I grew up I realized that what really matters are people and our relationships. Those are the million dollar gifts in life. Those are what make us rich and happy.

Copyright©️Sandra Hart 2018

All Rights Reserved

DITCH WORRIES THAT DON’T MATTER

5 REASONS TO STOP CARING ABOUT THINGS THAT DON’T MATTER

“A man who knows everything knows nothing.”

1. Question your obsessions., If you think you know everything about your life then you are going to be less motivated to do something with your life.

2. Life is too short. Think about what is immediate, true and important to you. As we age life should be easier, but sometimes it gets more complicated. Money, aging partners, health, children, grandchildren are a part of our universe.

In our search for happiness and personal growth being able to focus on things that really matter to you is important.

3. If you feel stuck it’s because you don’t have, or you perceive you don’t have, the power to react or create meaning around your life. If you are sometimes angry and anxious; if you you feel bad about something, it’s okay. You may have genuine reasons to feel these emotions. These are a huge component within a healthy life. Don’t feel guilty about having these reactions to problems.

But remember struggles are not always that bad. They invigorate you. They motivate you to work through them to help either others or yourself.

Believe it or not, our struggles are the building blocks of happiness. Okay . It’s true sometimes problems are completely out of our control. You can’t always eliminate them—- but it’s finding something more meaningful in your life, or worthwhile, where you can put your focus and be in control.

Don’t focus on the negative details, Details are the enemy of growth. Focus on the bigger picture – the end goal and work toward that.

5. You have to be comfortable with who you are. It’s not being different, but it’s your acceptance of being comfortable with being different.

Copyright ©️Sandra Hart 2018

Are You Afraid Of Aging?

This is a question that runs through not only my mind, but for certain most women as they approach retirement age. Studies show that women fear five basic things:

1) Becoming invisible

2) Being alone

3) Dependent upon others

4) Getting cancer

5) Being a bag lady

Believe it or not the last one, being a bag lady, has always been my biggest fear. I was really surprised to see this one on the list because I honestly felt it was just me.

We are the sum of our experiences and during my lifetime I had a period where I didn’t know where my next dollar was coming from. I was widowed, had three children, a mortgage and no job. It worked out in the end, but that traumatic period in my life has scarred me.

Today let’s have a conversation about aging and how to face our fears as women as we journey through the aging process.

Age Is Only A Number

I recently celebrated an almost milestone birthday and someone recently asked me how it feels to be almost eighty.

Hummm…. I never really thought about it. Honestly. Age to me has always been just a number. It does not define me, nor does it have anything to do with how old or young at heart I feel. I certainly don’t feel old. Whatever wrinkles I have I have earned them by living.

There are those who might chime in that I’m only fooling myself. Not really. I know the year I was born, but I’ve lived my whole life on the premise that as long as I can put my feet on the floor at sunrise, I’m going to enjoy every minute of the day ahead. I’m going to tackle whatever monster comes my way and know that I have never been given anything that is too tough to beat. I will survive.

Sure. I have made bad decisions in my life, but I haven’t let that stop me from learning from them. Making lemonade out of lemons is part of the deal in this human life we are all living if we want to have a good journey.

Copyright Sandra Hart 2018. All Rights reserved

It’s All About Arthur 

I never thought about age differences thirty-three years ago when I married Arthur.  Somehow when you are really young age difference matters, then it disappears in adulthood, and suddenly the awareness reawakens as you get older. It really is a strange dicothemy.

My husband is thirteen years older than I am and when we got married, I didn’t even think about our age differences. My parents were ten years apart and it worked out just fine for them.

It was only  when we celebrated Arthur’s ninety-first birthday, that I realized how lucky I am. All of his friends are gone and he is standing alone and quite healthy in his nineties.  The odds are that it could be a quite different story for both of us.  Sometimes I think he has more energy than I do!

To celebrate his milestone I recently interviewed my husband about how it feels to be in his nineties. 


Copyright Sandra Hart©2017. All Rights Reserved 

Music Is My Memory Trail

(Author’s note: If your soul is rooted in music as deeply as mine, grab your earphones and reading glasses, if needed, and let me transport you with me to places in my past.)

“ I believe in teleportation and time travel,” he said taking a sip of his Old Fashioned. It was Friday and we were at a speakeasy watching bluegrass. I wasn’t sure I heard him correctly. 

“ Not in the sensational way, mind you. But in the way a waft of a certain perfume can take you back to childhood, or a song can being back a flurry of feelings you felt long ago.  Isn’t it strange and wonderful how our senses can give us context of the present, but transport us to the past?” 

He whispered to the bartender who came back moments later with a mint julep identical to the one he introduced me to when we first met….orange twist and all.

“Here. Close your eyes and take a sip of this.
Tell me…..where does it take you?  

Aromas and music are the two triggers that can transport me back in time.  Big band music  takes me back to my early childhood and our Sunday family outings to The Lotus Restaurant in Washington, DC. 

Rock and roll and the music of the 50’s bring me back to my high school days when we wore pony tails and bobby socks and the worst thing the boys could do was smoke behind the building or drink beer in the coal pits. 

Georgetown and  great jazz  wisk me back to my college years where we would spend our nights listening to Mose Allison or Dave Brubeck.  I can still smell the mixture of cigarette smoke and scotch that filled the crowded clubs lining the narrow streets in Georgetown. 

My child rearing years and the small tube radio that I always had on in the kitchen comes to my mind every time I hear Billy Joel and his romantic take on life. I was always dreaming through my humdrum life while being transported to somewhere beyond that kitchen and piles of dirty laundry by Billy.  

Now that I’m older and have Alexa in my life, I can be transported to any era of my life by just asking.   Transporting has never been easier! 

Copyright Sandra Hart 2017