Rebecca Mullen of Altared Spaces Hosting Happily Ever After Class

Podcast Interview with Rebecca Mullen from Altared Spaces

This week I’m honored to welcome my dear and wise friend, Rebecca Mullen from Altared Spaces, as a guest on my Podcast.

I met Rebecca about 12 years ago when my daughter married her nephew. Though we met briefly at the wedding, it turns out we both were coincidentally at a bat mitzvah and recognized one another and started talking. We soon realized that we had a lot more in common than family.. we were both writers, bloggers, and we ended up both becoming coaches and close friends.

We met regularly for years and were one another’s accountability partners as we worked through our goals. Last year, we went on a special trip to Moab and to scout out roadside altars. This was especially poignant for me because my brother died in a car accident and we did this on what would have been his 58th birthday.

Rebecca has worked on a variety of projects including writing, speaking events, training, and coaching clients through transition. Her current big project is a class that’s starting September 28th called Habits for Happily Ever After.

The class looks very interesting and fun. The first sentence of the description about what to expect got me excited:

During the 8-week class, a lesson arrives in your email each week in the form of a story, workbook or game.

Excerpt from Habits for Happily Ever After: How Does the Class Work?

Did somebody say game? I want to get married just so I can be in this class! (Or maybe I can talk Rebecca into creating a new class about better communication between siblings or friends or family members..)

During our short podcast interview, I realized that some of the advice about healthy communication in a marriage will apply to healthy communication in any relationship.

Rebecca talks about recognizing the different we roles we play in a marriage – Partner, Friend, and Lover. As Rebecca talked through an example or how a partner might be wanting to take action and a friend might be needing empathy, I recognized that this situation applied directly to a recent conversation I’d had with my sister.

Of course, my sister and I don’t have to worry about the “Lover” role with our relationship, so it’s less complicated than a marriage. And it would be a shame not to be able to take part in any of the “Lover” activities with this class, so maybe I’ll just have to wait until I get married again to take this class.

Whether you’re married or not, I highly recommend you check out Rebecca’s Website, Altared Spaces. She has amazing insights about relationships of all types, including the very important relationship with we have with ourselves!

I feel so lucky to have learned so much over the years, thanks to this beautiful friend!

Resources

Twine – An Application for Deeper Conversations

I am really enjoying meeting new people and having them as guests on my new Podcast, Carpe Diem Connections. I thought, during Covid, this would be a good opportunity for me to use my social networking skills to find interesting people to connect with.

As it turns out, I met Lawrence Coburn, cofounder of Twine on Twine! Let’s back up.. I subscribe to a Big Talk newsletter which included this blurb:

DISCOVER 36 QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU LIVE A LONGER LIFE

In 1938, Harvard University began the longest-running study on human development in history to determine what makes us live happy and healthy lives. Key results showed that happiness and health weren’t from wealth or fame, but came from meaningful relationships. I worked with Diana Rau, Cofounder of Twine to develop 36 Big Talk-esque questions centered around the theme of longevity.

PARTICIPATE IN WEEKLY 15 MINUTE BIG TALK VIDEO SESSIONS

Want to have a short meaningful Big Talk conversation with a new friend, that could change your life? Join me weekly on the twine platform at 8 AM PST to be matched with others from the Big Talk community for meaningful conversations.

I signed up and got partnered with Lawrence! Rather than talk about the topics prompted by Twine, I went a bit Meta and wanted to know more about the app and whether or not it could foster friendships. I was curious about hosting a session myself on my new Carpe Diem – Single Snowbirds Facebook Group and Lawrence was very amenable to that idea.

Lawrence also shared some ideas of how Twine has plans to expand in the future. It’s really different than typical social media where you are trying to get attention from large groups. This is kind of the opposite. It’s about fostering a true relationship where you are getting vulnerable one-on-one. There’s no “lurkers” or “trolls”… just two people.

I asked Lawrence to be a guest on my new podcast and he readily agreed!

It was really fun to find out more about Twine and where it’s headed, and even more fun to find out about Lawrence and the experience his wife planned for him for his 50th birthday! Check it out by watching the YouTube video in this post!

Resources:

Happiness Hero: Pamela Gail Johnson

Interview with Founder of the Society of Happy People, Pamela Gail Johnson

Getting to know Pamela Gail Johnson through my Podcast is an example of the wonderful power of making valuable connections via social media!

I read all about the Special Days (like Carpe Diem Day!) and often blog about them. When I saw that August was Happiness Happens Month and that Pamela Gail Johnson was the founder, I connected with her in all the usual ways. I was excited to find SOHP.Com and many of the other happiness efforts and ways she’s been active since 1998.

I was a nervous about inviting her to be a guest on my Podcast since it’s so new and raw, but I thought it would be great if I could talk to her in August. I’m so thrilled that she graciously accepted my invitation despite being in the midst of a recent move, not to mention all the extra Happiness activities happening this month!

Take-aways and things that went well

  • So fun to meet up with a Kindred Spirit!
  • I loved that Pamela complimented “Purple People!” She was talking politically, but didn’t realize how purple I really am! (Both politically and because it’s my favorite color!)
  • I really liked how Pamela commented about the adaptability of Bucket Lists (towards the end of the interview). Adaptability is key to an Agile mindset!
  • Loved reading the 31 Kinds of Happiness and being reminded of how many different types of happiness there are and how happiness is contagious.
  • Pamela gave me some advice about how I could promote Carpe Diem Day.
  • I really enjoy the different challenges (like the current #SmileStarter challenge), the Newsletter, the SOHP app, the Facebook group, and all the fun community activities and opportunities there are to connect with other people who celebrate happiness!

What could have been better

  • Still terrible with Audacity and editing audio (or video). I’m afraid this will be a standard bullet item in my “What could have been better” list for awhile. I might try GarageBand for my next Podcast episode.

Even though I’m a newbie at podcasting, it’s so exciting to be meeting people like Pamela who I consider a true “Happiness Hero”! The Smile Starter Challenge for today, August 30, is to celebrate others success and I am certainly celebrating Pamela’s great success in promoting happiness to the world!

Resources:

Interview with Tom Johnston of Ageless Explorers

First Interview for Carpe Diem Connections Podcast

I’ve been so excited about my new Podcast for several reasons:

  • I’ll be meeting with like-minded, positive people, learning from them and making new friends
  • I’ll learn how to podcast, and more about social media in general
  • I’ll continue to discover what kinds of things I want to do in this next chapter of life!

Tom Johnston is also in transition and figuring out what’s next in his life. He started both a Meetup group and a Facebook group called Ageless Explorers. His target audience are people like me… energetic people over 55 who care about health and wellness, wanting to live a meaningful “Chapter 3.”

It was awesome that Tom was the first guest on my Carpe Diem Connections podcast and that I could be the first guest on his new Meetup! (I spoke about using Agile practices during Covid19.)

What I’m learning from Tom

  • I’d never heard of the 7 levels of energy taught in Energy Leadership Coaching. Something I want to read more about!
  • I really liked how Tom knew that his first priority, his purpose, his “why”.. is to be a good father and that this is what guides him. It’s important to understand and live by our values, but not always easy.
  • Tom and I are catering to a similar demographic, so whatever we end up doing, we might be able to network and share leads and connections.
  • Tom does a great job of hosting Ageless Explorers. He’s consistent, a strong facilitator, created an inspiring logo, and has interesting content in his Meetup. We share interest in coaching and positivity. I can see that he’ll be a valuable business connection and new friend!

What worked well

  • Tom was a very flexible, go-with-the-flow guest. He didn’t mind being the first guest on my podcast, despite my amateur status.
  • Very nice that Tom and I were reciprocal guests on each other’s new ventures.
  • I like that I was able to record a Zoom video and have content for both a YouTube video and a Podcast audio recording at the same time.
  • It’s nice that I haven’t had to spend a dime on equipment or software (though, if I want to get serious, I should invest in at least a better mic, so they say.)

What could have been better

  • It was unbelievably difficult for me to figure out how to just do a simple split of audio using Audacity! I have a lot to learn about audio-editing.
  • Between my lack of skill and equipment, I’m kind of embarrassed by my podcast’s low quality.

What’s next?

  • Interview with Pamela Gail Johnson, Founder of Happiness Happens!

Links and References:

Ageless Explorers Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/911958189307379

Ageless Explorers Meetup Group: https://www.meetup.com/Denver-Career-Network-Meetup-Group/

Carpe Diem Connections Podcast Interview: https://anchor.fm/carpediemconnections/episodes/Tom-Johnston-Interview-eig2o1

YouTube Interview (My unedited full interview with Tom): https://youtu.be/b93CaCLXuzA

YouTube Recording of Agile during Covid19 at Ageless Explorer Meetup: https://youtu.be/U_y1AqXUtd0

I Started a Podcast – Carpe Diem Connections!

My new podcast on Anchor.FM https://anchor.fm/carpediemconnections

I’ve been wanting to create a new podcast for awhile. Thinking it would take a lot of time, I’d been procrastinating, but I found a platform: anchor.fm, which included a podcast named, “I Should Start a Podcast” and it turned out to be super-simple! Of course, I didn’t do anything fancy. I just kept it short and tested out the process and 30 minutes later, I’m a published podcaster!

I love listening to podcasts, more than reading blogs, because I can listen while I’m walking or exercising. One of my favorite podcasts is Optimal Living Daily about Personal Development and Productivity. Justin Malik narrates other blogs about topics I’m interested in, and in the process I’m introduced to a whole bunch of other like-minded people.

One thing I love about this age of social networking is that we can often meet and get to know the people behind our favorite blogs and podcasts. It’s like a whole new dimension of a library – getting to actually meet the authors and thought-leaders who we admire and getting to know them on a personal level!

On my new podcast, I’m hoping to have weekly interviews with people who are themselves writing or speaking about personal productivity, happiness, and living life fully.

Whether or not my podcast takes off, I will get to meet and learn from people I admire which is really cool!

I already have a long list of people I want to interview, including John Lagomarsino who hosted “I Should Start a Podcast” and Justin Malik of Optimal Living Daily.

When my podcast becomes famous you’ll know that it all began today!

What have you been wanting to do? Maybe today is a good day to get started!

Calling All Single Snowbirds!

Let’s form a Single Snowbird Community

Come join my new group: Carpe Diem – Single Snowbirds if you’re single and like to enjoy warm weather in the winter. Whether for a quick vacation or the whole winter, I’m trying to form a network of singles who are retired or close to retirement who like to travel to warm weather places in winter.

Though I love my life and my Colorado home, I have always dreamed of being a snowbird once I retired.

For the last couple of years, I’ve been exploring different snowbird locations, and really loved the extended time I was able to spend with my friend, Becky, in her townhome in Sarasota in March and April, 2020. (It turned out to be a safe haven for the Covid-19 lockdown!)

That being said, I also loved the fun of travel and exploring a variety of places and cultures. In the last couple of years, I’ve explored Phoenix, San Antonio, Southern California, Las Vegas, Mexico, Costa Rica, Orlando, and Sarasota as potential snowbird spots.

I really think that rather than buying a second home, I’d rather keep exploring a variety of places, and include extended time in Spanish-speaking countries, as well as ending with some extended time at Becky’s, as long as she’s up for it!

It’s very rare that I hear of anyone who is single and doing the snowbird thing. I think this is for two reasons: 1) It’s really expensive and hard to maintain a second home on your own (it’s actually hard to maintain any home, if your traveling!) and 2) It can be really lonely and hard to make new friends in a secondary short-term place.. especially if you’re just passing through.

These things are difficult for couples, too.

I’ve found a lot of things that have helped me in my couple of years of snowbirding.

  1. Rent out rooms in your primary home to people you trust. They can keep you posted about anything you need to know while you’re traveling and you’ll be making rent money at the same time!
  2. Use Meetup, Facebook Groups, and other social media to find new friends, especially in the locations you’d like to explore.
  3. See if you can work out “host trades” with friends… you host in summer when it’s too hot where they live and they host in winter when it’s too cold where you live.
  4. Make friends with people where ever you visit… maybe your AirBnB hosts, or people you might meet at an event, class, Meetup or group activity, and then connect on social media so you can stay in touch. Share a business card with your information and stay connected. These may be people you’ll visit again or invite to visit you when you’re in your home state.

By the way, here’s another article I found with tips for Single Snowbirds. (I stole the image to use for this blog post). It’s from an association based out of Canada, though, and looks like you need to be a Canadian to sign up for their newsletter. Maybe I can see about creating a similar service for Americans!

Even though I’m not sure when all the restrictions will be lifted, I’m getting excited already about planning my next Winter season snowbird tour!

Lives Well Lived – AARP Movie Night

Last night I was inspired, and, for once, almost excited, about getting older, by the movie Lives Well Lived, put on by AARP’s Movie for Grownups series.


Watching the stories of these elders made me realize what an easy life I’ve had. I know we’re in the midst of a pandemic, but hearing stories of people who were impacted by Hitler and Stalin and the challenges that they and their families endured makes me feel so grateful that the biggest challenge in my life right now is the inconveniences of self-isolation.


Seeing the energy and hearing the stories from these upbeat seniors is a good reminder that life can be wonderful, and also difficult, at every age. One woman talked about moving to France after her kids were grown and that gave me renewed excitement about the extended traveling abroad I want to do when I can!  In the mean time, it’s fun to plan! (And learn Spanish!)


All of the seniors offered up words of wisdom about living life fully, with kindness and grace.. messages we all hear often and wonder if we’ll still be able to do that as our bodies and minds start to decline. It certainly gave me hope and renewed motivation to keep practicing all of those healthy habits.


There was one couple who talked about finding each other… I think in their 70’s. I know I go back and forth about whether or not I want to find another partner, and have often thought that I’m happier single.  But in the movie, the woman talked about how happy it made her to share life’s joys with a partner and I did think: Yeah…  I really do miss that.


Sharing life’s joys and challenges… that’s so important for a happy life. And there’s nothing better than sharing those with an intimate partner..  after all, that’s what creates intimacy, right? But if you don’t have an intimate partner, then we can still share those ups and downs with our friends, family, and people in our lives.  But yeah, I’m really missing those face-to-face connections right now.


How about social media? I keep reading it actually makes us lonelier, but I love having a place to share things that make me happy and reading about what’s happening with others.

So  I’m going to try and get back into the habit of sharing more happy things every day.. and hope to follow the wisdom from these sages about how to live well each day.

Hammocks Make Me Happy

No, it’s not “National Hammock Day,” but today I’m talking about hammocks, anyway, just because they make me happy!

One of my favorite pictures of me with my Dad is this one that was taken around 1965:

Dad and me in our back yard – 1965

Today my friend, Becky, sent me a photo of me that she took while we were having a Zoom call and I was enjoying my new hammock swing .

Me in 2020 talking to my friend on a Zoom call

Between 1965 and 2020, there have been plenty of other hammock pictures, so I set out to create a little collage of some of my favorites… What fun memories!

Do you have a favorite hammock picture?

Embrace Your Geekness Day

Embrace Your Inner Geek

Today is a day that’s MADE FOR ME! Embrace Your Geekness Day! I am a geek every day, so it’s great to have a day that celebrates “Geekness” (and I also like it that “Geekness” isn’t even a real word!)

Of course, there are a lot of different definitions for what it really means to be a geek.. someone who like techie stuff.. someone who likes to dress in silly costumes.. someone who is kind of the opposite of “cool”.. someone who likes crazy holidays that most people have ever heard of… all of those definitions apply to me.

When I was young, I was insecure about my geekiness. Of course, I wished I was “popular” instead of the weird kid who preferred to hang out in the library at recess rather than play outside. But now, I realize how freeing it is to just be myself… I’m much happier enjoying my quirky personality than trying to be “cool.”

Here’s a quote by CS Lewis:

“Be weird. Be random. Be who you are. Because you never know who would love the person you hide.”

Another variation:

“Don’t Change So People Will Like You – Be Yourself and the Right People Will Love the Real You”

So yeah, I’m a proud geek! How about you?

Happy Umbrella Cover Day

Umbrella Cover Day
Covered by an umbrella hat under my new umbrella hammock swing

As owner of National Carpe Diem Day, one of my self-assigned responsibilities is to let you all know about interesting and quirky “celebration days” throughout the year.

umbrella hammock
My new umbrella hammock

Right after I bought this fun umbrella hammock swing, I discovered that today, July 6th, Is “Umbrella Cover Day.” I’m choosing to be creative in interpreting this as a day to have umbrella’s cover us rather than celebrating the covers of the umbrella, which apparently was the actual intent.

By the way, today is also International Kissing Day, but for those of us who are single and social distancing, let’s focus on umbrellas. Stay positive, people!

Yes, there is actually an Umbrella Cover Museum in Peaks Island, Maine… the only Umbrella Cover Museum in the whole world! Nancy 3 Hoffman wrote this book and is the director and curator of the museum and I’m guessing, the one who originated the special day! Here’s a picture of her book and as you see, she also enjoys umbrella hats, like me, so it’s not JUST about the umbrella covers.

What I love about these special days, my new bright green palm-tree-like hammock, Nancy’s middle name (3!), the museum, and umbrella hats is that they are all whimsical!

Whimsical is defined as “playfully quaint or fanciful behavior or humor.” Yes, whimsy is definitely something that makes me happy!

The description of Nancy’s book says the museum “celebrates the mundane in everyday life” and finds “wonder in beauty in the simplest of things.” Wow! That is exactly the essence of what I’d like to capture with my Carpe Diem Day philosophy!

I think umbrellas themselves are very fun and can be so colorful and unique. I just heard a story about how the Queen gets color coordinated umbrellas and is using them to keep the social distance guidelines. (I’m very interested in the Queen these days because I’ve been watching, The Crown.)

The Queen’s pretty color coordinated umbrella helps her maintain protection!

And, of course, I’ve always loved cute little beachy, colorful cocktails adorned with little umbrellas!

I’m going to have to check out Nancy 3’s book and see if I can maybe even get an interview with her, but for now, I’m relaxing, happily covered with my whimsical umbrellas.