Surprising Lifestyle Tip for Anti-Aging

Iris Apfel by One Kings Lane

Photo Cred of the one and only Iris Apfel: One Kings Lane

Want to glide into – and through – your sunset years without the unpleasantries we all assume will come with the aging process? Don’t we all!

What if I told you that a secret to great health benefits not only today, but also down the road has nothing to do with what you eat? It’s true!

Living with a sense of purpose and bringing it into your daily routine results in successful aging!

Here’s the scoop: A research study published in the journal Development Psychology reveals that the benefits of living with a sense of purpose include reduced depression, improved overall mental state, and increases indicators of successful aging. (In this context, successful aging means you are physically healthy and functioning, you’ve got your wits about you (no mental deterioration) and can move around, and you build and maintain social relationships and activities)(Psychology Today).

In short, purposeful living contributes to health and well-being both now and when you’re 80.

I don’t know about you, but I would love to age gracefully and with ease! I’d love to look, act and feel as young as possible for as long as possible with minimal chemical or cosmetic treatments while also living in overall bliss for all of my days. Even better if I can get started now! Sign me up! Wouldn’t you agree?

So, how do we do it?

Defining Your Sense of Purpose

For our discussion, I’ve defined Sense of Purpose below after a Google search left me unsatisfied.

Sense of purpose: the reason for being; the pursuit or expression of which makes you come alive. Innate gifts that you alone can offer to the world, fueled with heartfelt passion.

Ask yourself, your family, your friends, “over my lifetime, when do I seem to be my best self? What am I doing at these times? What activities or pursuits ignites my inner joy and energy? What natural talents do I seem to have that I enjoy pursuing and practicing?”

Make a list. Take time to hone in on what your sense of purpose could look like.

Then what?

After you’ve gotten clear on your purpose, bring it into your life on a regular basis.

Look at your job responsibilities and duties or where you spend your time socially and in your “off” hours.

Where are there opportunities to infuse your purpose into the seemingly mundane?

For instance, if you are creative, look for ways to create presentations or other communications collateral. Layout or design tips add flair, which differentiate you and your company from competition in the marketplace.

Make the business case to your boss to get involved, or just start volunteering to help.

Can’t find the time during the workday to put your passion at play at the office? Have you tried delegating?

Check out this post for tips to create time and bandwidth. Make the business case for why your unique skills and strategy (aka, applying your sense of purpose) will benefit the team, Client or company. Cite increases to business efficiency, employee satisfaction, team moral or motivation, Client retention, etc. to help bolster your argument… 

… or just start doing it! Delegate where appropriate, and get involved.

Fortune favors the bold, and you have unique gifts and talents to bring to the world.

If you can’t get the buy-in at work, volunteer outside of work to put your passion to use for a non-profit, small business or community organization. You may even be able to get paid for it!  

In the words of Eminem, “You only get one shot, do not miss your chance… This opportunity comes once in a lifetime.”

This one wild and precious life you lead is The Opportunity for you to express and pursue your sense of purpose!

The health benefits to your body + mind are compelling, and it is your responsibility to share your unique goodness with the world like no one else can!

Small or large, start infusing that sense of purpose into your life. There’s no better time than NOW.


If you have a friend who might be hiding her (or his!) unique brand of goodness, afraid or unsure to let it out, share this post with him or her.

A rising tide lifts all ships, and we love to hear how you bring this conversation to life! Let us know how you’re bringing your sense of purpose to your day-to-day or how you’ve been inspired by someone you know who does it well by leaving a comment below.

As always, wishing you a life of greens and grace, my friends!


A rebuilding year

About a year and a half ago, I stopped blogging. I stopped because I had neither the energy nor the clarity. I was struggling with chronic pain from a herniated disc that ranged from moderate to excruciating. I didn’t have the capacity to do many things.

I felt huge amounts of resistance to writing. The blog sat untouched.

Late in 2015, I underwent surgery. It was, on one hand, long over due, and on the other, perfectly timed. It marked a shift in my self in many ways. Life is richer, and I am truly thankful for it all.

And now it’s New Years Eve. Almost 20 months since this long and winding road began, and I am reminded of this quote I read once, “Imagine where you’d be if you started a year ago.”

It describes how I feel about my own healing journey, as well as this blog. Imagine where we’ll be in a year!

I’m eager and so excited to see how 2016 will come together, with healing and inspiration and adventure for us all!

I am hopeful that we will share our stories, our successes, our recipes, and our support with one another even more in 2016. I really cannot wait!

May all your champagne toasts come true in 2016!

Friday Faves

Whew! I can hardly believe that Friday is here, and we’re staring down the weekend already. This week has really blown by in a blur! Here are a few of my favorite things from this week that are still keeping me buoyant as we enter the weekend, which is energy I’m certainly going to need if I want to keep up with some of my favorite outdoorsmen in a certain dairy country for the next few days. 🙂

Now tell me, what do you have planned?!

John Green

Having fallen in love with John Green’s style and prose in The Fault in Our Stars (so good; right up there with To Kill a Mockingbird)I did not hesitate to download this one while searching for books to read on a recent up-and-back day trip to New Jersey. (The fact that my name is in the title – and spelled properly, I might add – notwithstanding, of course.) 😉 Even though I’m only on chapter three, I can safely say I will enjoy it as much as Fault.

Here’s the gist: Colin Singleton, our protagonist in his late teens, is a bit OCD about becoming a “genius”  through having what he calls a “Eureka moment.” Well, dear Colin, turns out, is to not exactly the genius he had hoped he’d be, then he gets dumped by his girlfriend, Katherine XIX, named as such because she is the 19th girl named Katherine whom Colin has dated (hence, “the abundance“). Colin is so distraught by the breakup that his partner in crime, the pragmatic and dry-humored Hassan Harbish, suggests a road trip.

Oh, what a stopping point! I can hardly wait to devour the rest this weekend!

Adventure Awaits

Speaking of adventures and road trips, my travel buddies and I have become painfully aware that it is time for some globe trotting. The last excursion, to Puerto Rico, was a trip that was definitely unforgettable.

A few highlights:

  • We got lost in a rainforest; thankfully, The Commodore, a.k.a Dodd, provided literally everything we needed out of a wee satchel, except for snacks (you’re welcome, guys)
  • The truck in which we were riding to this rainforest was being driven by a local movie star and broke down midway up the mountain
  • While waiting for help to arrive, that same local movie star produced an armadillo shell ukelele and serenaded us with Spanish folk songs  (you can’t make this up)
  • There were numerous moments “lost in translation,” one of which resulted in us being referred to as “drunk donkeys” (we are still puzzled by that one)
  • We devised quite an impassioned plan to run for Puerto Rican political office in order to enact laws and/or guidelines regarding water conservation, pollution and animal rights (grand in ideology, pitiful in execution; refer to the above mention of those moments of “lost in translation”)

All this in a mere five days! Can you blame us for wanting to get back in the saddle and ride off again!? It makes my heart happy to imagine the possibilities!


I purchased this skirt on a whim last year when I was, um, “emboldened by strong emotions stemming from a rather shocking display of ungentlemanly behavior” (i.e. “retail recovery”). There is just something about sprinkling sparkle and sequins into the everyday and/or putting on a certain statement piece that brings out your inner “MEOW.” It really cures almost anything that ails you.

Ready to be rid of any lingering tension from last week, I pulled that skirt out, dressed it down a little bit (it was a Sunday morning, after all), and went off to meet Miss Too-Much-is-Never-Enough (Jenna) and Sweet Victoria for brunch. When Jenna, a seasoned fashion & lifestyle blogger and stylist among other things, insisted that I be in front of the camera that morning, I was not so sure; however, after calming my inner critic and nudging my inner diva with a few pointers from Jenna, it was a complete blast! (More to come on this in a future post!)

PSA: You simply must try it. Put on whatever makes you shine from the inside out, tell your inner critic to Zip It!, then strike a pose (or two! or ten!) and have a friend take pictures. It does wonders for your outlook. Try it this weekend & report back!

The Tools I Need...

Perhaps I marveled at the dexterity of whomever created this chalkboard art hanging above the bar at King + Duke in Buckhead (there was not a smudge) or maybe my fondness for three of Faulkner’s four tools just spoke to me? Whatever the reason, I found my attention lingering on this piece intermittently throughout the evening. It’s so simple, yet profound. Would love to hang it in my own study one day!

Last, but not least, Argus’ battle with the Tater Tot had me laughing as I watched him zip in and out of the frame as he plotted his plan of attack. Oh, that face! Enjoy!

A Trip Down Memory Lane… Where the Grass is Always Greener?

The other day, I was driving home from work. The rain was lightly falling, so I had decided to take a different route home than usual. I drove down a suburban street in Buckhead, noticing how green everything has become, enjoying the twists and turns of the curves of this road, one of my favorite roads, through the beautiful suburban Atlanta neighborhoods when an old familiar song came on.

You know exactly what happened next. (…aside from me belting out the lyrics, I mean…)

I took a trip down memory lane!  And, in all their glory, like it was yesterday, I recalled the details of the time in my life when this song was first released.

I fondly remembered the boyfriend I had, the work I was doing (and doing well, I might add!), the house where I lived… I remembered all of the vibrant, sensational pieces to the puzzle that was my life during that blink of time when this song was popular. Ah, the Good Ol’ Days, I thought (well, not exactly, but it was something along the same lines…)

And that’s when an interesting little observation occurred to me.

How often and how easily we fall back on the past for comfort, for ease, for escape, for comfort or as a sign of better times. Whether its the highlight reel of our personal lives, or the nation’s current affairs, we feel certain that the best is not yet to come, but it has, in fact, come and gone. We watch the news today and see some pretty disheartening headlines. Stories of political, economic, and inhumane strife seem to outnumber the reports of triumph, peace, decency, prosperity, and collaboration, don’t they?

It’s no wonder we romanticize and reminisce about those good ol’ days! There’s no way it was like this!

Ah. And in that thought came my Aha! Moment.

When that little musical memory jog first hit #1 on the Billboard charts, I was content, yes, undoubtedly, and grateful for the boyfriend, the job, the house, the friends, the everything, BUT I was also frustrated that I felt I had no career path or passion, angry that the relationship was not what it should have been, tired from trying so hard to do everything to perfection, and feeling like a bit of a lost girl without direction in some pretty big areas of her life at a milestone age when the pieces were “supposed to be” falling together.  And you know what else? Countries were at war; the economy was up and down, food and gas prices were rising, and… everything felt pretty much the same as now! In relative terms, it was no different!

So, what does this mean, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you how I feel about it, and I’d love to hear your thoughts.

In a few years, when I look back on this time of my life, on today, on the girl driving home from work enjoying the greenery, singing her heart out in the car, with her day-to-day challenges and frustrations, I will still very likely remember her and her current station in life with joy and a glad heart.

So, why not just have the joy and the glad heart now? When times get tough, we have to choose the joy, choose the glad heart now.

In five years, looking back on who you are today, you will feel warmth, contentment, perspective, wisdom, self-appreciation, so be that person you would be in five years, now. Feel the feelings now that you want to feel when you look back at this time. Relief, gratitude, appreciation, humility, love. Choose to feel it now.

Life goes up and down. You’re in a Down today? Ok, well, the Up is coming, so act as if it is here. Do what you can, however you can, to feel the Up already. Fast forward. See that you’ve climbed the hill. You won the battle. You made it! It’s now in the past.

You will make your journey through this life easier and the road to “better” shorter.

When the world moves too fast, when countries battle, when negotiations aren’t favorable, when relationships sour, when life gets complicated, it is so easy – and even comforting – to reminisce about the past. To remember a “better time.” But really, that better time IS now, it is IN the Now. Why not just go ahead, fast forward to the good stuff and start feeling it today?