Where Did I Leave My Readers?

If you’re anything like us, reading the text in front of you isn’t the hardest part — it’s remembering where you left your readers! To help find that pair you swore you had just three minutes ago, we’ve created a flowchart to track down those glasses. Because we understand glasses struggles.

lost reading glasses

How did you do? If you found your readers, good for you! If not, check out our huge selection of reading glasses and snag a pair for every room in the house.

Five Reasons You Only Need to Make One Resolution This New Year


“Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies—G** damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”

Kurt Vonnegut. From God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater.

There’s only one resolution any of us need to make this year, and it’s this: to encourage ourselves and those around us to be kinder, better people; to look around for the hurt we can fix, the good we can do and the ways we can effectively help. Even the best of us have room to be more forgiving, more patient and more empathetic.

We could all learn to follow the Boy Scout campground rule socially and try to leave every person we meet better than we found them. It’s not just that being kind or fair makes us feel warm and fuzzy or gives us the chance to be smug when no one’s looking, it’s that treating each other well is a provably better way. There is even some speculation that the most efficient way to be selfish is to be generous; that we earn far more dividends in the long run by extending kindness than we do by being bitter or angry. Here are 5 reasons being kind is the only resolution you need to make this year:

1. Being Good to Others Lowers Your Blood Pressure

How many of us have tried cutting out salt, taking ACE inhibitors, losing weight, or giving up nightcaps, all in the name of getting our numbers down into a range that will make our doctors nod in approval? What if we could get part of the way there, have a head start, race ahead of the mall walking, dessert shunning and teetotalling to a better resting diastolic? What if that way was to give time or money to a charity organization that helps other human beings?

A study done by Piferi and Lawler in 2006 showed a direct correlation between charitable contribution and lower resting systolic pressure, diastolic pressure and heart rate. To make it even better, the same study showed a connection between those participants who gave social support and receiving greater “social support, greater self-efficacy, greater self-esteem, less depression, and less stress”.

To put it succinctly, if you help others more, you receive more help…and, oh, by the way, it lowers your blood pressure. For ideas on direct charitable giving to incredibly effective, but underfunded organizations, go to GiveWell.

And here are two others, closer to home, that you might consider:

Timmy Global Health

The Wounded Warrior Project

2. Helping Others Helps You Live Longer

Teach somebody to read, help a neighbor fix his fence, bring dinner to a shut-in and you’ll not only feel great about yourself, but you’ll live 22% longer. An analysis of over 40 scientific papers showed that people who help others get an average of ⅕ more life in which to help. While the study didn’t prove conclusively where the benefit comes from (whether a boost in, say chemicals like oxytocin, associated with positive emotions, or the direct social benefits of helping were causally related to the increase), there seems to be tremendous longevity benefit when it comes to lending a helping hand.

3. You’ve Heard of the “Runner’s High”? Well, There’s Also a “Helper’s High”

It turns out that, under clinical studies, the act of contributing to another person’s well-being actually releases endorphins — the chemical responsible for that sense of euphoria that runners experience as a result of a really great workout. It’s not just that helping can make you feel good, it’s that biologically speaking, there’s a direct chemical path between helping and feeling really, really good.

4. The Economy Runs on Trust

There’s been a lot of talk in the recent decades about the importance of competition in the Free Market. Our laws against monopolies are designed to sustain competitive environments. And in recent years, we’ve been running socio-economic experiments to determine whether increased competition from private charter schools makes for a better educational system. But, with all the talk of competition, we may forget that trust is absolutely fundamental to our economy (Forbes, July 2010).

In 2010, the World Bank estimated that, in the US, $12.4 trillion was directly attributable to established systems of trust. If the father of economic theory, Adam Smith, was correct and all economic systems are built on a foundation of specialized individual skills, Person A must trust Person B do whatever task that Person A does not have the time or resources to do. It follows, then, logically, that the less we trust one another, the more resources we are obligated to spend defending our own interests against each other.

5. Kindness is Contagious

For the first time in 2010, two researchers (Christakis and Fowler) were able to prove in laboratory conditions that cooperation and acts of kindness ripple outward through social interactions. That is, each kind act makes another kind act more likely to occur. In the study, research showed that not only did kindness propagate through a social group, but that it was likely to multiply by 3. A single smile at a barista will, on average, result in three smiles between the barista and customers, the customers and each other or the customer and a co-worker later in the day.

Whatever else we resolve to do or to be in 2016, let’s resolve to try to be kind to one another. If we try to understand where others have come from, what kind of day they might have had and choose to respond with kindness, it will make things better. Maybe not immediately and maybe not in every situation, but if we just keep trying, we will live longer, live better lives and pass that chance on to people around us.

Meet Dr. Ramani Durvasula: Psychologist and Relationship Coach

Midlife Advice

Readers.com asked midlife topic experts to share special advice on everything from healthy living to planning for retirement. Our experts’ uplifting stories will inspire you to approach every situation with a Glass(es) Half Full mentality, so check back each month for more in this series and like us on Facebook for additional tips! 

Meet Dr. Ramani Durvasula, our latest Glass(es) Half Full contributor! Dr. Ramani is a licensed clinical psychologist, professor of psychology, and relationship expert. Read her guest post below for advice on how to make the most of the holidays!

Enjoying the holidays

Dr. Ramani Durvasula

Dr. Ramani Durvasula

The holidays can spin out of control as we get older, our families grow, and our expectations get bigger. I think we all realize that the sweet spot and magic of the holidays is found in the experiences and not in the stuff (we’ve taken enough trips to Goodwill to recognize what happens to those gifts!). Here are my six tips to continue holiday traditions as your family gets bigger!

1. Trim it down.

As families get bigger, the gift-giving expectations can spin out of control. I have observed that large families will often do a gift exchange where they pick names out of a hat and set a budget.

2. Pay attention and build on the traditions you have in place.

Some families have traditions that are as old as the hills. You might feel like you don’t have any tradition, but you probably do! You just might not have realized that after 10 years of doing the same things, traditions are formed.

I am divorced, and yet my ex and I keep some key holiday traditions in place. One of our daughters is in high school, but her dad still leaves carrots and bells in his front lawn and the girls go look for them on Christmas morning (with some fake eye-rolling but tremendous appreciation). The family structure may have changed, but those traditions act as the glue that keeps us all connected. Cookie baking, tree trimming, menorah lighting — these simple things matter!

3. Make it about the kids.

The treasure of the holidays is watching adults make time for kids and seeing kids just be kids. Focus on the throwback elements of the holidays. For most of us, the holidays are an evocative time. Think about what you loved as a kid and what you wish had been different. Then, make it happen!

4. Don’t forget your friends.

The frenzied focus on family is lovely, but remember all of the people who are there for you the rest of the year, too. For many of us, particularly as we get older, it is our friends we rely on. Don’t lose that during the holiday season. Whether it’s a getaway, a party, a night out, or a gift exchange, make sure you celebrate your friends!

5. Give back.

Every agency in town hosts holiday events, and it can be wonderful to give back whether at a meal program or by providing gifts to families in need. It is a reminder of what this time of year should be about. Bonus points if you find a way to engage your family’s younger generations as well!

6. Let it go.

Lives and families change over time, and traditions might too. Your daughter may spend the holidays with her in-laws or you might lose a family member. Don’t make the holidays about ego and perceived rejection — be nimble and flexible in the face of change and find new ways to celebrate.

Thank you to Dr. Ramani Durvasula for sharing her advice with us just in time for the holidays! Be sure to stop by her website for more advice on everything from relationships to health and wellness.

Meet Rhonda Caudell: Family Caregiving Coach


Readers.com asked midlife topic experts to share special advice on everything from healthy living to planning for retirement. Our experts’ uplifting stories will inspire you to approach every situation with a Glass(es) Half Full mentality, so check back each month for more in this series and like us on Facebook for additional tips!

This month’s Glass(es) Half Full post is written by Rhonda Caudell. Rhonda is a relationship and communication expert who helps families work through caregiving solutions. She believes developing long-term strategies and focusing on the positive of caregiving, rather than the negative, can tremendously help families confront what can often be an emotional time. For more information on Rhonda’s Endless Legacy coaching services, visit her website! Read on for her expert guidelines and advice on:

How to Be a Better Caregiver

Rosalynn Carter once said: “There are only four kinds of people in the world, those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.” If you are a caregiver or are just beginning to see signs that your aging parent is losing their ability to live independently in a safe manner, you are not alone. As the population ages and more people develop chronic illnesses, the number of adults who find themselves caring for a sick or elderly family member continues to increase.

Another common thread among these adults is that no matter your age, education, or life experiences, most people are at a loss when it comes to the “how-to” steps of caring for aging parents. If you still have one or both parents living and you choose to accept the fact that they may need your help as they continue to age, I offer you the following list of helpful strategies and tips. This methodology behind caregiving can positively affect both their future and yours!

Note: Perhaps you are already a parent caregiver and things aren’t going so well. If that’s the case, use these guidelines to help change your strategy as if you are starting all over.

Caregiving Tips and Advice from Rhonda Caudell

1. Assess the conversations you currently have with your parent(s):

  • Do you do most of the talking, or do they?
  • What are they saying, or not saying, about their future?
  • Are you truly using your best listening skills during conversations?
  • Does what they say and what they do match?
  • Is it difficult to get them to consider the possibility of needing help?
  • Do they treat you as if you are still their child and not a responsible adult?
  • Do you speak to them as if they are a child?

2. Adapt conversations and develop strategies that lead to a long-term care plan:

  • Ask questions and listen in a way that will allow your parents to open up to you about how they want to live out their final years.
  • Write down what they say even if it is not realistic. Your goal is to help them find a plan as close as possible to what they want, while keeping in mind what is realistic.
  • Have a family meeting to set guidelines for the future.
  • Reaffirm that all actions are from love and respect for the parents and will only be taken with their permission.
  • Plan steps and actions that will allow them to remain as independent as possible for as long as possible.
  • Solicit anyone’s help who is willing and list what actions they can provide.
  • Gather your team of professionals to help: legal, financial, in-home care providers, physicians, pharmacists, and social service providers (to name a few).
  • Identify others to help: church members, neighbors, friends, or extended family.

3. Implement the plan and adapt as situations change:

  • Create a communication system that allows everyone on the team to get regular updates and report the results of their actions.
  • Have backup plans and crisis prevention where possible.

If you work through these guidelines and still, none of your efforts seem to be working, it might be time to seek the assistance of an objective party. Get in touch with someone of integrity and authority who your parents trust, a professional conflict mediator, or a skilled geriatric care professional to help work through tough issues.

Thank you Rhonda for these helpful tips on developing an effective and thoughtful caregiving strategy! For more guidance from Rhonda, head on over to her coaching site Endless Legacy

4 Steps to Health & Happiness in Midlife

Glasses Half Full

Readers.com asked midlife topic experts to share special advice on everything from healthy living to planning for retirement. Our experts’ uplifting stories will inspire you to approach every situation with a Glass(es) Half Full mentality, so check back each month for more in this series and like us on Facebook for additional tips!

Meet Debra Boulanger, our latest contributor in our Glass(es) Half Full series! Deb is an expert in helping women over 40 renew their lives, often after a time of crisis or change. She approaches the women she coaches with objective-based plans to help them actively work toward new goals in health and happiness. Whether it’s issues with food, relationships, or work, Deb loves helping women move closer to living a happier life on their own terms. Read her guest post below for inspiring advice for women and four steps you can take now to begin your transformation!

Deb Boulanger

Here we are – in midlife! You might find yourself asking, how did this happen so quickly?

Where’s the energy I used to have?
Why can’t sleep through the night?
Where is the passion, excitement, and fun in my life?
What happened to my brain?
And by the way, have you seen my glasses?

Don’t get me wrong. I love being my age. I’m 57 and have never been happier or healthier than I am right now. But I had to do some work to get here, and in the process, I created a formula for health and happiness that anyone can follow.

Most women I work with don’t start paying attention to themselves until something goes wrong — a scary health report, divorce or death of a spouse, an unplanned career change, or a sudden heartbreak from an empty nest. It’s then when they wake up and say, “What about me? I’ve spent so many years taking care of everyone else around me, what do I do now?”

Great question. What do you do now?

Here is my four-step guide to health and happiness in middle age. Start now! There’s no sense in waiting until something goes wrong. The amazing part about this process is that once you start changing your life in one area, you will start looking around you and creating more ways to feel happier in other areas. You’re not getting any younger, so what are you waiting for?

Step 1: Start where you are.

The first step is to make an honest assessment of what’s working and what’s missing in your life right now. I created a quick and easy quiz called The Happiness Quotient® that will help get you there. Hint: you can go ahead and take it now, here!

Step 2: Create your vision.

Where in your life are you least satisfied? Start asking yourself: “What does it look like when I feel happy and satisfied with my health, money, relationships, career, or spiritual life?” Get a journal and paint a wonderful future vision of how you would like to feel. What would you be doing? Who would you be doing it with? What does being happy look like to you in that area of your life?

Step 3: Pick a starting point.

Ask yourself, “What one thing could I do right now to move me closer to that vision?” It could be to schedule a date with a friend. Take a walk. Eat organic and healthy foods. Create a budget. Ask for a raise. Start your own business. Meditate or pray. Whatever it is for you, make a promise to yourself to take action!

Step 4: Watch out for your inner critic.

We can’t help it. Each of us has an inner mean girl. She keeps you safe, but sometimes keeping you safe also holds you back. She may say things like, “You could never afford that.” “You won’t stick to that routine, you’ve fallen off the wagon before.” “Who is going to date you at your age and in that body?” “Why should I ask for a raise, I probably won’t get it.”

It hurts to hear it out loud, but it’s true isn’t it? Now is the time to live outside your comfort zone. Staying in your comfort zone is what got you here in the first place, so tell your inner mean girl, “I’ve got this.” I love midlife because every day is a new opportunity to push myself further, try something new and bust out of these self-limiting beliefs.

Since my divorce four years ago, I have completely changed my diet and started my own business. I meditate daily and have found new love. But I didn’t do this all on my own — I had a team. I tapped top experts who could guide me on the path of where I wanted to be. I hired a health coach, a career mentor, and even a love coach. I called them Team Deb.

Think about it: Who do you want on your team?

I have an amazing vision for my future and take steps every day to ensure that my next number of years on this planet, however long that might be, will be lived to the fullest!

Thank you to Deb for taking the time to give us such valuable, motivating advice! Make sure you visit Deb’s website and check out more of her resources on living a healthy and happy midlife!