Today has been a true and real struggle. Last Thursday my aunt Joan passed away, too soon, after living for 65 glorious years.
I choose to honor her by speaking, alongside my sisters.
I post this today, here because she was an avid supporter of my travel blog. The most energetic encourager to my constant wanderlust.
I’m up here today to talk about her as my role model.
Joan didn’t ever tell us what to do, she didn’t impose her opinion onto us. instead she tended to show us, through her example of life, what it is really like to live out your personal best.
A few days ago, I was raking her lawn and picking up acorns. I had ample time to think of all the things she has taught me….all of us. So I decided to make a list as if she verbalized her examples.
Take care of your health.
Eat your vegetables. Take your vitamins
Remember desserts in moderation.
If you’re going to have a drink, try merlot.
Sit up straight. Put your shoulders back. Posture is important!
If you walk, put pep in your step.
Be frugal with a dollar.
Save your pennies and travel.
Explore foreign streets. Experience new cultures. Eat adventurously.
Take road trips and go see what our 50 states have to offer.
Remind yourself that wanderlust is ok.
When you travel Send postcards.
When you’re home, Write letters
Do your best to take photos. (It’s ok to leave the lens cap on or if the timer didn’t work!!!) Just try your best.
Work hard. Work passionately. Geek out with geometric shapes and the quadratic formula…We all can impact many lives by what we choose to do with our service. Enjoy that unquenchable thirst for knowledge. Remember, never stop learning.
When you find quality friends,
Work hard to keep them. Share life with them often….a tea at home or travel the world. Listen well, they’ll appreciate that.
Be enthusiastic in your endeavors.
When you’re proud of others accomplishments – give them a good shoulder shimmy. (Joan’s excited move!)
Use your energies to volunteer.
Give your time to help make a difference.
Get involved in your community.
Join a club.
Work to be a small change in the world.
Be a role model.
Remind yourself: Positive attitudes will attract others with positive attitudes.
Respect this earth. Recycle. Treat a good lawn like gold and stay on the sidewalk. “John and Quinn-do not cut those corners.” Compost your leftovers and rake your yard. It’ll be peace upon your soul. Enjoy every flower!
Keep your hands busy. Sew. Make a quilt. Cook. Do a puzzle.
Practice your faith. Let Jesus walk with you. Do as he would. Actively participate with your church.
(Now remember, I’m speaking from Joan’s perspective)
Get married. Enjoy the profound bond with a life partner. Have a child and let your life be forever enriched. Teach them everything good.
Make the most of memory making. Get season tickets to a children’s theater. Take dance lessons. Enjoy a good Midwestern parade.
Take care of your parents. Tell them why you love them. Remember how they helped you and do your best to help them.
Love your siblings, even if you live different lives now, because they’re the link to your past.
Smile in adverse situations. Take a deep breath and stay cool. Keep your head on your shoulders and always stay humble
Remember where you came from. On occasion, eat like your ancestors. Know your family history. Celebrate it.
Show kindness through action, to everyone and everything. Express gratitude. Spread love through your relationships, your words and by giving life all you can.
To close: You may not remember any of these specifics. Today is difficult on all of us. But maybe, when you get home or when you think back to Joan, If you can remember one thing, remember this is how Joan did it.
Just try to live your best. With exuberance and gusto.
Let love be your guide.