Family Gossip and the last of THE LIST

The picture above is a bit of history. The young man (he is now) on the left is the last grandchild to graduate from high school and is on his way to college. The boy on the right is the oldest great-grandchild and is now 9 years old. Jack and Ian were together on Saturday past for a celebration with champagne and good food and family gossip from an extended family that gets together for all the most important rituals. Congratulations and good luck to all the 2017 graduates and the newlyweds all over the place who will be walking down the aisle or standing under a canopy or wrapping themselves in a rainbow.

Below is the last part of the ultimate list:

12. On your birthday, or any other day with blue skies, text your friends and tell them you feel lucky to have lived to be _________your age.

11. Choose a favorite quote and put it under your signature on your email.

10. Write a loving letter to someone in your past who was difficult to deal with.

Don’t mail it–this is for you to help you have a THINK and maybe forgive the both of you.

9. Teach someone something you just learned. ( did you know they found lymph nodes in our heads?)

8. Go to an animal shelter with the intent of 10 pats or scratches on the heads or ears or tummies of dogs or cats or bunnies.

7. Get out of your rut by going to a different grocery store location–one managed by refugees new to the United States perhaps?

6. Buy (or steal from a public park)  flowers and give one each to strangers and tell them you are celebrating a special occasion.

5. Spend one day and evening out in Mother Nature….you remember her. No phone, just nature. If you can, be still most of the time and be mindful of all that you see. Notice how the systems of nature work together to create our world. Make sure you do deep breathing frequently to cleanse your blood stream and your tech cluttered brain.

4. Practice being curious–ask people questions beyond the polite ones that open a conversation. Read a book or pamphlet on a subject you have never heard of. Choose a different food when you are out for lunch.

3. Go to the site of a grouping of food trucks and watch the cooks and helpers and the variety of food we have available as a city and country. Give a big thanks to the farmers, producers, truckers and everyone involved in bringing us sustenance.

2. Write down one short story about your life that tells the most about what has been precious to you. Give it for safe keeping to a cherished person who can read it in 10 years.

NUMBER ONE

Stretching yourself in some way, small or large, every day is one of the only proven ways to stay vibrant and alive as long as you are alive. Always question yourself in the morning when you are planning the day, “how can I be mindful and alert today and move at least one step out of my comfort zone.” Move beyond where you think you can go.

Live a vivid life my friends,

Joanna

 

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Part Two of the Ultimate List

Now that you have all the assignments done from the first part of the list—here goes part two.

21. Read The Velveteen Rabbit

20. The day after a difficult local or national or international situation had saddened people, make a batch of cookies, buys a gallon of milk or cider or make tea and invite people to stop by to just talk and comfort one another. Remember it is more than ok to be sad, and to have a need to process the feeling,

19. On a day when you are mindful about your impact on people and you are out on errands, catch everyone’s eye you can and say hello–or hold open a door, or give a heartfelt compliment. A WHOLE DAY. How many positive encounters? Any negative?

18. Buy a board game at a garage sale or thrift store that was once a favorite. Start playing with someone once a week or even just once a month. Choose the time of day that can be the most difficult for you because of memories of happier times.

17. Get art into your life.  Visit a gallery (free), a museum (some free days and some reduced for seniors) or watch a documentary about a subject. A great movie or documentary is art. Now,  can you create some art just for the heck of it? I suggest for a mindfulness or cognitive exercise that you get the popular adult coloring book you most like and a new box of colored pencils and sharpener.

16. Ask someone you trust about how to stop being afraid of _______(whatever)

15. If you had a difficult time with number 17-and I know some of you did–go to an art store and poke around. There is also a cool book entitled Art Journal Courage by Wakley that will show you how to experiment.

14. Memorize a favorite quote that is meaningful to you and put it as your signature at the bottom of your emails. Change it up like to do your passwords….every 90 days.

13. Are your friendly enough?

My purpose in these lists is to show you that we can do so much more with the lives we have left to live.

My class at Ross Cherry Creek Library is on the 9th at 6 pm. Hope to meet you there or the next night at 5:30 at Green Valley Ranch.

Ease into spring,

Joanna