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Bikini by 82 and Aunt Pat

For many of you, this may be a scary thought, either to accomplish personally or to witness. It was a challenge that I recently gave to my mother, who just lost her sister to a brief, but devastating fight with cancer.

It has been a sad few years for our family, as we also lost my father less than two years ago. In preparation for my aunt’s services, my mother broke down and said she never thought she’d have to deal with two passing’s so quickly. She had envisioned living with her sister after my dad died and spending time on improving her health and wellbeing. During my dad’s illness, she become his caretaker and couldn’t travel, stopped working, and allowed her purpose to become taking care of him.

In March, I wrote a post asking: “Quarter 1 of 2015 was almost over, and had you made progress with your goals?.” I suggested that you list your goals with their corresponding “benefits” and “consequences.” Those goals that would produce either the greatest benefits by doing or avoid the worst consequences should be your priorities. 

If the benefits of “doing” are GREAT enough…then “do” it. If the consequences of “not doing” are BAD enough…then “do” it.

Five more months have passed and what have you done?  In that time, are you filling the pages of your life with great stories or are you wasting time and moments with television, technology, and sleep?

  • Talk to someone
  • Pay attention to others
  • Do something nice

In today’s newspaper, I chose to look at the obituaries and tried to understand the impact of the lives contained in a one inch by two inch article. Some people were smiling, some were wearing uniforms… some passed peacefully and some were called to eternal rest. One man was married to his wife for 68 years and another spoke about a baby that was only on this earth for four weeks.

The other day there was a man in front of me waiting to pick up his prescription at the pharmacy. The man reminded me a little of my father, who was 82 when he passed away. He was bright-eyed and talked to everyone. In three minutes, I learned about his siz grandkids, his college education and even his son’s accomplishments. He was asked to give his birth date, and I overheard he was born in 1942. I quickly did the math and realized that he was only 25 years older than me. Scary… would I be wearing a hearing aid in 25 years, sporting compression socks with sandals, and argue with an employee over a US$5 rebate? If quarter 1 and 2 ended this quickly…yikes!

May you focus more on living lively and less about passing peacefully. My mother today serves as inspiration as she now goes to the local gym to swim and for sitting yoga.  She reads the paper every day and shares her learnings with us. She is thoughtful and writes handwritten notes to friends. She sends her grandkids things in the mail with dollar store gifts so they know she is thinking of them.   When my Aunt Pat was living she did so many things for others. When my parents did not have a car, she lent her brand new Volkswagon to my mom and dad to take on their honeymoon. She rented an apartment in Texas to take care of her grandkids when their father was sick.  She ignored her own medical requirements to take care of others.  She was unselfish.

“Most People Don’t” live their lives fully.  “MPD” improve.  “MPD” embrace the present.  “MPD” do things for others.

Please make sure that you “do” when others “don’t.” This is the reason why we all entered into the hospitality industry and it will make a difference to them and to you.

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