Keeping It Real — Really!

The world itself is truly amazing! No matter where you live or travel, look around – and really see your surroundings.

When was the last time you really took a close look outside? When was the last time you found a cozy spot (even in winter) to just look up at the sky or bent down to examine a beautiful flower or plant? Our mother appreciated every aspect of nature, no matter how simplistic. Without fail, nature always made her smile.

Even outside a restaurant, mom would always pause a few minutes to examine the flowers and plants in brightly colored containers. She’d point out her favorites, examine the leaves and the color, while giving us growing tips.

Mom never drove. She lived alone in a small senior apartment. She’d walk a few blocks down the street once a week to play a challenging card game of pinochle with other locals. It may sound boring, BUT if you ever sat in on one of those senior card parties, let me tell you – even with wheelchairs and walkers, it was a lively bunch! And when it came to playing cards, they were all ruthless! They may have had physical challenges, but when it got right down to it, most of them were as sharp as a tack!

No internet for Mom – she didn’t want it. She always looked forward to certain TV talk shows every day. She read the newspaper every day. Mom couldn’t travel, but she read countless books and magazines and they could take her on an armchair journey. She went to church and enjoyed interacting with other members.

Mom would rather pick up the phone and talk to us instead of seeing a boring heart emoji on a text, Facebook or email. Facebook and email are fine sometimes, but you can’t hear any laughter or real emotion. No email or post can hold a candle to hearing someone “live” telling you how much they love you and miss you – live conversations keep it real.

In today’s fast moving digital world, it’s easy to spend countless hours online – and for precious time to slip away! It’s easy to lose that one-on-one personal connection. Take a step back – what about you?

I’m NOT knocking the digital world. It’s a great resource for information. It can help you order goods or services without leaving your home. This is especially important if you’ve lost mobility or don’t drive. It allows you to research doctors and medical treatments. It gives you lifestyle tips and ideas, recipes and more. Use it – but don’t OVER use it!

The real world is around you. Savor it, enjoy it. Try new restaurants, take a nature walk, enjoy sitting outdoors with a refreshing glass of lemonade and maybe even a good book. Meet a friend face-to-face, if even for just a cup of coffee or lunch. Shop in a real store with real people. Feel and see the quality of the merchandise (something you can’t do online). Even if you only have a balcony or small patio, start a container garden of flowers or herbs (watch our “nature” category for gardening tips).

If you can’t get out, enjoy reading a good book. Start a new hobby that you can do at home. Never did a jigsaw puzzle? Start with an easy one (500 pieces or less) of a bright and happy image (plenty choices online). It’s a challenging hobby that will give you hours of entertainment and also helps to keep your mind sharp. You can even work on it while watching TV. Word Search, Sudoku, or Crosswords and other puzzles and games have been proven to help keep your brain sharp at any age!

The digital age is truly a wonder and for many, a life-saver. BUT, don’t let the digital world overshadow the real world. The real world is meant to be consumed, to live and enjoy to the fullest – you can’t do that if all your time becomes digital.

Real vs. Virtual – it’s all about “balance.”

Our family has learned so much from our mother. She never stopped learning and appreciating the real world until the day she went with God. I can still see her sitting on her tiny balcony, looking up at the sky, admiring the unique formation and beauty of the clouds. She smiled. She was happy. She appreciated the little things, she appreciated real life.

Mom may be gone, but her inspiration lives on. I hope “she” has inspired you, too.

We miss you mom, you are always in our heart.

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers everywhere!



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