Some food for thought

This June is my 93rd birthday. Each year, as I approach this date, I ponder all that’s happened in the world around me. Also, how thankful I am to still have the ability to write for the LVN each week and communicate with my readers. I’m truly blessed.

However, sometimes I get angry with myself. Too often I expect the best from others and am disappointed. One of these days I’ll learn to be quiet and not be so free with my advice. A case in point was the time I was out having dinner with my son Doug and needed to go to the restroom. I passed a table with three men sitting with menus. I overheard one asking, “What was good?”

Stopping in my tracks, I opened my big mouth, suggesting a few things, and moved on. Clear across that big dining room, Doug heard one of the men say, “Maybe the restaurant hired old ladies to recommend their food?” Then they all laughed, howling out loud. Thankfully, Doug didn’t tell me about this until we were at home. This old gal most likely would have made additional remarks to these men, and not about food!

That day I learned a valuable lesson. Keep your mouth shut and ears open. I was really depressed then, angrier more with myself than of those unkind “gentlemen.” So I got busy going through some information I collect for future columns. Maybe, I thought, I could read something that would put me in a better frame of mind? Then I came upon the following and it helped. I’ll paraphase these thoughts for you as follows:

For your health, drink plenty of good water. At breakfast eat like a king, for lunch eat like a prince and for dinner like a pauper. Eat more natural foods that grow on trees and plants and less food grown in buildings. Live with more energy, enthusiasm and empathy. Take time to pray, read more books, and play some games like Monopoly with friends and family. Get at least eight hours of sleep each night.

For your personality, be yourself, quit comparing yourself with others. Remember, you’re a unique individual, special in your own way. Stay away from negative thoughts or dwelling on things you can’t control. Save your energy for the positive things in your life. Know your limits; but try to improve yourself a little each day learning something new or exercising more. Don’t take yourself so seriously or waste precious time or energy on gossip.

Dream more while awake. Remember that envy is a total waste of your time. Be thankful for what you have rather than what others do. Forget past issues, and don’t remind others of his/her past mistakes. Life’s too short to waste time hating others, so don’t do it! Make peace with your own past, since you can’t change it, so it won’t spoil your future. Life’s a school and you’re here to learn.

Smile and laugh more. You can’t win every argument. Sometimes it’s better to agree to disagree. Call your family more often. Notice, I didn’t say E-mail or FAX or text. The sound of your voice is one the most important and wonderful things you can share with others. Spend time with those older and younger than yourself. In my case, the older is much harder to find. But it’s not impossible.

Attempt to make at least three people smile everyday. Don’t dwell on what others may think of you. What you know about yourself to be true is much more important. Remember that your job won’t take care of you when you’re sick, it’s friends and family that will. Do the right, not easiest, thing. Get rid of anything that’s not useful, beautiful or joyful. However good or bad you feel, get up and get dressed.

If I had my life to live over again, I wouldn’t fear making mistakes, for that’s how one learns to improve. I’d relax and limber up more. I’d be sillier and laugh one heck of a lot more than I’ve done this trip on planet Earth. I’d take things much less seriously. I’d take more chances, go on more trips, climb some mountains and swim in more rivers and oceans.

I’d travel lighter that I have, and start each spring barefoot. I’d go to more dances and ride more merry-go-rounds. I wouldn’t worry about having a raincoat or parachute.

I’d pick more daises. Now I feel better!

Edna Van Leuven is a Churchill County writer and columnist. She may be reached at


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