Celebrating Two Lives

I’ve been on hiatus, that much is true. And now we’re in January, full of intentions, resolutions, and new beginnings. I’m finding it a struggle to get back into the world of blogging. It’s hard to know what is appropriate to share on the internet. Perhaps it is too much information to tell a group of strangers that my grandmother passed away, and I put the blog on the back burner. It doesn’t mean that Eat, Recycle, Repeat isn’t important to me. It’s one of the most important things in my life. But the internet doesn’t give me happiness. The internet is a tool that I use to connect with people. People give me happiness, and I needed to take some time & focus on that fact alone. It all comes back to the people factor for me – the human connection. So I’m not sharing the details of my personal life with a bunch of strangers, because this a community and you are my friends.

Grandma & her daughters

My grandmother died a few weeks ago due to complications from Parkinson’s. It is a sad thing, and losing a grandparent is part of life. The grief is natural.  I went back to the U.S. to celebrate her life and spend time with my family. As I sang Amazing Grace with all of my siblings & cousins at her memorial service, I was struck with the fact that this is the best legacy a person can leave: thoughtful, inspiring, loving youth to carry on the energy of a person’s life. She was stubborn, but also stubbornly committed to her family. She was a memory-maker; perhaps the most hilariously disorienting moment of living with my grandma one summer was learning that she was the instigator of many a drunken shenanigan with her bowling team. And she loved. Oh how she loved us all. It’s my hope to be a memory maker, a fierce advocate of family & friends, and a wholehearted person.

There are no good explanations, reasons, or logic for death. It just is. And until my moment, I intend to celebrate life with as much joy & laughter as possible. My sister is visiting me, and as we cavort around Japan we keep noticing small things that remind us of our grandmother. Mary has had me in painful hysterics the past few days – I had to tell her to stop making me laugh because it made me ache for breath! I find the best way to honor my grandma is by sharing laughter. She would have liked that.

First Sunrise of the Year

And I believe in carrying on her fiery energy by celebrating life for the both of us. For me, it is easy to make new lists & resolutions. The struggle is sticking with it. So I’m reviewing the Celebrate Life lists I’ve made in 2012 and making sure to finish them by my 26th birthday in March. I’ll include the full lists at the end, mostly to keep myself on track, but here are a few big things left on my plate from the 25 Things for Turning 25:

1. Get 25 people to make a $25 Kiva loan

5. Ride in a hot air balloon

11. Have a dance party

14. Inspire 100 people to do better by the environment

18. Teach a cooking lesson

25. Get 25 genuine bear hugs from 25 different people in one day. The plan is in motion for this one, and I’m excited for the third week of January!

I also continue to improve the quality of my life by following the Natural Living Test. I’ve got a small savings account going to achieve things on my ultimate Celebrate Life list (others call it a Bucket List), and I continue to make the most of the wonderful opportunity of living in Japan. I’m taking my sister to see Mt. Fuji tomorrow.

Saying goodbye is hard, but you can’t run away from it if you want to live wholeheartedly. So I’m back, engaging with life through the internet again, but doing it ever so slowly. The good news is I made tons & tons of food while I was home, so I’ve got a lot to share. Thanks for being here, and thanks for coming back!

Celebrate Life:

25 Things for Turning 25

Update on 25 Things & Sweet Potato Cakes

Natural Living Test

 

What’s in a Bucket? I remembered #24: Hike through New Zealand