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Dorothy's Nine rules

Dorothy's Nine rules

When my mom passed away, I had the difficult task of going through her bedroom. My mom and dad spent the last years of their lives living in the little farm house that my dad helped his father build when they were homesteading in Idaho - starting with one room and adding on as they went. The bedrooms were small, and her “nightstand” was a board that had been affixed to the wall next to the bed. On that board were poems she had written, some reader glasses, and a sheet of paper with a list of nine items on it.

At times, she had shared with me her evening and morning rituals. In the evenings, she would always reflect on her day and then think good thoughts about her children, depending on what she felt they might be going through. For me, she told me she usually thought about me not worrying so much, or working so much, that I would find peace and happiness in my life (still a worrier, trying to work less). Every morning, she reminded herself a certain things to do, and now I know what those reminders were. On that sheet of paper, she had written:

  • Read educational material 1 hour daily

  • Take notes on it to make myself write

  • Sing 10 minutes daily or hum

  • Find something to laugh about daily

  • Exercise 5x a week

  • Write a letter once a week

  • Appreciation once a week

  • Gratitude daily

  • Social visit 2 times a month

So I finally understood the intellectual and emotional health changes she made along with the nutritional adjustments she made to improve her health. If there is a roadmap for a healthy life as we age, she charted it.

Nutritionally, she became a “flexitarian” before that was a term. To counter the inherited health issues she was facing, she started to eat meat sparingly and add lots of fruits and veggies. And of course, every morning she ate the hot cereal we’re going to be selling as our first product. Almost every morning. She was the first to admit she wasn’t perfect and would indulge in sweets too often. Her greatest weakness, she would sigh, was our Aunt Una’s banana cream pie. It would rarely last more than a day. 😂

I hope you find this list as meaningful as I have. I was pretty good on most of them, but I’ve added note-taking and letter-writing to my daily and weekly activities. I think it’s going to become part of the “employee handbook” as the company grows and we hire people. I can’t think of a better foundation for a company’s culture, building on many forms of capital.

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