One of the best things you can do for your soul is spend some time with the elderly. It reminds you of a number of really important things:

1. Companionship and friendship is totally undervalued now, but so precious later on. Cultivate the friendships that bring out your best side and provide you with genuine encouragement and support. Drop the people who undermine you or make you feel inadequate- you’re just not that into them.

2. Being empathetic, generous and genuine will get you much further in life than if you only focus on your own life goals and strategy.

3. Spirituality and faith is pretty important- life’s going to throw some curly confrontations your way, and your rational cynicism will soften and search for reassurance through other realms or divine sources.

4. Learn to cook and host a lunch/dinner/general food event. The best way to keep company is to feed them. Be generous with your portions and always offer more and more until your guests get exasperated at you (just like Leone did with Giovanna today- she’s Italian and picture 1 shows just how much we ate. A veritable feast.)

5. Don’t get all caught up over the fact that you still feel like a 16 year old in a

[insert current age] year old’s body.  Your inner child is your gift.  You’ll never lose your sense of fun if you always acknowledge and appreciate your inner kid. Picture 2 shows Leone, 90 years young, swirling around on a big round swing. It was getting dark, we were full from Giovanna’s and the swing presented itself like a big, shiny Christmas present. We sang choons, took turns pushing one another and generally acted very, very childish. It was ridiculously fun.