Where to start? This seems so huge and daunting, what if I miss something or come off as too radical? This is the dilemma of creating a personal manifesto.

I have long had a personal mission statement that combines my unique ability, with my passions and values. But it’s more of a list of items than it is a passionate vision statement. It won’t get me into any trouble, alienate anyone or potentially have people thinking I am a little off my rocker. But it also doesn’t really get at the heart of who I am and what I care the most about. And so, because of this, I think its high time that I put it out there, put it all out there and let the chips fall where they may.

You may love me or you might hate me after reading this… but at least you’ll know where I stand.

First and foremost in my life is my relationship with God; it’s the lens I view the world through; it’s the measuring stick I use to help me be a better human. It’s not easy, but I believe with all my heart that LOVE is at the center of my GOD and if I do my best to follow the instruction manual, then I will love others as I love myself and forgive others as I wish to be forgiven.

My family is the center of my LOVE in everything and all I do. We are not just a family that politely greets each other at holidays with hollow how are you…we do life together. We hang out with each other and push each other to be our best, and help each other out when we are down; we are accountable to the “family”.

“Mom” is the greatest and most cherished name you can call me.

My journey is all about progress not perfection. I know I am going to screw up but that’s not what matters– what matters is how I handle it and grow; how I become better each day and always, how can I help others to do the same, just as many others have helped me.

I am blessed to have had so many in my life take an interest in me and have helped me to grow by mentoring, truth telling and challenging me to see past my perceived limitations. They often saw more in me than I did in myself and I am committed to paying this forward.

My instruction manual tells me that I am not supposed to do this “Life” thing alone. It is best done in community. As a type A, perfectionist introvert this creates some challenges. Everything is best shared with others, a great meal, a wonderful sunset, a tragic event, a winning game. Even an introvert like me recognizes when that something happens that touches my soul, my first thoughts go to, “Oh how I wish so and so was here to see this”.

I am an obsessive goal setter and have been since I can remember. I get great joy marking things off my lists. I may even add things in that I have already completed that day just to be able to mark them off. I believe that if you don’t know where you want to go, you won’t know when you get there. From the time my kids were 4 years old I have been goal setting with them and anyone else I could get to do it. I am passionate about helping others align their gifts or “unique abilities” with their passions, and then working with them to create a path to get there, one that can make it happen over and over again. Teaching someone to fish liberates them. These tools move them from Fear to Freedom.

I love art and was pretty good at it in High school; I even won the top award for the school as best female artist. However, I knew I could never be happy as an artist. I like to copy nature vs. create. So I chose interior design as it allowed me to be creative, yet within a system.

I was once asked a question, “if you had to replace your name on your tombstone with one word that others would recognize you by, what would it be?” I chose CLARITY. I had always been able to see things that others could not. Sometimes it was the right thing to do, other times it was a problem that needed to be fixed. My team jokes that I can spot a mistake quicker than anyone they know, it’s like it’s my superpower…most often however, I use my superpower for good…to run all the scenarios of designs and systems and come to the answer quicker, cheaper and better for the client.

Tweaking until I get it just right and then being able to deliver that quality to my customers repeatedly fits perfectly into my life’s work in senior living design. In senior Living design, it’s all about the tweaks to make the environment, furniture and flow better for the residents and staff. If, by adding a small detail to a chair, I can make it easier for someone to get in and out of it independently, then they can keep their dignity and be more active, and staff can help those that need it more, and everyone thrives.

This would not mean much if I was not so passionate about living life to the fullest. I was brought up that way, all my family were productive. When you retired you just stopped going to a “job” but you didn’t stop working. You helped with the younger generations and in turn they helped you. Your job was to help the family through your talents and with Love. I never heard anyone complain about the fact they were making Sunday dinner, or had to pick me up from school because I was sick. As my grandparents aged they lived with my parents or my aunts and uncles, sometimes rotating every month. A deep love developed with this multigenerational scenario that I am forever grateful. When I got the opportunity to work in senior living, I felt like I finally found my fit. I could positively impact the quality of life of seniors in their last season of their life through better interior design. It was important to me that family members of the senior homes I designed understood that their loved ones were living in a home that I would feel good about having my loved ones living in, too. This is my definition of success. By doing so I honor my family and theirs.

I love creating tools, and technology after all is just a tool no different than the wheel. The right tool can change everything. Imagine having to put together 25 Ikea bookshelves…..which would you prefer to use a regular screwdriver or a power screwdriver? I am willing to learn how to use the power screwdriver all day long, well not all day because it will actually take a lot less time than the regular screwdriver. This is how I see the use of systems and technology in design and how we can improve aging. Let’s face it were all aging and it will benefit us all the quicker we adapt.

Even though I design with the end goal that my grandmother or mother would be happy living there, I knew they would never want to go, nor be able to afford the places I design. I am the oldest daughter and my parents helped me with my kids when they were young, and when it was my time to pay that back I started thinking, “What if I could leverage the knowledge of the thousands of senior living homes I designed, my knowledge of aging in place, technology and my passion for my family and help others facing similar challenges?” So, I convinced my husband and kids, then my parents and grandmother for us all to move in together. It would be a “social experiment” AKA a cool way of saying we were all living together.

I think a great fear of aging is that people will only remember us as we are right before we pass, not the vibrant, full of life people that we are today trying to make the world a better place. I often think please shoot me before I can’t remember my name, have hairs growing out of my chin, my breath smells, I don’t enjoy food anymore and I am just existing…..so much so that my only visitors come out of obligation because I am not who I was and can no longer connect on any level. I know it sounds awful but this is not how I wish to live. For me this is dying.

I wish to embrace living and to utilize every trick in the book to do so, on my own terms, where I want and doing what I want. I want people to engage with me because I am fun, witty, creative, wise, beautiful, ornery and I add value to their lives.

I will use technology, love, friendships, learning, travel and family to connect and collaborate, to mentor and guide, to explore and transform. I am on a mission to help everyone else embrace living.

I will continue to design the best senior living & memory care homes, integrating the best technology & tools possible to create the highest Quality of Life for those that have given to the world and now need our help.

I will continue to develop products that create clarity, independence and increase flow. Better products and tools unburden us and allow us more time and space to create.

I will continue to tell the world about my “social experiment” and what works and doesn’t work living in a multigenerational family and how we use technology and communication to Thrive in Our Hive. If I can help only one family then it’s worth it.

I will continue to curate the best products available in the world to Embrace Aging, on your own terms, whatever that looks like at Best Living Tech.

And finally, I will continue to pay it forward. Just as others have mentored me, I will mentor and goal set, challenge and encourage all those that have the desire for growth, that want to change the world for the better by bettering themselves.

This is my Manifesto.

Lisa M Cini

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