Happy happy happpppyyy belated birthday to my 92 year old Grandmother! Her birthday was yesterday and we all celebrated with a delicious brunch at my parents house. Since moving back to Chicago, I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to be able to celebrate momentous occasions like this back with my family again.
I’m particularly lucky to have this lady still here and celebrate some huge milestones like the birth of her second great grandchild, my cousin’s wedding this past February and being able to spend time with her while she’s still here. Do you know that a few years ago she used to do kick boxing lessons? This woman is fierce and still sharp as a whistle!
I want to believe that those of who are lucky enough to spend time with our elders also know that important lessons they can teach us. My grandmother is the 5th out of her 7 siblings and as of today, only herself and her younger brother are still here. I’m praying to be able to live my best life in my 90’s like her and thought why not share a few of her wisdom with you all today!
1. Never Worry About The Little Things – My grandma is one to always look at the bigger picture when things come up. Why worry about things that may be out of your control? The little things will continuously plague you so instead of worrying, do something about it.
2. Always Eat Five Meals A Day – As a dietician, my grandmother has always shared with us the importance of eating a big breakfast, snack, a light lunch, snack and a light dinner. My Pop used to eat a loaf of bread for dinner ( not kidding ) and she was able to change his eating habits which ultimately made him loose weight and feel better about what she was eating.
3. Change Is Good – Most think of their elders as stubborn and never wanting to change but my Grandma embraces it. She raised my Dad and his 3 siblings in various states all across the US. In fact, my Dad moved 11 times during his childhood and went to 4 different high schools in 4 years. She said she never knew what the house was going to look like when they moved but she adapted and made it work.
4. Attend Church – A devoted catholic, she makes sure to attend church once if not twice a week. She told me that being within church helps her to think straight, set the right tone for the week and pray for those that need it the most. She always believes that our family has miracles including my preemie story which was prayed about by hundreds of thousands while I was in the hospital 31 years ago.
5. Treat Others With Kindness – It may seem crazy to some, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard a bad saying or word come out of my Grandma’s mouth. I’m sure she has at one point or another but I personally haven’t heard anything. If she disagrees with something someone says, she’ll always spin it around to say something kind about them. Treating those with kindness and respect is one of her many gifts.
6. Do What You Love – It’s easy to say this but wake up every morning and love what you do. It can be being a SAHM, baking, volunteering at a homeless shelter, golfing 9 holes with your best pals, traveling the world or making a movie. Whatever gets you out of bed and excited to start the day- keep doing that and don’t let the passion dwindle.
7. Help Those Less Fortunate – Before we moved my Grandma near our home a few years ago after my Pop passed away, she lived in Hilton Head and volunteered every chance she got. She would knit hats for preemies, read to those that had trouble looking at the pages, assist in Meals On Wheels to those in her community, bake treats for neighbors if they had fallen.. the list is endless with her. She always believes that if you help others, they will help you and we all need a little help from time to time.
8. Never Stop Moving + Learning – One of the most amazing things to witness is the way my Grandmother carries herself and still remembers everything. To keep her mind sharp, she works on crossword puzzles and reads at least two or three books a month. She also keeps herself active by walking with her scooter and if she can, climbs the stairs to keep her legs in shape. Again, she’s 93 years old and always tells us to keep ourselves as active as possible both in mind and body.
9. Laughter Is The Best Medicine – I often wonder if that’s what attracted her to my Pop because he was always sharing jokes, stories or wanting to make other’s laugh. She’s passed down that trait to her children, her grandchildren and I hopefully as well, pass down to my own. Whenever I’m feeling down or frustrated, laughing is the key to bringing me out of my funk.
10. Don’t Change For Other People – make people accept you the way you are or don’t accept you at all. Always say what you really think, even if it isn’t the cool opinion. When you’re true to yourself, you add beauty to the world- beauty that was missing. You should stay in line, just make sure its YOUR line.