Remembering all the things my grandmother taught me 41



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Do you remember what your grandparents taught you? The times they tried to share something important with you, something that might have helped shape your life?

The role of grandparent can be an important one, imparting some of the life lessons you have learned from almost a lifetime on this planet.

You can teach your grandchildren about the family history, tell them what life was like when you were young, share games you know and even teach them a skill like knitting; all things that will stand them in good stead.

There’s another important thing a grandparent can be: a good listener. Just listening to your grandchildren talk about what’s going on in their lives can be a great release for them.

My grandmother in particular was also good with “one liners”, short pieces of advice she’d picked up somewhere that held important life lessons. Here are just a few she used to love to come out whenever she considered it appropriate – I’m sure you can add many more sage words of advice from your own grandparents.

Be polite to everyone

“It doesn’t cost anything to be polite,” my grandmother used to tell me.  She was a firm believer in thinking the best of everyone and turning the other cheek. “Besides, a nice smile can be the perfect response to someone’s rudeness,” she used to add cheekily. “It gives them absolutely no come back”.

Live every day to the full

Make the most of life. It’s a gift. However bad a day might be, it is still a heck of a lot better off than being 10-feet under. Think of what other people are going through and tell yourself how lucky you are.

Yesterday is yesterday

Don’t have regrets. What is done is done. Look forward and not back.

Look at the doughnut not the hole

This is actually something my mother used to say rather than my grandmother, but it still holds very true. It means adopting a glass half-full attitude rather than glass half-empty attitude.

Listen to other people, but do what you want to do

Take advice from any good source you can, but when it comes down to it, do what is good for you. No one else knows exactly how you feel and what is best for you. They might think they do, but they don’t.

Have fun

Laugh every day and cultivate a sense of humour. A good belly-laugh can brighten the hardest day. The saying “Laughter is medicine” is very true. That’s why some hospitals have laughter rooms.

Be social – humans weren’t meant to be loners

Don’t lock yourself away – try to be a social person. You’ll be much happier if you cultivate friends, especially when you’re older and your children have their own lives.

Don’t sweat the small stuff

Try not to overreact to things that seem momentous at the time. It’s amazing how a night’s sleep and the distance of time will help make even the biggest issue seem smaller.

What have you learned from your own grandparents? And what have you taught your own grandchildren, or would like to teach them when they are old enough? Any other advice you’d like to share here?

Originally published here

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I was brought up by my Grandmother and my working mother and my Nan also often had a few one liners for me including her favourite (in retaliation to my sometimes stubborn attitude) “don’t care was made care”.

    2 REPLY
    • I think I can remember that version as well Maria.Quite a few of the other comments also refreshed my memory and most are familiar.I’m still filled with admiration when I think about their capacity for work.In our case cooking our meals including Christmas dinner on a slow combustion stove in 40C plus heat,wood fires,chip heater for the bath,copper for the laundry.etc,etc.ha,ha.And on top of that forging out a living as a very well known dress maker in our district. I’ve spent the last 47 years on the end of a bricklayer’s trowel and don’t pretend that I could even hold a candle to my Nan’s efforts.I absolutely worshipped the ground she walked on.

  2. My grandparents with one exception, died before I was born. The Nana I met and I didn’t get along I am told. Apparently as a baby she smacked me for touching things and had very little patience.
    I know she was ‘more Irish than the Irish’ though, she had some really funny sayings.
    Her parents came here from Ireland.

  3. Yes my grandmother helped bring me up and I think her teachings about life have help ground me and keep me alive thanks pearly xx

  4. My nanny had heaps of sayings that are so ingrained in my head… “Patience is a virtue, possess it if you can, seldom found in women, and never found in men…” And they were endless – I loved them, whether or not I understood them at the time.

  5. My grandmother always said. Neither a borrower, nor a lender, be. It always stuck in my mind, and to this day I pay for everything , when I buy. If I don’t have the money, I don’t buy it.

  6. My grandmother was a kind and gentle woman She always said if you can’t say something nice about someone don’t say anything Her name as a young girl was smile so she always said smile instead of frown She was a kind and gentle woman a real story book grandmother who I loved dearly

  7. One of friend’s grandmothers was always a very elegant woman. Two of her sayings I remember are ” if your skirt is wider than it is long throw it away” and “if you wore a fashion 20 years ago do not wear it again”.

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