Tag Archives: wisdom

The sweetness of grandmother-granddaughter talk

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In a doctor’s waiting room, a very talkative grandmother tries to get her granddaughter’s attention. The 15 year old tries to read. The dialogue goes like this:

– You can read your book at home.

– I can read and listen to you at the sane time, grandmother. I finally learned how to do it.

– You can keep your book. In my younger days, I was reading books all night long. I was 18.

– I am 15, grandmother.

– You can still read your book at home. What’s in you backpack?

– School things.

– Look at this! The grandmother seems surprised by the way the girl’s colorful backpack is made.

She then goes on about the lost value of Christmas, her neighbor crazy driving, religious tolerance … .

The appointment was for the young lady. I thought “How sweet! The grandmother accompanied her grandchild!” I almost wished she would never stop talking. I wished she would turn to me to get me to listen while waiting for her granddaughter to come out of the doctor’s office.

Then I got it. It’s their special thing: a 85 year old grandmother – 15 year old granddaughter dialogue, tune, reverberation.

Here is to all sweet grandmothers-granddaughters joy of sharing!

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Simple wisdom from Regina Brett

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It is simpe and beautiful and worth sharing.

People often tell Regina Brett how great she looks for her age. Turns out, she is actually 54 years old — not 90. She wrote down these life lessons the night before her 45th birthday after being diagnosed with breast cancer. Over that past decade, these lessons have gone viral on the Internet amid claims that she is 90 years old. Luckily, she finds humor in this misrepresentation, knowing how many lives she has touched.

Whatever her age might be, these universal lessons are relatable to anyone who needs a little reminder of what’s important in life.

Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
When in doubt, just take the next small step.
Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
Pay off your credit cards every month.
You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
Save for retirement, starting with your first paycheck.
When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
You can get through anything if you stay put in today.
A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.
It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
Burn the candles; use the nice sheets; wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
Overprepare, then go with the flow.
Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
The most important sex organ is the brain.
No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years, will this matter?”
Forgive everyone everything.
What other people think of you is none of your business.
Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
Believe in miracles.
Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.
Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
The best is yet to come.
No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up.
Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
Yield.
Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.
If you want more inspiration from Regina Brett, check out her personal website!

My baby = my mentor

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So it happened that there were always excellent mentors in my life, at each stage, or at each important step I had to make. None however equals my baby, in her pure, prejudice-free wisdom.

I rediscovered my inner child. Who needed some serous healing. I was not even aware of the pain I was caring. Looking at my childhood through my baby’s eyes was a breakthrough experience, one of the kind. My baby met my inner child and they became dear friends. So, all is well.

I learned about detached attachment.  “Oops my knee hurts”, I would say. My baby will say in response ‘yes it hurts, but in a moment’. “If you really have to go to work, then go’ and she will wave good bye holding back her tears.

I relearned to change perspectives and move on without vexating for ages on an issue. I was upset and angered with the quality of refurbishing works, my baby was running happily around with no care or concern for uneven corners, small glue spots on wall paper, painted ceiling… All my baby needs is space, with no concern for who has not performed up to the contract.

I relearned the freedom of un-biased communication. My medical records stated that was a very social child. Something happening to that child in the mean time: family, kinder garden, school…. . Now both of us talk to everything and everybody. At the zoo, there was a monkey staring at us so I started talking to him and expressing my appreciation for all its abilities: the way it climbed, jumped, sharing his banana with me… well the result was a bit beyond pure joy of human to primates communication ….it exhibited to us all of its manhood :).  Luckily my baby has not captured it or I would have had otherwise to respond to her demanding ‘whys’ and this is not a topic I’ve done my research on yet :).

The list is not be complete without expressions of creativity on the living room wall :),  splashing, bubble making, laughing for no particular reason, dancing in the rain, staring with fascination at a bug in action, singing “I’am a happy, happy rabbit’ all day long…. .

I realized my ability to learn and relearn depends totally on me. On my openness and candor. All I had to do is to open my heart and let go.

They say a parent gets a second birthday on his/her child birth day. It’s only up to us to make most of it, with love…. and scented bubbles!

Let’s talk about aging. Part 2

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Age may wrinkle the face, but lack of enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.” – Danish Proverb.

I am surrounded by people of all age both in my working environment and my private life. Creative vibes among us are not about the birth year. The enthusiasm is that defining link which erases the difference between a 23 year old and a 90 year old. A lively interest in life is what differentiates us from others. That spark in the apple of the eye is what makes escalating mountains of life a piece of cake.  Have you noticed that some elderly complain about walking difficulties? It’s because they refuse to advance and forgot about that lively interest in life and all its gifts. Remember that next time you feel you feet hurting or legs aching.

This week-end I was looking for some presents for teenagers of my child’s God parents. Wanted something hand made in this era of gadgets. There is a pretty decent local artists’ square downtown in my current location. After half an hour of wondering about between walls of paintings and ceramics, I hear a voice of a lady eagerly suggesting to her customers what to choose from her offer. It’s the voice of a seventy something energetic lady. A proud owner of a splendid grey hair. Her face is wrinkled but her voice and soul is untouched. Obviously, it attracted me and couple of more customers. There were more customers with her than any other much younger vendors. I made my purchase there – a neatly made purse and a vintage bag – ok, ok, I admit … Betty White whispering to a giraffefor gadgets :).

This lady with eyes enthused with amazement for life told me she works for USD 1 commission per item sold and is happy about it, even if she has to carry all those tablecloths, carpets, paintings, purses and bags every day to and from the market, on a hot or rainy day. She shared how proud she is to have terrific grand children, one of whom is a sports’ champion with dozens of medals by age of eight. And that her daughter in law is expecting another baby ….

I carried on with a wide smile on my face and sparkling eyes….

Probably the author of that Danish proverb got inspired by a similar face and soul. Wisdom is eternal, isn’t it?

Coffee, chocolate, wisdom: combined

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I should be working on an assignment on inter-institutional coordination in complex emergencies. My mind took a break. A coffee and chocolate break. And not even feelling guilty about it. Love my mind!

I have two addictions – dark chocolate and wise people. Love them combined.

Every Friday morning it’s my beauty hour. Friday is the “day of Frige”, an Old English goddess, cousin with Roman Venus, goddess of beauty. It is kind of an explanation I give myself for indulging  all kind of beauty treatments on Friday. It’s also a nice prelude to week-end days.

So every Friday morning I go to a beauty salon to my beloved cosmetologist whose hands are beautifying my face for the last decade or so. She just turned 70. Before her divine massage she orders coffee. We chat about everything and nothing. This is The best coffee I ever had and hope to continue having for the next decade or so. It smells and tastes like no coffee on earth.

The feeling is similar to having a bottle of wine with a great person and still feeling alcohol-free as opposed to getting drunk from a sip of wine in an inappropriate company.

To make it even more magical I bring her chocolate desserts I bake, for us to celebrate these special moments. The way she tastes my desserts and appreciates the flavours stays with me for another week. Untill next Friday morning.

So why is this coffee so different? ….It’s the wisdom and gestures of this lady. The way she graciously puts the coffee on table, takes a first sip, ponders to feel it’s warmth and asks about how I have been. Her eyes are always illuminated by a magic internal light. She is always genuinely interested in conversation and in spite of her enormous life experience she is never in a hurry to give advice.

Such an organic and holistic approach – body & soul & mind – wrapped in an aroma of coffee & chocolate, with the fragrance of a facial masque, enriched with seven decades of life wisdom and served in a nonchalant and elegant way.

From the love of beauty and with the beauty of love.

Let’s talk about aging. Part 1

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In a recent interview, Woody Allen, 76 now, said old age does not automatically bestow sageness. He has not met my grandmother. And sageness comes in may ways.

I learned about aging beautifully from my grandmother who lived with great serenity through all kind of turmoil by age of 91. A mother of seven, a married women for 40 years with a husband in and out a war, seeing 3 of her children and her husband pass away long before her time, watching over 16 grand children and thirty something great grand children, a quiet belligerent to an authoritarian regime, a literate in an age of girls precluded from school, facing life with great dignity and faith for almost nine decades.

My biggest sorrow is missing her last moments on earth. But I know she knew I was there with and for her. As she was always there for me.

She was 58 when I was born. She came to visit me upon my birth. I have a feeling I chose my parents because I knew this way I’ll get to have one of most amazing people in my life.1557458_624206587650719_2093915408_n

One of my dearest memory of her is the smell her home baked bread and pies coming hot out of a brick oven she built herself. Her stories about fidelity and unconditional love for her husband – her parents were against her marriage to the guy as he was a poor orphan. Her stories of war time when she took care of her three young children born before her husband was enrolled into the army.

She was wisdom incarnated to me. Her support for all my endeavors was always there. One time she mentioned something about “need to learn to cook for your husband and kids”. My reaction – I was 14 – was something like “I’ll sure cook for my kids. For my husband – let him first deserve it!”. She made no comment whatsoever on the subject in years to come.  I am now a cook she is proud of and I cook with pleasure, not out of obligation.

She listened with passion about my achievements at school. Her quiet support made me want to achieve more. Before every single school competition she was in my dreams the night before – she would sit on a mountain and I would climb up to her. Needless to say, the second day I would take the first prize. I call it a ‘remote inspirational wisdom’.

Her wisdom would make her stay away from disputes or conflicts her grown-up kids were involved in their marriages. She will just be there, for them.

She knew nothing about  the Convention on the Rights of the Child, but she applied and preached nurturing children in a loved and protected environment all her life – she took her first borns through war.

She had basically no wrinkles. With no surgery and not a drop of beauty products on her face. It was her inner world reflected on the outside.  Only her hands would betray her age. She embraced her daily life with them and life left small prints on her hands, which stayed beautifully enchanting and calming till her last moments.

I learned from my grandmother that aging is part of life. It can be ‘golden years’. It can be ‘wasted years’. It can be a ‘great relief’. It can be ‘a great sorrow’. It can be anything we want to make out of it.

We have so many opportunities to learn about it before we get to that stage and choose how we want it to be. There are in my life now three dear friends. 55, 62 and 70 years old. Each with great stories and fantastic lessons about aging.  I’ll share them with you. Please do share yours.

To be continued…