Some of it was bitter, some of it was sweet, but advice was always dished out with love and in more than ample amounts, like bubbie’s food always was. Just today, I had a hankerin’ for one of my favorite gorwing-up foods, a special chocolate-filled kuchen and wish I had the recipe.
I remember sitting at her kitchen table watching her bake and trying to copy the recipe. “How much flour did you just use, Bubbie?” I asked. “A bissel, like this,” she said, and showed me a handful. “But how much is that? A cup? More?” She answered, “You just have to feel it – not in your hand, in your heart.”
Try as I might, my kuchen just doesn’t have the same rich, chocolately sweet taste – but it’s darn close. Bubbie never wrote a cookbook or any other kind, for that matter, and it’s too bad, because she always had advice or a comment, and when she spoke to you, you knew you were loved – no matter what.
This all makes me wonder what kind of advice I’ve given my kids and will give my grandkids — good? bad? silly? Will any of it stick? While I don’t think of myself as a grandparent full of wisdom, I suppose that it all goes with the territory and I should probably think about it for a while.
When I read the following list, authored by Regina Brett, I thought these life lessons were all something my grandmother might have said at one time or another. I KNOW she said the first one – and I followed her advice!
1. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.
2. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
3. Always choose life.
4. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
5. Believe in miracles.
6. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
8. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
9. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
10. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
11. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
12. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.
13. Forgive everyone everything.
14. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years, will this matter?”
15. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
16. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
17. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
18. Growing old beats the alternative – dying young.
19. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
20. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
21. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
22. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
23. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
24. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
25. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
26. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
27. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
28. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
29. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.
30. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
31. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
32. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
33. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
34. Pay off your credit cards every month.
35. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.
36. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
37. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
38. The best is yet to come.
39. The most important sex organ is the brain.
40. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
41. What other people think of you is none of your business.
42. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
43. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
44. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
45. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
47. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.
48. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
49. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
50. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
What wisdom did your grandparents pass along? Share them with us.