I was lucky growing up…we lived near both sets of grandparents, and I spent a ton of time with them. Apparently neither my parents nor Misteris’s wants to move out in the boondocks with us, so my kids are missing out…and don’t even ask, Dad, we’re not moving either. Get some land in Colorado and then maybe we can talk.Β  πŸ˜‰

10458724_10152898619685975_5381105242731646626_nAnyhoo, my grandparents imparted a ton of awesomeness to me…maybe that’s partially why I’m such a neat person. (I’m laughing hysterically at my own “neat” comment, please do not read that as a serious description. I don’t actually consider myself neat by any definition of the word… I am neither non-messy nor super-cool.)

So…yeah…back to the topic on-hand, my grandparents passed on many wonderful nuggets of wisdom including:

 

Coffee is delicious and may be consumed by children as young as five, as long as there’s enough milk added.

Just ignore the snake in the birds nest above your head, it won’t bother you. (Oh wait, that one didn’t take…I’m still terrified of snakes.)

Storytelling is a form of magic!

Gender stereotypes are ridiculous. Men can love Riverdance, and women can be athletes who teach all their grandkids to dribble a basketball – like a boss!

10167991_10153990251020644_481666372_nOne of the lessons I learned from my grandparents that has really stuck with me is this –

“Just worry about the car behind the car in front of you.”

It’s what my Grandpa told me when I was scared about learning to drive. He quickly chuckled at his own wit and cleverness, and proceeded to make me laugh with such sentiments as, “If at first you don’t fricassee, fry, fry a hen.”

I was reminded of this last night when some friends and I were talking about relationships, and how freeing it is when you don’t tangle up the people you love with all of your expectations of them.

If I’m just worrying about myself, about my love for my husband that I vowed would last as long as we both shall live, then I can focus on ways to show him that love, and not on false expectations that he meet all the things that I’ve decided are my needs, and end up becoming bitter if he doesn’t.

{Side note…that was actually a horrible example, because Misteris is ridiculously awesome. I was going to write about a typical day around here a couple weeks ago, and realized it would go something like this,

“Misteris got up early with the kids and let me sleep in, then he took Smiles to the store with him to get all our groceries. When he got back he made lunch, then did dishes, and vacuumed everything…”

He spoils me so ridiculously there’s no expectation I could have of him that he doesn’t already go above and beyond.

So let’s put it this way…he frees me to flourish by not having expectations of me. I get to write my novel, and do photography, and unschool our girls, which is often messy and crazy…and I try to get the house clean before he gets home because I know he appreciates that, but if it’s not, I know he’ll help me take care of it, because he doesn’t expect that of me.}

Back to the wisdom from my Grandpa…it’s not just relationships that benefit from only worrying about the car behind the car in front of you.

dohI’ve been thinking about it a lot lately with my writing.

I can obsess about ALL THE THINGS in “advice for writers” articles, and all the query tips from agents, and all the rules and statistics and cautionary tales, and allow myself to be overwhelmed.

Or, I can let that all go. I can simply write my story and make it the very best story that I can (with lots of prayer and coffee), and then not worry about whether it follows the rules or whether anyone else will love it.

I can rest in knowing that God is in control. That doesn’t mean I won’t work hard and do my best, but worrying about things that are outside of my control anyway is wasted effort and ultimately not going to do me any good.

And on that note…I should really be working on my manuscript right now…and I need coffee. But I’d love to hear the best nugget of wisdom you gleaned from your grandparents! πŸ™‚

Wisdom from Grandpa

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