I just watched a segment about an interview with Maya Angelou and how her mother and grandmother shaped her life. She spent her early years with her grandmother and so did I.
My mother died when I was eight leaving my two sisters and I with my father who had to work in the city to support us. We went to live with our grandparents in a small country town. That was great for me because I had always loved to go there. My grandpa would read wonderful story books to me and cook my favorite foods.
As I grew older, I would test the limits as I tended to be a bit of a brat. My grandma taught me respect for people and why it was important to love them and Jesus too.
My grandma loved learning and always had a book open at the kitchen table. She was a great role model. Perhaps the best education she could have given me was through lengthy discussions about all kinds of things. Health, books, what was happening in the world. Her inspiration provided the confidence that I could accomplish anything that I set my mind to. The only requirements were that these things be positive.
It did not matter that I was a girl. It never occurred to me that I would not be capable of pursuing my ambitions. I did not know what I wanted to do when I grew up so she gave me good advice to take business classes so I would be able to at least support myself. She taught me how to cook, how to sew, and how to comparison shop and make a budget. I was independent early. She had taught me well.
Even though she did all of these great things, I somehow felt that at times I did not live up to her expectations. She was not overly affectionate.
My grandfather, on the other hand provided the balance of unconditional love that I needed. He would tell me as an awkward teenage girl that I looked good. I always felt that he loved me for me. He would make sure that my car ran well and nothing squeaked for longer than he could find the can of WD-40 to fix it.
He took me fishing and taught me “to never let go of the pole”.
Some times that is how it is in life. When you start something, you have to have the persistence to keep going even when it isn’t easy. Resilience. Persistence. Resourcefulness. These are the qualities that are going to keep us in the game of life when it is easy and when it is hard.
Think back on your own life and you will see that it was likely the hard times in your life that have shaped you more than the easy ones. We can pass these traits on to the next generation when they see us in action.
If you would like help with your life balance and career, please schedule a time on my calendar. I would love to speak with you. https://calendly.com/choosejoy/discoverysession