Here we are in another new year. 2018. It looks a little odd still. I used to worry about messing up the year when writing checks, but thanks to modern technology I rarely write a check anymore. Out with the old, in with the new….really? Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Every now and again I have, but not often. I do however, find that it’s useful to remind me to reflect on where I am, what’s happened in my life, and where I’d like to go next. What has served me well, and what do I need to change? What is no longer useful and needs to go?
That last one – what needs to go – has often been a tough one for me. Left to my own devices I’d probably become a terrible hoarder, the kind they put on TV shows. Well, I’d like to think not THAT bad, but there’s a smidgeon of doubt in the back of my mind. Especially when it comes to sentimental items, I have a hard time throwing them in the bin. But honestly, how many drawings that your children have made can you keep before it becomes a fire hazard? So, one thing I do try to do is go through my things in the new year, throw out non-useful items, pare down, and get rid of those things – physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally – that no longer serve me or my development as a good person.
BUT, “out with the old” doesn’t literally mean OLD. Grandmas are “old” but I’d never consider throwing her out. Grandmas, and Grandpas, have a lifetime of experience, wisdom, and stories to share. Or at least nuggets of it. No one is perfect. I am finding the younger generations, sadly my own kids included, often don’t realize the value of seeking out Grandma’s wisdom. I refer to “Grandma’s wisdom” in the generic sense of course. Grandma’s recipes, herbal remedies, stories about the family, stories about growing up, values, relationships, skills, crafts, all kinds of wonderful (and not-so-wonderful) things that make up the fabric of our lives and provide a sense of connectedness and identity. Once “Grandma” is gone, she’s gone. At least from this Earth. Unless we take the time to absorb Grandma’s wisdom while she’s with us, we lose a valuable part of ourselves and who we are, where we come from, and an opportunity to pass on knowledge and wisdom that she’s accumulated throughout her years. I wish our society still valued and respected elders.
I think everyone needs to feel a sense of connectedness, a comfort and confidence in their own identity. Surely that is at least one of the reasons for the popularity of Ancestry . com and sending in your DNA for testing. Often we are separated from our extended families due to military service, job opportunities, etc. But this apparently universal need for connectivity doesn’t disappear, so we try to fill the void in other ways, including social media.
Still, Grandma has her own unique blend of wisdom to share, one that can’t be found on the internet. So, while I no longer have any living grandparents or dad, I do still have my mom and stepparents and siblings who share a history with me and have many stories and nuggets of wisdom to share. Wisdom I hope to capture and share with my daughters. So while I’m sorting through my ‘closet’ and disposing of those things that no longer serve me, I want to be sure I keep and continue to seek Grandma’s wisdom this year.
Praying for many things for us in this new year, including more love and compassion for all, growth and success on our personal journeys. May you be always blessed. Happy New Year!