In my day to day life, I spend a lot of time focused on my career. I work long hours and, if I’m not working, I keep myself pretty busy.
For just a few days this summer, I decided to hop a plane to Phoenix, Arizona and spend some time with my Grandma who recently had a stroke. I hadn’t seen her in 6+ years so a visit was long overdue. Just a few short days with her really put a few things into perspective.
It was her 88th birthday. Life goes by faster than you think, but 88 years is a lot of years, a lot of experiences and a lot of really great stories. So, we spent some time enjoying the little things – the things you don’t stop to be grateful for when you’re focused on growing up, staying busy and making a career for yourself.
We celebrated her 88th birthday with decorations and Kneader’s Cinnamon Rolls. I told her to take a big bite.
We woke up, filled bird feeders and watched the birds.
We sat inside and watched the birds. We sat outside and watched the birds. We watched a lot of birds.
We ordered UberEats and a Chinese feast arrived at our door. Grandma ate her entire plate of her request – Egg Fu Yung, an egg rolls, cream cheese wontons & lo mein noodles. She loved it!
We told stories. She talked about being born in the Great Depression, about Studebaker cars & how she was one of the first people in her hometown to buy a TV for her family. They were only able to get 2 channels at the time.
We played late night games of Rummy.
We watched Westerns.
We talked about all the books she has read. We talked about politics. We spent a lot of time talking.
We laughed and we laughed some more.
And when I left, I was a sobbing, crying mess in the Uber all the way to the airport. But I got to walk away with these special words from my Grandma:
“Wow, you’ll be 29 in January. Well, I’m 88 and this life is good so go live it. You’ve got a lot of years left and you are just absolutely beautiful. I can tell you’re happy…it shows.”
I wouldn’t trade those days for anything. Go for what you want. Buy the designer handbag and the too-expensive mascara, but don’t forget to appreciate the little things every now and then.
Some day you’ll hopefully be 88 years old and looking back on your life – so fill your years with experiences so you, too, have lots of stories to tell.