A Lesson From My 90-Year-Old Baba

A Lesson From My 90-Year-Old Baba

"Do the little things, because those little things just might be big things to someone else."
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In the midst of being a college student and preparing myself to go back to my busy school schedule, I realize just how much of the summer was spent being just as busy as the school year. I get so wrapped up in my jobs and my social life that I forget to take a step back and enjoy what should be important to me. I try my best to schedule my life so that I'm busy at least 14 hours a day. On my days off, I need to stay busy and get housework done or go shopping or have plans with my friends. If I'm sitting at home, I feel lazy.

It wasn't until my 90-year-old Russian Great-Grandmother set me straight. These days, Baba doesn't get to do much of anything. She's a tiny, old, white haired woman with a big heart and a lot of sass that stays in her house to put puzzles together and watch every news broadcast throughout the day. I make sure to spend as much time as I can with her and listen to the words she has to say. 90 years is a long time to be alive on this planet, so I can assume she knows this place better than most of us. Conversations with her mostly consist of her asking me what's new, and me replying with "nothing much" because explaining the latest technology or social media would simply take much more time and energy than I have to give.

This conversation with her was different.

Every year, the town next to us has a fireworks show for one of their festivals. She asked me to drive her the three miles just so she can sit in the car and watch them. Of course, I whip out my phone and go through my calendar to see if I have a spot available in my schedule for her. In the meantime she says, "You kids are always too busy to do the little things even when those little things are big to someone else." At first, I thought nothing of this and continued scrolling through the hundreds of color coded tasks that filled my calendar. Once I got to the date of the fireworks, her words hit me. I had to free a spot for her.

Then I realized how pathetic I was that I had to make time for my little old Great-Grandmother who just wanted to watch some fireworks in a car with her Great-Granddaughter on a Sunday night. My heart broke instantly.

I think the lesson of all of this is to slow down. Time is our enemy and before we know it, our color coded lives are going to be shriveled down to nothing. If there's ever a time where you have to choose between adult responsibilities or your family, always choose your family. Take time to relax and smell the roses. Take a walk every once in a while to clear your mind. GO SEE THE FIREWORKS. See a movie. Live your life to the absolute fullest, but don't make the "fullest" just be a packed work and school schedule with no time for fun.

Take my Baba's advice and do the little things, because those little things just might be big things to someone else.

Cover Image Credit: Spongebob

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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9 Reasons Your Grandparents Are The Best Gifts You'll Ever Receive

They love us unconditionally and are always there to lend a helping hand.

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Grandparents are special. They are the leaders and foundations of our families. They love us unconditionally and are always there to lend a helping hand. The spoil us way too often! My grandparents mean the world to me. The picture above is one of my favorite photos with both my mother and my grandfather when I was a little girl. They are some of the best people in my life and have always set a good example for me. Cherish them while you can because they won't always be around! Here are nine reasons your grandparents are the best gifts you'll ever receive!

1. They give the best advice.

2. They have a lot of life experience and are willing to share it with you.

3. Their smile makes your heart warm.

4. They are so intelligent.

5. They have the best stories to share.

6. They are a great example of love.

7. Their hugs are like no other.

8. They spoil their grandchildren.

9. They love you unconditionally.

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