A Lesson I've Learned From My Grandparents

A Lesson I've Learned From My Grandparents

Get enough sleep, eat enough food, work hard enough.
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Old people are the greatest. I'm blessed enough to have lived for 20 years surrounded by them. I spend most of my time around my grandparents. I enjoy hearing the stories of their younger years. I enjoy my grandmother's cooking. Most importantly, I enjoy the lessons I take from them.

Being old must be very difficult. Your bones ache, you get dizzy, and you just don't have the energy that you used to; this is my assumption of what it's like to be old. Now-a-days, my grandparents don't get to do much of anything. My great-grandmother spends most of her time putting puzzles together and watching NASCAR races. My grandmother enjoys playing old school solitaire with her physical deck of cards instead of using the computer program; crazy right? Retirement sounds beautiful, doesn't it?

I think the beautiful part of it is that my grandparents finally made it. They may be old and crumbling, but they made it to the point in their life that they can finally take a breath and relax. Looking at them, I envy that they can do this every day. They put their time in, and now they can enjoy it. This is at least what I try to think of when I'm working 40 hours a week on top of being a college student. I'll eventually get there one day, too. At least this is what I used to tell myself to ease my mind until my grandmother showed me differently.

Every time I go to her house, she feeds me, gets out a blanket so I can take a nap on the couch, and throws a 20 in my pocket to "buy myself a pizza during the week". By her doing this, I learned the most important lesson of being an adult; don't forget to take care of yourself.

My grandmother explained to me that when they were growing up, it was a different time. They were able to have any job and pay their bills. They didn't need to work a full-time job while going to school just to afford to eat. They knew how to relax and have fun. There wasn't the economic and societal pressure there is today to go to college, work 2 jobs during college, get a real job just to pay off college, to raise children who go to college, just to see the cycle repeat itself. It was a much simpler time with three basic rules; get enough sleep, eat enough food, work hard enough.

Today, we certainly have the working part down, but we have let it control our lives. Some of us put so many hours in a day that we forget that we need to eat 3 meals a day and get at least 6 hours of sleep. I don't know if I know anybody my age who actually does these things. We live our lives on the go, and it's killing us.

Cover Image Credit: TheGamingSponge

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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The Problem With Men

The damage of toxic masculinity.

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Toxic masculinity is deeply rooted in stereotypes held for the male population. It's characteristics are a constant outward appearance of being strong mentally and physically, a suppression of emotion, and a violent behavior to assume a presence of power. The problem with men isn't men themselves, but societies reinforcement of these qualities defined as toxic masculinity. Nevertheless, men are still responsible for their actions and should hold themselves accountable.

Toxic masculinity causes problems for everyone, but it is particularly harmful to women. It is a contributing cause to domestic violence, sexual harassment, and rape. The United States has begun to recognize these issues and people have come together to fight them. What becomes overlooked, is the damage toxic masculinity has on men. The constant need to be strong and conceal emotion is extremely harmful to mental health. We cannot all be strong all the time, but that is the societal standard for men. This can be a contributing factor of increased suicide rates and decreased mental health in the male population. The need to prove power through violence could also be a reason for the overwhelming amount of men to women in the prison population. Some examples of the lesser effects of toxic masculinity are the assumptions that boys cannot play with dolls or like princesses, that men cannot wear dresses or skirts, and that men cannot be interested in makeup or clothing. This greatly limits individuality and outer expression for men. Girls have gained the acceptance to play with trucks or like superheroes, women can wear pants, and can be interested in cars or tools. There is still a long way to go for women, but for men, the battle for these simple things has not even been won.

Toxic masculinity stems from the fact that men are still held as superior to women. To show emotion, or to be 'weak', or to do anything that makes them akin to women will undermine their societal superiority. Inequality of the sexes has led to the issue of toxic masculinity and it all comes from prejudice and discrimination against women. To fix toxic masculinity we have to address the issue of perceived inferiority of women. Men cannot get completely better until the problem that births all the rest, is solved.

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