Saturday, July 30, 2022

A Storyworth Story...

Back in April, I wrote a review of a commercial product called Storyworth for this blog.  Storyworth facilitates the collection of your life stories and anecdotes of your life and times in a way that can be passed on to your kids and grandkids.  It works by asking you a weekly question, which you use as the basis for your story.  After 52 weeks, they compile the result in a hard-cover book for you to pass on.  At the time I mentioned that I might pass on a couple of my stories via this blog.  Here is the first....
What advice would you give your grandchildren?

I expect that the world that my grandchildren will be living in as adults will be very different from today, so my advice may not be as relevant.  I expect that the long-term effects of climate change will have a big impact on day-to-day living.   And that the social fabric of our society will also be different because of the conflicts of the current political situation in the country.  But I am hoping that my advice will transcend most of that.

First and foremost is to be true to yourself. I used to tell our daughters that “at the end of the day there is only one person that has to be happy with who you are as a person and that is you”.  Don’t let other people define who you are as a person. It is all about personal integrity.  What that means is for you to be honest in everything that you do and say, and especially be honest with yourself. Your parents are raising you with a good set of moral values and ethical principles. v Cherish those and strive to follow those through good and bad.  Always treat other people based on those.  If you have personal integrity, then the people that know you will trust what you say and do. To me, having personal integrity is number one!

The second piece of advice is to choose a career that is meaningful to you… something that you can be passionate about.  Otherwise, it is just work and will become drudgery.  It is often hard to find a way to make a living from your passions, but it is worth trying to find it.  Do something that excites you every day.  Do something that will make you want to be the very best at what you do. In some ways this can be summarized as work ethic. That means that you value the work that you do and you always strive to do it the best that you can. Always.

Another piece of advice to my grandchildren is to love your family. The one thing that you should always be able to count on is your family, your siblings.   When things get bad, you should always be able to lean on your family for support. But remember that your family members are all different.   The context of their lives is different from yours.  So you may disagree with their lifestyle or things that they do.  You are welcome to those opinions. But keep those opinions to yourself and never let them become a wedge between you and your family members. Always love them and support them, even when you disagree with them.  They will rise to the occasion for you. And you need to do the same.

And finally, some advice about your life partner if you chose to have one. Listen to them.  No, really listen to them and understand the little things that are important to them.  Accommodate those things.  When G-mom and I were married, I understood that we were not attached at the hip.  It was important for her to feel like an individual and to feel like a partner. For example, she had her friends, I had my friends, and we had our friends.  She had the ability to go off and do things with her friends when she wanted. And I had complete trust when she did that.   And I could do the same. We each had the ability to be an individual and still be a couple.  Being a couple did not stifle her ability to be an individual. Another small example was money management.  Many times, couples pool their income and settle on one of them to manage that.  But it was important to G-mom to maintain her financial independence at the same time.  So her income went into her bank account and mine went into my bank account. She had her credit cards and I had my (in some cases our) credit cards.  But we agreed on who would pay what bills.  And that worked for us. She felt a level of independence while still being a strong partner.  There are little things that are important to your partner.  Accommodating them will earn you brownie points.