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Love your body (and other valuable lessons to learn from your granny)

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Are you looking for some guidance in life? You can grab a self help book, or look for inspiration in the Dalai Lama’s lessons, but sometimes good advice is much nearer. Visit (or think of) your grandma, because grannies are walking self help books – in all their years of age, they have seen it all.

Everything passes

Grandmas carry years and years of life experience with them, and if there’s one lesson they’ve learned through the years, it’s that everything passes. Your grandma knows what it feels like to miss someone, because she’s lost her own parents, and perhaps your grandpa, too. Just like yourself, she’s been through times when she didn’t know what to do, so she knows all too well that there’s always a light in the end of the tunnel, no matter how dim or how far away. She can also tell you that pain and grief will, in the end, soften.

Put things into perspective

Life is far too short to worry about little things or fear what might happen if… In three quarters of a century (or perhaps, almost an entire century), your grandma has learned how to put things into perspective. It’s an art to learn by watching, because it makes your life a lot lighter.

Love your body

My grandma was ahead of her time. When my mom and her sisters were young, she told them: ‘If you have it, flaunt it’. To her, cleavage was ‘a woman’s jewelry’. Moral of the story: no matter your age, no matter what your body looks like, no matter how much it may have changed through the years: your body is something to cherish, to appreciate. With all its wrinkles, chubby parts and dimples.

Follow your dreams

It’s become a bit of a cliché: ‘follow your dreams’. A conversation with your grandma (or the thought of her, if she’s no longer with you), however, can make you see how important it really is. The things you regret, are usually the things you didn’t have the guts to do – your grandma probably knows that very well. Besides, in our day and age, we get so many opportunities most of our grandmas didn’t get. Many of them had to start working at a young age, because education was too expensive, or simply because they weren’t boys. Our freedom to make our own choices is something to cherish.   

You’re never too old to learn

The wisest, most inspiring elderly people are fully aware that it’s impossible to know everything about life. Even at their old age, they are curious for new stories, new experiences, new perspectives. They keep learning, all through life, setting a beautiful example for us.   

Photo: Jake Thacker