BY RON WOLF
After losing my granddad last year, it was hard for me to face life as it is since he was the person who influenced my life in so many ways. If it wasn’t for him, I would have never thought about becoming a writer, about expressing my thoughts and feelings. He taught me to observe people, to understand and to look at life from different perspectives; to enjoy the moment but look ahead. Now, I feel that his words and wisdom made me a better person, and I wouldn’t change them for anything.
Among many, I’ve chosen ten pieces of advice that made a difference in my life:
Never miss out on a walk
Even at the end of his life, my granddad wouldn’t let a day go by without taking a nice walk. I think this was his answer to everything in life. Every time he would feel troubled or annoyed by some life circumstance, he would take a half hour walk to clear his thoughts. He was a person with a temper, but it was only because he cared too much. When it comes to temper, I take after him. A walk would calm him and prevent irrational actions. Nowadays, with many life problems, I find this to be the most useful advice.
Take care of your health
Walking every day did wonders for his health, too, since he was the kind of person who was very disciplined. He didn’t want to end up dependent on medications or relying on other people. He loved babysitting us and always said that we kept him young. Even when I was at college and stressed out because of my exams, he would inquire about me, my sports activities and diet. At the time, I thought these questions were not as important as my exams. Nevertheless, he was right. What we do and eat does affect our life, positively or negatively.
Start a garden
Although I could not start my own garden in college, I was able to do this after moving in a house with my family. Every time we went to visit him, I remember seeing my kids thrilled with granddad’s garden. He would care for it with such devotion and love. I can still remember the taste and smell of freshly picked apricots in his garden. With so many fruits and vegetables being chemically treated now days, I decided to start my own garden. My granddad encouraged me and even helped me with starting the garden.
Be Always thankful
When the time came to harvest the crops from my garden, he came to assist me. Due to harsh weather conditions, I remember that the fruits and vegetables were not as abundant as I expected. However, he made me understand that the weather, as well as life, cannot be controlled. “We will always have our ups and our downs, but that should not bring us down,’’ he would say. ‘’Be thankful, always be thankful for what you have, no matter how grand or modest that is.’’ In this modern day and age, I feel that people often forget to be grateful.
Do what you love
There were times I was not happy with my life and how it was turning out. This was due to my job, which I didn’t enjoy. Not only did the job make me feel miserable, but I would also miss out on my kids’ school plays and granddad’s visits. I remember having a talk with granddad about it. He encouraged me to put myself first. He pointed out that I should not take my talent for granted and I should share it with the world. So, I started doing what I love, and as soon as I did, I felt happier.
Don’t throw this away
Believe it or not, such a disciplined and sweet man was also a bit of a hoarder. I found this to be extremely funny, but at the same time, it was heartwarming since he managed to keep my old toys and stamp collections. For him, each object had a certain value, and with some glue, can be restored. Recently, I found myself thinking the same way. I became somewhat of a hoarder myself. When I was revamping my house, I realized I needed more space. All the things I’ve gathered along the years have had a sentimental tie to me even if in reality they did not. I knew the shape of each object and for each of it my mind told a different story. It was hard to part with them but as my grandpa taught me nothing that can be used by someone should be thrown into the garbage. I organized a yard sale and the stuff that was really close to my heart I put in storage units near me so I can always easily access them.
Listen and get creative
Maybe I found that hoarding habit of his a bit funny, but the fact remains that he was a resourceful person. Granddad was able to make something out of nothing, and he never needed a DIY tutorial to make it. His creativity went so far that he was able to make a garden bench, counter tops, and a tree house. He never refused to listen to somebody and to bounce off ideas regarding a new project. This attitude of his made me realize that the best ideas are the ones we come up with together.
Time is precious
As I was growing up, my granddad would often emphasize the importance of time. He would advise me to spend my time on people rather than on making money. Indeed, money is a necessity, but too much time spent on such a thing is time wasted. Instead, spending time with loved ones is what life should be about. Even when I feel like I have too much on my plate and think that I won’t have time to see my kids, I remember that time is precious and that I should spend it with my family, and not let anything get in the way.
Learn something new
Granddad would never let a day go by without hearing the latest news. He also encouraged me to be curious so as to learn something new each day. For him, there was nothing worse than a person totally uninterested in the world around him. Every day, people are making discoveries in fields of science and medicine, and they are one step closer to understanding this mysterious thing we call life. Following this advice made me well-informed about the world we live in. Moreover, it made me more passionate about certain causes and being proactive to make a change.
Be a better person
As you can see, granddad and I were extremely close. You can say I looked up to him. Whenever I feel lost, I just look back on the time we spent together and on these ten things he taught me in order to become a better person.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – RON WOLF
I’m Ron Wolf, a law student by day and a blogger by night. Although law and business are my expertise, I also know a lot about home improvement as I’ve been working with my grandfather sometimes during summer breaks at his construction company here in Australia.
That really taught me about life, and how much the world around me doesn’t respect the older people who give them so much.