We have been through a lot in the last few years. Although there may be different perspectives on the pandemic and different coping techniques (mine was baking, path too much baking), there’s no denying that it has affected most of our lives to some degree. It gave me time for deep introspection. I emerged from the pandemic with a few extra pounds and hopefully with a little more gratitude. Here are the ten things I’m grateful for this time of year.
How else could a grandmother’s list start? These children bring so much joy into our lives. We’ve become the stereotypical grandparents who believe their grandchildren are the greatest thing since sliced bread. I use every bit of self-control to avoid whipping out my phone to show pictures to everyone I meet, but my resistance is futile when it comes to posting them on social media.
2. Adult children
They think we forget them because we’re so busy gushing about the grandkids, but our grown kids are pretty awesome too. My daughters and their husbands are people I consider friends as well as family. As I wrote last year, my eldest daughter and her husband love to cook and have taken on the task of hosting family celebrations. They cook while we play with their children, an arrangement that makes all three generations happy. I don’t miss spending the holidays in the kitchen at all.
Before the pandemic, I took good health for granted, but now I know what a gift it is to be healthy. I remember rolling my eyes as a kid at the Thanksgiving table as all my aunts, uncles, parents and grandparents talked about health issues, but now I get it. A chronic health condition can dominate your life and conversations. I was deeply saddened by the death of a childhood friend who had suffered from physical and mental health problems for years. I still miss her and her illness and death made me even more grateful for my good health.
When my grandson has a break from school, he asks me to homeschool him so he “gets smarter”! The child is five years old, a kindergarten child; how smart does he have to be?! I homeschooled him for two days and it was no joke. He tells me her schedule at school and I’ve done my best to duplicate it. I was surprised and disappointed when he informed me that kindergarten kids don’t take naps. Begging for one was useless; Callister is a stickler when it comes to getting his job done.
I have had one Child homeschooling and at the end of the day I need a long nap and maybe a glass of wine. What the teachers do for our children and grandchildren is a miracle. In Oklahoma, we know they don’t do it for money or respect, so make sure you show them some love! And a gift wouldn’t hurt. You have my admiration and thanks!
We sold our house this year and downsized drastically to a small townhouse. I was expecting to make some sadness about leaving our big old house where we raised our kids. I am happy to report that I have not regretted this decision and have accepted this new chapter in my life. Love makes a house a home and that’s what we packed and took with us. We moved to an area close to an area where many people seem to be homeless. I can’t say I don’t sometimes take it for granted having a home, but I try to remind myself how lucky I am to have a roof over my head and a warm bed to snuggle into when the cold wind blows.
At the height of the pandemic, I was a recluse. My isolation meant I wasn’t a good friend for a few years. I’m thankful for the friends who understood that and were able to pick up where we left off. I have fewer friends than three years ago, but those who have stayed are loyal and faithful. I’d rather have a handful of genuine friends than a busload of acquaintances.
Almost anything can be delivered to your door these days and as I get older I use this service more and more! Coupled with this is curbside delivery, which many restaurants have started and decided to continue during the pandemic. This is an excellent service for those who have given up cooking.
I’ve always been an avid reader, and time has only proven that true. I love a “real” book, but I also enjoy reading on my Kindle. I’m a big fan of the Tulsa library system and visit at least once a week. You can borrow up to seventy books at a time, and it’s free! (I will never cease to be amazed that they trust me to take books home and not charge me!) One of my favorite things to do as a grandparent was sharing a love of reading, books, and the library. It’s never too early to read to your kids and grandkids!
I love living in Tulsa! There are so many activities, many of them free, that you will never get bored! We have fabulous parks, great restaurants, museums, cultural events and a vibrant downtown area. If you’re not sure what’s going on, check out the TulsaKids list of things to do in Tulsa.
Yes, I know I’ve said grandchildren before, but it needs to be repeated. Every cheesy saying about being a grandparent is true. They are the reward of getting older, the icing on the sundae of life!