My grandma had a word of advice for every occasion, my mom has always been much less forthright with her advice but she has set an example of independence and determination and she has taught me many valuable things.
Wisdom is hard to define, but there is plenty of wisdom in these little gems of advice that have helped to keep me out of trouble over the years. My Grandma always liked to have the last word (and the first) so the first three items and the last two are advice from her.
Never trust a man in green trousers. My grandma repeated this advice frequently, I have absolutely no idea why she objected so strongly to green trousers, but it is advice that has served me well over the years. I assume it means that you should trust your instincts and if something or someone doesn’t feel quite right you should beware.
A little of what you fancy does you good. Grandma always said this in relation to food, but I am sure she would be horrified to find that I have successfully applied it to all sorts of other areas of my life too! I think the real message is to enjoy everything in moderation, and that makes a lot of sense.
You will miss me when I am gone. I can’t tell you how much this infuriated me when she said it, but it is true. And now that she really is gone, it cuts all the deeper. We have to learn to appreciate what we have now, because we cannot rely on the same people or things being around to enjoy later.
Men are like dogs, if you don’t train them young you never will. I don’t think that needs any explanation! I suspect it could also be applied to women, I guess that it means that in relationships as in everything else you should start as you mean to go on.
A woman can do anything better than a man – because we take time to read the instructions! This has given me so much confidence over the years.
Never slam a door too hard because you may have to open it again. This is good advice that we should all remember.
Expect the unexpected. This has proved to be very good advice. It is important make provision for things not to go as planned e.g. making a will with a few creative funeral ideas, because that gives you the security to get on with living your life without worrying.
Live for today. I don’t think this means that you can forget about tomorrow. It is just that today is all we can be sure of, and we should make the most of the things that are happening in our lives now.
Tell the truth and shame the devil. Yes, it’s Grandma again, but it is true. Telling the truth makes life so much easier and less complicated. You retain your integrity, gain the respect of others and it encourages people to deal with you more honestly.
So it is back to my Grandma for the last word. She had this verse framed and I was very disdainful about it when I was younger, but I have to admit that it is true. If only we could help younger people to understand it.
Four things that do not come back,
The spoken word,
The speedy arrow,
The past life and
The neglected opportunity…
This is written for me by my wife Laura. I hope you enjoy it!