Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Then and Now

Grandparents are such an incredible gift.  Unfortunately, I lost my last one on Monday morning.  She lived a really long life, 93 years to be exact!  What a legacy of love both she and my grandfather left behind.

Losing someone makes you think and re-evaluate aspects of life.  My grandmother was not concerned with a career.  When my grandfather was off fighting World War II, she taught school, but never had another job once he returned.  Instead, she was concerned with family affairs - having and raising children, caring for parents, cooking dinner, keeping a clean home and socializing with her friends.  This was her purpose and it brought her great joy and contentment.

It's amazing how our societies priorities have changed.  Most women today would not be comfortable without a job before children.  Career goals are now a natural part of our upbringing and culture.  Families are often started later in life because of certain career or financial goals we wish to attain first.  Is one generation better off than the other?

My grandparents went through the depression and valued every dollar.  After a while, they had plenty of money, but they didn't act like it.  My grandmother cut coupons and always bought things on sale.  I can remember her asking me to pick up Starbucks ice cream because Walgreens was having a special!  Even though my grandparents valued every dollar, they were not cheap, instead extremely generous with our family.

One day, if I'm blessed with money, I hope to treat it the way I do now when it's hard to earn a buck!  And maybe I need to take a deeper look inside myself regarding my career expectations.  If I never accomplish the goals I aspire, will I be content and able to accept it?  Why do I put pressure on myself to achieve something?  Is that me or the generational pressure I'm surrounded by?

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