Bits and Bits of Everyday Life (One)


Connecting girls, inspiring futures:

Dear Granddaughters

(This article is dedicated to grand-daughters everywhere)

True North Perspective

Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair is the author of The Neglected Garden and two French novels. Visit her website to learn

We have witnessed progress beyond our wildest dreams. In our younger days, life was full of rules and limitations. The dating period was short. Engagements were short. Then you got married and stayed married!
You were expected to become a good cook and housekeeper, a supportive wife, happy to indulge her husband in everyday life as well as in bed. You were expected to be a devoted mother and be involved in community and school functions. Unfortunately, the fairytale “till death do us part” failed some of us.
For various reasons, many found themselves having to start over on their own, balancing a lifestyle that included a fulltime job, keeping house and raising kids on their own. This constant juggling of responsibilities left very little time for soul searching. We did what needed to be done and hoped for the best. But this gave us a distinct advantage over the previous generation of women: Empowerment!
We taught our daughters to be self-sufficient and build up their self-esteem, to manage a career that would serve them well, all the while teaching them to be loving and to love because as Leo Tolstoy once wrote: “Hell is the inability to love.”
Our girls became wives, mothers, full-time employees, “women of the world”. But even though role models evolved and men now share more of the household tasks and help with “raising the kids”, women of our daughters’ generation still carry a very heavy load of responsibilities. This is where grandmas come into play.
  Role models, present and future: The author and public orator granddaughter Lea.

Actively involved in our grandchildren’s lives, we are constantly on call because we care about their welfare. We want them to recognize and develop their potential and find their purpose in this fast-paced, often crazy world. Our granddaughters are learning young about life and how to thrive, whether it involves making the proper choices, taking care of their body, managing different relationships within family and society or knowing what they want for themselves and their future.

As grandparents, we know the quality of their future will depend on this country’s capacity to offer good governance, maintain strong social networks and quality employment, as well as insure that our standard of living is maintained. Turmoil, corruption, upheaval can undermine the future. This said, a large portion of our happiness rests on our own shoulders. Mariellen Ward, in her article “What do they know that we don’t?” quotes Deepak Chopra who says, “The conditions of our lives only account for about 10% of our potential happiness… the rest is up to YOU. You can change your “set point” for happiness through meditation, make choices that really bring fulfillment – where you have meaning and purpose in life, where you are creative and know how to make other people happy.”
Mariellen offers 14 fundamental attitudes that can help you find happiness:
  1. Be more active; keep busy.
  2. Spend more time socializing.
  3. Be productive at meaningful work.
  4. Get better organized.
  5. Stop worrying. (90% of worries never come true.)
  6. Lower your expectations and aspirations. Strive for realistic goals.
  7. Develop positive, optimistic thinking.
  8. Get present-oriented. Live for today.
  9. Work on a healthy personality. Like, accept, know and help yourself.
  10. Develop an outgoing social personality.
  11. Be yourself. Be authentic.
  12. Eliminate the negative.
  13. Close relationships are #1: loving relationships, friendships and close family ties have the greatest impact on happiness.
  14. Value happiness.
And we, grandmothers, will strive to accompany, encourage and help empower you. The future is yours! Blessings!
P.S. Congratulations to my granddaughter, Lea, who won the girls’ public speaking competition at her school with her speech: “Il faudra leur dire que la clé du bonheur est en soi.” How true! Happiness lies within.

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