Who helped make you who you are today? Oh dear ones I can't possibly narrow it down to just one, as I'm sure you can't either. But the primary influence in my life was Ethel Bawcom, my maternal grandmother. She was something and those of you who know me know of my Nan. I was her first grandchild and her pride and joy! Right there girls is where it all began. She was the author of my self esteem. She believed in me so I just naturally believed that anybody as smart as she was couldn't be wrong. She planted the seed of "can do" in me and I'm still convinced if I really want to accomplish something it is purely just a matter of getting off my backside and doing it!
But let's get back to my Nan. She was truly a woman of substance and she had a purpose. Before the Woman's Movement in the 60s she already had a husband, a child (my mother), a career and a Cadillac! Oh yeah--she traveled in style! And though she didn't think in these terms she "had it all". Wasn't that the battle cry of our generation of women? She singled handedly build one of the most successful antique businesses in the U.S. She never bragged about it she just did it. She also managed to accumulate a house full of treasures which she left to my mother and 4 of us grand kids. She educated and groomed each of us regarding the value and history of each item, but never once did she declare them off limits. We had all holiday meals at the 12 foot Belter table and chairs in the dining room. We had flowers from the garden in her signed Stubben vases and salads in the cut glass bowls. I can still hear her saying that it really wasn't worth having if you couldn't enjoy it.
And she did work everyday. That in and of itself inspired me. I saw her ambition--which by the way is not a bad word--and realized I could do this, too--work hard. Well girls I don't have to tell you that I've never worked as hard as our mothers or grandmothers did a day in my life. That's the other thing--we don't physically work like they did but we can and do work and for that we also owe our "thanks" to the women who blazed that trail before us.
Sounds like a real workhorse doesn't she. Not all the time. 'Cause I remember having some fun. In fact a whole big bunch of it. We went to parties with her and my Grandpa where there was always lots of laughing and card playing and dancing. I remember dancing with my Grandpa while standing on his feet. We swam in the creek and in the livestock tanks. We had picnics and car trips. We went shopping for clothes. Sometimes we bought school clothes but she also bought my first two-piece swimsuit--something Momma wouldn't have let me buy. And she bought me a slinky dress for a football banquet and helped me die my hair the same colored as the gold la'me as my dress. Another move that my mom didn't approve of. But yes mam, she was all about fun, too.
So balance is what it's all about. You can have it all but to enjoy it there must be a balance between the work, the family, the fun. I'm still working on this but tome that is the "takeaway message" here.
I keep a gratitude journal and it is difficult not to put her at the top of my list every night. So who inspired you? Who do you owe a debt of gratitude that can only be paid by "paying it forward?" I am so pleased to hear how so many of you are building memories with your grandchildren. Keep it up. Thank God we have all lived long enough to still be young and fun and an inspiration to our grandbabies who by the way are a tremendous inspiration to me. I pound that darn treadmill everyday hoping it will keep me going long enough to be OLD.