Tag Archives: life

Grandma on life, ageing, young people, musicians and more

In late August I spent some time with my grandparents in Argentina.

My Mum’s Mum, Dora, lives in a city about an hour’s flight north of Buenos  She is a healthy, active, clever and witty woman, and on this visit I transcribed some of our conversations  because they made me laugh, smile or think. Here are some of them!

Grandma on Facebook
Me: “Guess what, grandma! Our photo got over a hundred likes on Facebook, and lots of nice comments from my friends. They said that you’re beautiful!”
(Show her Facebook on my phone)
Grandma: “Ahhh, how nice! And what is this? Some kind of club?”
Me: “Kinda, it’s an online network for all your friends to connect to.”
Grandma: “Oh it’s like a website where your friends meet!”

Me and Grandma

Grandma on convenience and frugality
“I just go to the closest shops. I don’t have time to go to the markets where the food is cheaper. Back in the day when the girls were young, yes. Because it’s important to save money to give your children the best opportunities. Which we did as much as we could. For example, when they went to study in the United States, that was a great opportunity for them. But then it came back and got the best of me because they liked the world and moved far away to Australia and New Zealand!”

Grandma on life’s balance
“Everything has its good and its bad. That’s what life is about.”

Grandma on housing and eyeballs
“The houses that you can have in Australia and New Zealand, well, if you wanted ones like that here you have to pay with an eyeball, and then another eyeball. And if you have an extra eyeball, they’ll take that one, too!”

Housing Cartoon

Grandma on the newspaper
Grandma: “The newspaper is skinny today! It’s on a diet!”
Me: “Why is it so thin?”
Grandma: “Well, everything is skinnier in this country now. They’re cutting down on everything these days!”

Grandma on the media
“Here you go, you can read the paper, if you want to get depressed!”

Grandma on talking about other people
“We should never say too much about other people. Everyone lives in their own world and we can never presume to understand them or their lives the way we each understand our own.”

Grandma on age
Grandma: “How old am I?”
Me (jokingly): “Ninety-four.”
Grandma: “You little cheeky one! No I’m not!”
Me: “Haha, no, I’m kidding, you’re a bit less than that! But I reckon you will live till a hundred.”
Grandma: “One hundred! Oh no, that’s too much! I know some people my age who say a hundred is too much, but that they’ll happily live to ninety-five. Really, ninety-five, a hundred, what’s the difference at that stage of the game?!”

Grandma on getting older versus dying
“Oh gosh, I forgot to do that. See what happens at this age? You forget. It’s one of the burdens of getting older. But then, the only cure for not getting older is death, and that’s no good to us!”

Grandma on love
“When I met your grandfather I wasn’t the only girl he was chasing, oh I know that much! But I’m the only one who gave in, after a while of course! I joked with him that I was his prize for perseverance!”
NB: My grandpa passed away when I was about three, and he remains my grandma’s one and only love.

Grandma on young people
“I think young people these days have too much happening. People are rushed and busy. There’s too much. Things were simpler back in my day.”

Grandma on being hungry
(Waiting for our meals to arrive): “Gosh, where are our schnitzels? They’re really making us wait! You’re going to look like a sandwich to me soon. Or a chicken drumstick! You know, like in the cartoons, when they’re hungry, everything looks like a chicken drumstick!”


Grandma on wine
Grandma: “Do you want some wine with lunch?”
Me: “Sure, why not!”
Grandma: “Ah, see, you’re definitely my granddaughter!”

Grandma on film
Me: “Did you know, you were born the same year as Stanley Kubrick?”
Grandma: “Ahhh yes, and what a great man he was! Many amazing achievements and cinematography firsts. That Space Odyssey: 2001 – what a film!”

Grandma on superstition and space travel
Grandma: “Which way did you fly to get here?”
Me: “I went from Sydney to San Francisco first, then came here via Houston.”
Grandma: “Ahhh, Houston! What movie was that from?”
Me: “Apollo 13 – ‘Houston, we have a problem’.”
Grandma: “And what was the problem again? But seriously, if my spaceship was called Apollo 13, you wouldn’t see me travel in it even to the end of the street!”

Grandma on musicians
“My father didn’t really let me go to dances when I was young. You see, for a while he was a musician and played in a band, so I think he knew what musicians were like and he didn’t want his daughter to have anything to do with that, haha!”

Sexy Bach


Housing cartoon from here.
Garfield cartoon from here.

Sexy Bach image from Quickmeme.

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Why you need to start asking ‘why?’ again

Kids have it sussed. Asking ‘why?’ of any situation is enlightening. It opens the mind, allows for new ways of doing things, encourages creativity and subdues the common adult fault of passive acceptance.

Very little in life occurs by chance. Almost everything that we encounter is due to a choice – yours or someone else’s.

Ask yourself why

Ask yourself, “Why?”

Understanding ‘why’ leads to many awesome insights. It helps us understand why others take the actions they take. It helps us understand why we ourselves do certain things. It teaches us about the fundamental drivers that influence different areas of our lives. It teaches us about history, science, emotion and business. It helps us to not take things for granted and gives us the opportunity to give others the benefit of the doubt.

Why is your friend gloating about their pay rise? Not because he’s being snarky, but because he’s been feeling low and wants to feel better about himself. Why is your client being so demanding? Because she’s been given a hard word about her performance. Why is the driver behind you being so aggressive? Because they’re going through a separation and are at the height of anxiety. 

Kids ask ‘why?’ because often they don’t yet have the life experience to piece cause and effect together. Later, as time starts passing us by faster and faster, we cease questioning. We take a step back, make assumptions and indifferently tolerate, or not tolerate, what’s happening around us.

Asking ‘why?’ takes us back to the basics, providing a deeper understanding of people and life. Asking ‘why?’ grounds us.

We should never stop questioning. If you find that you’ve stopped asking ‘why?’, it’s time to start once more.

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Being bold and other lessons from 2012

December is a time to reflect and know that we’ve all grown over the last year. We’ve learnt new skills, we’ve met new people, we’ve seen new places and we’ve come out the other end with a better understanding of that unbelievably fun, odd, sometimes exasperating but wonderful thing called life.

Lessons from 2012

Here are my top lessons from 2012. Some of them are serious, some are light. Take from them what you will:

  • There are no rules. Nothing is black and white, except mathematics.
  • Be wary of anyone who professes to be bored. Either they have limited vocabulary or they are actually boring. Bored is a terrible word. Instead, people should say, “I am feeling lazy and want to be entertained.” That’s fine – it happens!
  • Rarotonga is an actual haven and if you ever need to take time out, go there, snorkel and indulge in sunshine.
  • Floss every day. Dentists just know.
  • There’s always someone out there who’s been through something you may be going through. Lean on them when you need words of wisdom, and be generous in passing the favour on to others when they need you.
  • Don’t continue with anything that you’re not enjoying. Often people try to finish books that they’re not getting into. Just drop it and pick up something that you love. There are way too many great books out there to waste your time struggling through one that isn’t inviting you to turn the page.
  • People are inherently really willing to help out, but they’re also inherently laid-back in doing so. You have to push them, give them something back, and they’ll give you something too.
  • If you have your health, you really do have it all.
  • Keep your passions next to you. Ensure there’s always something that you absolutely love doing/seeing/hearing/eating/spending time with close by, such as art, flowers or puppies.
  • Cutting out sugar does wonders for the body.
  • Immerse yourself in knowledge and networking. You’ll gain so many opportunities, meet interesting people and obtain insights you’d never have thought of.
  • Some choices you’ll make because you will have a gut feeling. You’ll often only work out the logic behind why you made them at a later date.
  • Coconut oil is great for cooking.
  • ‘This too shall pass’ is fact. During tough times, hold onto it.
  • Read a lot.
  • Some of your closest friends come from the most unexpected scenarios. Don’t be afraid to start conversations.
  • Cardio work is great but for true fat loss and muscle tone, weight training is where it’s at.
  • It can be a challenge to live in the present – often we’re preoccupied with the past or we’re contemplating an imagined future. Like anything, it takes practice but focusing on the moment is rewarding.
  • It’s a small world after all. Degrees of separation? Not what it used to be.
  • It’s so, so, so OK to ask for help when you need it, and we need to look out for people who don’t yet know this.
  • Like every relationship, it takes work to keep your relationship with technology and social media healthy.
  • Mistakes and failure are a part of both personal life and career. Fail fast, learn quick, get better and kick ass the second round.
  • Be bold – your desired career path won’t take care of itself. You need to take complete responsibility for it.
  • Look after your biggest organ – your skin: take fish oil, use rose hip oil and wear SPF30 on your face every day.
  • In winter, a good Shiraz. In summer, Rosé and Chardonnay.
  • Things don’t end – they evolve.

It’s cliché to end a post like this with a quote, but this post is really one big cliché, so here goes:

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”  – Maria Robinson, author

Happy New Year! On the 31st I’ll be toasting to amazing experiences for us all in 2013 – look forward to seeing you in it!

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