Thursday, January 27, 2011

Who Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

One of the most important personal beliefs I carry is that an Attitude of Gratitude and a Spirit of Encouragement will bring me greater happiness in life than all the material trappings of success. I have so many examples of successful people in my life who have taught me that it isn't the things you get, it's the way you live that counts when we are measured by a power higher than our own egos.

I have many personal favorite examples of success. My husband's Grandma Glover is one of them. She was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother who spent the majority of her life in the state of Texas. She didn't have books on shelves or make lots of money, but she had an Attitude of Gratitude and a Spirit of Encouragement. I don't think I ever heard her say an angry or spiteful thing in all the years I knew her. She was a truly humble soul. She gave of herself every day, and she met each day with joy in her heart. I often tell my husband that I want to be like Grandma Glover when I "grow up."

Grandma Glover had a wisdom that came from age, from sacrifice, from loss, and from faith. I admire that quality in my Dutch best friend's mother and father as well. They are not movie stars or celebrities, but they are amazing parents and grandparents. They shower their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren with love and affection. They honor their family with their words, their acts, and their presence. They are who I want to be when I "grow up."

I often read the obituaries for name ideas. Sometimes I find more than a name. I unearth a success story. I  discover a two column spread about a person who passed away after a long life. Everything written about the person describes a humble soul, a spirit of service, and a loving heart filled with a zest and a joy for life. That this person will be missed is clear in the depth of the praise for acts as simple as being a loving Pop Pop, or a friend to all the rescue animals, or the Best Momma in the World. I want to be one of them when I "grow up."

So I practice an Attitude of Gratitude and a Spirit of Encouragement while still stumbling over my own ego at times because I really do want to "grow up."

Who do you want to be when you "grow up?" Do you have any favorite stories you'd like to share with me? Who influences your spirit and heart in a positive way?

Note: This blog first appeared on Digging Out of Distraction on January 14, 2011.


JoAnn said...

What a tribute to your inspirations, Christine! And so timely for me -- I was thinking about my mom on the way to work this morning, and how she based her whole life on love. She didn't have an easy life, but love was always her watchword. I wish I could base my life on love. I wish I could be even a smidge more like her. I miss her terribly.

Lexi said...

My dad was the sweetest, kindest guy I've ever known. He was also a hoot and honorable down to his toenails. He died twelve years ago this June and I miss him every day.

Kat Jones said...

I've been blessed with many wonderful people in my life; each teaching me different lessons & values at different times. They have, and continue to, shape me. However, two people, one of which passed away this past fall, have had quite an impact on me. They live(d) true to their beliefs and genuinely try to positively impact others' lives.

Christine said...

Hi JoAnn: Your mom sounds like the kind of person I want to be when I grow up. You were blessed to have such a loving mother. It's bone deep painful to miss someone so special. Many hugs!!

Hi Lexi: I remember seeing the picture of your dad escorting you on your wedding day. He sounds like he was a great guy and I could tell by the picture that you absolutely adored him. Hugs!

Hi Kat: I'm sorry for your loss last fall. It's hard to lose the great influences and wonderful loving people in our lives. The best way to honor them is to carry forward their influence to others. Hugs!

Cari Hislop said...

Lovely lovely post! When I grow up I want to be Miss Marple (without people dropping dead everywhere I go). I love how she's always in the eye of the storm, calm yet aware of everything swirling around her. She's kind and thoughtful, yet she'd never allow anyone to manipulate her. She's so comfortable in her skin she can meet anyone from any background with ease and courtesy. She's inquisitive, always learning and never afraid of tomorrow. Any fear she might have once had has been scrubbed from her soul and she calmly knits in the face of death.What a hero!

On the other hand, I wouldn't mind growing up to be my Grandma. She had most of the attributes of Miss Marple, but she was a feisty wench. She grew up in poverty, but left it behind through hard work. Grandpa built her a house with his own hands and she went out to work and filled it with beautiful things. Thanks to my brother-in-law who bought my plane ticket, I got to see her before she died. Her last words of advice was something her mother had often told her as a girl, "Watch your attitude!" If I become half the woman she was, I'll be on the right road.

M.V.Freeman said...

I have so many people that I want to be. I have an identity crisis..haha

Like you I had a Grandmother who died at 103 with sound mind. She was a gracious, sweet, and truly loving woman whose life was "glass half full".

If I was to be anyone--I think of her.

But I have friends who emulate many things I like and they all have a air of positivity, gratitude and caring.

So who knew I'd grow up snarky? (I blame my father's family...*grin*)

Truly lovely post!

Louisa Cornell said...

What a lovely post and a lovely reminder to each of us that honor, grace and love are the attributes that will guide us through the worst of storms.

My Dad was the most honorable and generous man I have ever known. Not a stray dog or a stray person crossed his path that he didn't take them in and make their lives better in some way. I cannot tell you how many people attended his funeral that we didn't recognize, but each of them had a story to tell of something Dad had done for them, something we, his family never knew. He taught us the value of hard work, that the world owed us nothing, but that we owed every creature on this planet love and respect.

My Mom continues to teach me the value of perseverance, belief in myself and that a humble background and humble means do not define a person's class - only a person's actions do that. She has taught me to keep my head up, to be myself and to be proud of what I have accomplished in my life.