I am queen of jumping emotions. I enjoy my laughs sprinkled with a bit of reflection. Kind of like whipped cream, sprinkled with a little bit of sprinkles. Now I’m drooling. I have a feeling my running buddy Megan is going to have to listen to my rambling for 13.1 miles this Saturday… Back on topic. (But wait – I am guest posting over on Tina’s blog today, check it out!)
Life lately has been up and down. Yet I don’t feel lost. I feel at peace with this time of growth for me. At any other point in my life – even when life was more controlled, I felt unbearably lost. Now? I am in more of a chaos than ever before but I feel strong. A strength I never thought I could muster up myself. When I didn’t have the strength to fight for myself, my family did. A reminder I keep close.
Heading home in 9 days (not like I am counting or anything..) always brings back a firm memory of my Jidoo. (Grandfather) He passed away when I was in high school but he is so tough to forget. I felt the closest to him and he meant the world to me. I still remember looking at him when I was younger thinking he was Superman, a man who I looked up to and aspired to be. The funny thing is, I never thought I would be like him when I grew older. Now I look at who I am today and realize we are so similar.
An ode to Jidoo. What this great man taught me.
- Make sure to crack a smile. You all now I basically live by this now. He always smiled, even when he was mad, you could find a smile. Shit could hit the fan and there he was laughing or howling in his typical fashion. These days, I find that days can suck or they be salvaged. Why not salvage every moment?
- Families who grill together stay together. He was the grill master. Every holiday, every family dinner, he was out on that bad boy. No one could touch his grill, he always had it clearly under control. It wasn’t just that he wanted to feed us but he wanted to provide for us. For a while I lost touch of that help or support I could get for others. Sometimes though, you have to let others into your life. Even when silence seems safer.
- Find distance from those things that do not serve you. If anything, I think of my Jidoo as someone who didn’t put up with bull. For too long I let those influences into my life, almost thinking they would serve me in some way. Now, I let them go. I move on, I find that distance and reach for those people, things, moments that actually serve me.
- Embrace the belly – or more broadly Embrace who you are. Oh the Jidoo belly. He was a small man but had this hilarious Buddha belly. I wish I could find pictures where all the cousins and I were rubbing his belly as a joke. All we have is our one body. Our one body that lets us love, run, move, hug and live life. Don’t knock one part. The whole person is what holds more power. So one of my eyes may be smaller than the other or I have the classic Lebanese nose – rock it.
- Anything can be fixed with duct tape and a couple of wire tires. (Even ask my cousin, the under carriage of her car is held together in this manner.) You still find his little contraptions holding things together. He was a handy man because he never let limitations hold him back. You don’t have the resources, find new ones. Something seems too powerful, break it down.
- Don’t let other people’s limits hold you back. I always was kind of baffled by his company he had with his sister. It was a uniform making company aka he made uniforms for waiting staff at restaurants, members in a marching band, etc. I mean my Halloween costumes were bomb because of it. But more importantly this was his passion. Sure it wasn’t the typical career move but he worked damn hard at it.
- A book in your pants will not save you from getting spanked. True story – my aunt knew a spanking was heading her way. She decided to put a book ( a really big hard book) in her pants. My Jidoo almost broke his hand. Don’t worry, she still got punished. My Jidoo was determined after that incident. But in other words, you learn from even those tough and quite painful experiences. Never forget your past but move from it.
- Don’t let others take you away from doing what you love. Even at his older age he went snowmobiling. It scared the heck out of everyone but he refused to stop. He lived for it. Sometimes risks are worth taking. Even this control freak girl finds risks a necessary part of growing.
- Hair on your chest only shows more wisdom. (Molly? – SO KIDDING) Come on, the Lebanese breed are hairy. Didn’t matter though, he was one wise man who I swear barely aged. Let’s call his ‘sweater’ like building a thick skin.
Writing this I did feel sad. I miss him more than ever. But I have to say, these memories still bring a smile to my face. I hold on to these lessons in my daily life. He did and still does make me a better person.
Question: What have you learned from someone you love?