As I pondered my post for this week, I thought about taking the suggestion of one of my friends and dive into the subject of -isms. I researched the ideas surrounding beliefs, morals, and values. Not so surprising, I kept thinking about ageism. So, it stuck. So, in the vein of the moral or, even, philosophical views of ageism, I thought about my grandmother. I was raised living with my grandmother in the household. Guess what? I learned more from her, a strong woman with a 7th-grade education than I have from many of my Bachelor and Master level coursework. Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way saying quit school and sit down with your grandma. I am just saying, my love for the stories, recipes, and lessons my elders shared cannot be replaced.
Now, my mother and father worked full-time until they retired. I think my father may have taken a total of 10 sick days in 33 years at the same place. His example was my grandfather and grandmother who were, both, always up at 5:00 a.m. farming, feeding the animals or cooking for the family. While farming would be a great thing to learn, my focus is the model of hard work that was passed down.
My mother worked 40 years in the same place and loved every minute of it. Her mother was an at-home beautician, and my grandad was a carpenter that could build you anything from a picture frame to a house. The lessons learned from their parents and grandparents stayed with them. My parents grew up with grandparents and, sometimes, great aunts or uncles in the home. Everyone worked together to support each other.
So, back to my point. As a product of a multigenerational environment, I have appreciated the ability to provide and receive support from my elders. I m a firm believer that we all have something to share and is not always monetary. The experiences of others can assist us in weaving together communities that stand strong. Now, my son gets a double whammy. He is receiving the care and support of both grandparents and his mother and father. He does not always value what he has, but one day he will.
Benefits of Multigenerational Partnerships
Ann Carrns, New York Times, wrote an amazing article (link below) that discussed the reasons behind families moving together. While it sounds all rosy in the beginning, open lines of communication can be your best resource when considering multigenerational living arrangements. It is expected that the number of multigenerational households will continue to increase. So, more of us need to do our research to make these transitions smooth. There are many organizations that see the benefits of intergenerational partnerships/alliances. One organization is the Generations United. No, I have never met anyone from the organization, but I am certainly going to reach out to them. Their website has a wealth of knowledge that is beneficial for families considering moving together, communities that are looking for ways to create these alliances, and anyone who may just want to see what they are about. Below I have placed their website, and you will also find a link to their YouTube video below.
Don’t get so lost in social media, binge-watching episodes of Power and Game of Thrones (when is it coming back? Ugh!). Get and stay connected with the people around you. Volunteer at a senior daycare or a nursing home. I am here to tell you the stories and laughs can be endless. More importantly, the joy you share with someone, young or old, may be enough to motivate you to take a step towards your dream. Ideas come from everywhere! If you have suggestions or questions about topics, let me know.
Until next time,