Friday, January 14, 2011

Who Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

Yesterday I blogged about my personal definition of success in my debut blog for the Petits Four & Hot Tamales. I called it My Success Story. If you haven't already checked it out, you can read about it here.

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?

12 comments:

Gwen Hernandez said...

I hope to always maintain a youthful spirit and not get caught up in the things that don't matter. My legacy first and foremost is my boys, and if they do well, I've done well.

One of my great inspirations is my grandmother, who lived to be 93 while always finding the joy in life. She was adventurous and fun-loving. She was my backseat companion when we traveled Europe, the only one who'd ride the loopdy-loop roller coaster at the Oktoberfest with me, the one who shopped 'til we dropped in high school, and the one who never stopped giggling.

People used to say she looked ten years younger than her true age, despite decades of smoking and Arizona sun. I think it was her young-at-heart outlook on life that kept her spry for so long.

Christine said...

Hi Gwen: I wish I'd met your grandmother! She sounds like a wonderful and spirited person who brought zest into your life. I know what you mean about our children. I hope I have more A days than F days with my own teen. Parenting is a great humbler.

:-)

Anne Gallagher said...

Gee Christine, after reading your post yesterday, the one for Christmas and today's, I think I want to be YOU when I grow up.

I try to live in gratitude and am blessed to have my daughter. I thank God every day she's with me.

It's the other aspects of my life that have me stymied. I TRY to love NC as much as I love the beach, but so far, I'm not digging it. I REALLY really have to work on that. And a few other things as well.

Thanks for always being so positive. It's so nice to find a cheerful person floating around the blogs. And isn't just cheerful BECAUSE of the blogs.

Christine said...

Anne, I am not "grown up" yet. I have my grumpy days and my days where I definitely stumble over my bad attitude. I strive not have grumpy days, but we're human, not perfect. It's in the trying to be the best person that we can be and in the recognition of how much growing we still need to do that we become better people.

I moved to Alabama over 2 years ago from DC. It was a hard move. I think every move is difficult because you have to start over, make new friends, get used to new rituals, grieve the place you were before, and more. This one was hard for me. I love DC and all it has to offer a person. But I made a conscious decision to look for the good here and I'm finding it in every corner.

But it is a conscious effort. I can choose to be miserable (and have had those days where I do choose to be miserable) or I can choose to be joyful.

Sending you a major hug cause I know how you've been battling a flu and the weather. Feel better and know that I believe you are doing a stellar job! Anyone who can build a fence is amazing to me. And you're raising your daughter, writing books, getting requests, and have a fabulous blog.

:-)

Jean Hovey said...

I would love to be my friend Karen but I might as well give up because I am too mean.

Honestly, she is completely kind. She's a nurse practitioner who used to be a Hospice nurse. She founded a soup kitchen. I have never grieved a moment or buried anyone where she was not right by my side saying exactly the right thing.

But I'm mean. I can't help it. I'm not as mean as my writing partner, but I can't be Karen. I've tried.

Christine said...

Hi Jean: Haha. We'll have to send your writing partner over here to defend herself, Jean! But I don't think you're mean. I think you're honest. There's a difference. I'm by no means a "quiet, gentle, soul." Ask my husband and teenager LOL. Oh, I wish I could be like the lady you sent me the obit about and your friend. But I'm not. I've accepted who I am and I just try to be the best person I can be with the gifts I have-enthusiastic, encouraging, generous, and loving. And I know you are equally as giving.

Thanks for popping in today and visiting the veranda. I'd love to meet your friend!

:-)

Katherine Bone said...

Christine, you've written a great post!

Goodness, how long is it going to take for me to grow up? I still feel like I'm 19. I've got so much to do, places to go and see. What do I want to be? A good wife, mother, daughter, Mimi, friend, a good writer, a productive member of society, I want to do something meaningful, love unconditionally, be there when my family needs me, cherish the smell of flowers, the blueist day, love as only He can love. Until then, I will still be that 19 year old yearning to grow up. ;)

Christine said...

Kathy: I love your "grown up" goals. I think you are well on your way!! You have a gentle spirit and a kind heart. I see it all the time.

Hugs!

:-)

Lisa Blandford said...

Hi Christine. I stumbled across your blog through another writer friend and I'm so glad I did! First of all, my best inspiration to be a positive influence is my children. I have two beautiful daughters who make me smile and wonder every day. Each day with them is a blessing. I don't ever want to forget that! Second, you have the same name as my mother. Ha! My maiden name is Glover, and that is her name. So funny! Best to you and your writing career!

Lisa

Steph Sinkhorn said...

I'd like to be me, redefined. Or perhaps just aged.

Grandma Glover sounds like a lovely woman :)

Christine said...

Hi Lisa: Wow, there are two Christine Glovers? Cool. I just popped over to your blog and I enjoyed your post about the different hats you wear as a person.

:-)

Christine said...

Hi Stephanie: Grandma Glover was amazing. She learned how to drive after my hubby's grandpa died. She became president of her local AARP chapter, founded the "Hawaii Shirts" Denny's Breakfast Club with her friends (before Red Hats there were the Hawaii Shirts LOL)., and she always got up and got ready for her day with a smile on her face. She was a lovely person.

You, redefined, sounds like a wonderful way to grow up, too.

:-)