When I was young, I remember spending afternoons on my grandmother's swing, in her backyard. I have posted about this swing, before, but it's funny how when my mind and soul need comfort, I mentally put myself back on that swing and then mentally have a conversation, in my mind, with my grandmother or grandfather, on that swing.
In my ever changing moods, I do tend to draw from past experiences, past conversations and past comforting times in my life, to pull me through different obstacles of life, now.
The swing was a big, wooden, white swing that my grandfather had built and then he built a little shelter house type of thing for it. You could swing in the sun or rain, it didn't matter. I used to seek out my grandmother when I needed an extra dose of love and an extra dose of snark. She was my go-to for immediate life problems. I was one of her favorite things in the world and she would give me loving, soothing advice and then when I felt all happy and secure, again, she would tell me exactly how to go back and seriously kick ass in the situation. She didn't want me to be a wimp, she would say. She wanted me to stand up, be heard, know when to smile, know when to cry and then know when to turn around and give the person or the situation, a serious dose of me.
If my grandfather was involved in our conversation, he would sit, silently, humming. He was always humming some sort of tune. I think that is where I get my love of singing (although, I cannot carry a tune) and my humming while working. Anyway, he always had the same smile on his face as he listened to us. He loved my grandmother and let her give me her advice. When she was done, he would take up with his advice. He really didn't give advice, though. He was more apt to tell me a story or paint a picture of the type of person he expected me to be, how he wanted me to act in certain situations. He was all about being kind, working hard, being honest, the truth will win, no matter how much the truth may hurt or how much the truth may get you into trouble. He has been my moral compass, for my entire life. When I have chosen times to ignore his advice, it has come back to bite me, kick my arse, and then I think...why didn't I just remain on his path? He taught me to speak kindly, remain hopeful, look your enemy square in the eye and quietly let them know that you are watching them and that in the end, you will win. He hated loud mouthed, braggy, know it alls. He let them go on and on and on and he would just smile and walk away. My grandmother would get all up in that same person's business and tell them that they were not all that and then throw in one of her made up, famous, phrases and walk away. They were definitely the balance in my life.
In the many obstacles that I have faced in life, I have carried out my grandfather's advice and it has never steered me wrong. Inside, I carry my grandmother's advice because I really try not to get into shouting matches with people. For some reason, what worked for her back in the 1960s and 1970s, may be frowned on, today.
I find myself, right now, in a obstacle of life and I had lost all focus on both of their advice strategies. I have let myself run wild with so many emotions that I really never even knew existed in me. Last night, before I went to bed, I had to just sit and give myself the chance to revisit the swing. I had to first, count all that was right in my life. My husband, my daughter, our health, our life, our love. I had to visit the darker side of where this obstacle has come from and the thoughts it was evoking in me. When I put myself on the swing, and mentally put myself with both of my grandparents, I listened to what they would be telling me. I have run the emotions that my grandmother would have run with while forgetting the emotions that my grandfather would tell me to run with. For my own inner peace, I have to draw from him and his ability to stay calm, to stay focused, to stay quietly patient. I have to look that loudmouthed, braggy, know it all in the eyes, and know that in the end, the lice of the world do get exterminated. I have to remember that my grandfather would say, Rome wasn't built in a day, so I need to keep on my tasks until the end is reached and the obstacle can finally be dealt with. He would tell me not to lead with my emotions, but to lead with my hands and my heart, never taking my eyes off of the no good stuff trying to push in. Of course, my grandmother would say to put a nice shade of lipstick on, a cute pair of shoes and go straight up to the louse, and kick them where it counts.
After my mental swing with my grandparents, I now feel that I am better capable of moving ahead. I know that the good does always win, I just wish it didn't take so long to be the winner. I take comfort in knowing that I carry both of them on my shoulders, that I need both of their attitudes to get me through and I will try to hum a little song while I go forward.