Are You Living in “Grand” Time?

Female Multl Generation Family Walking Along Autumn PathThe advantages of reaching what I now call my “wisdom years” are many. But without question for me, one of the most delightful of those is being a grandmother.

There is something uniquely gratifying about holding the hand of your child’s child.

There is something profoundly meaningful about creating a value in their lives that no one but you can create.

I’m not sure I ever really thought about or completely embraced the idea of legacy until the moment I first looked into my oldest granddaughter’s face as a newborn. What a startling moment that was! A life circle unfolding right in front of my eyes.

I’m asked often about my company name, Mackenzie Circle. Its true genesis moment was meeting my first granddaughter. I reflected back to my own mother, grandmother and her mother before her, Molly Mackenzie. It was then natural to shift that vision forward to my own daughter; her daughters following her. A circle that is ever growing, widening, deepening, ebbing and flowing. And so Mackenzie Circle was born: a company that celebrates life every day in a way that builds a stronger tomorrow for all.

Over the past 15 years as a grandmother there have been many lessons along the way. Perhaps the most compelling thing I can share is that being a grandmother is the most enriching and the most revealing relationship I believe I have experienced. We see the world differently because of the lens they bring us. And we see ourselves differently because of the lens we are able to bring to them.

I recently met a woman that was about to meet her first grand-child. Her anticipation was palpable as you might expect. There was also some trepidation along with the excitement. She asked me what advice I could offer to her and quite frankly, it gave me pause for a moment. But then I realized how truly simple this is. It comes down to three basic things – our calendar, their causes and a focus on creating memories that will sustain them long after we are no longer physically with them.

Your Calendar

If you want to know what you truly value, check your calendar. It was easier when we were the parent. Having our children on our calendar was a matter of routine. We had physical responsibilities that mandated time. As a grandparent, we need to reflect time with our children and grandchildren as a choice. Isn’t it wonderful when you know someone is choosing time with you? And that doesn’t always have to be in person or even voice to voice. Video cards are great. And so is that old stand-by: personal mail. Those hand-written cards and letters are memory box items they will treasure. The key is that they know they are valued because they are on your calendar by choice.

Their Causes

Another area where as grandparents we play a crucial role is by hearing our grandchildren and championing their causes and ideas. Those first fresh personal insights one day grow into their own belief system. These are often borne in the conversations and early reflections we are privileged to share. As we learn to hear them clearly and accept them without judgment (or fear of their judgment of us!), we can grow together by caring together. We are able to help them see beyond themselves to a greater purpose and good by sharing our own causes and introducing them to those ideas. My granddaughter and I take particular delight in sharing books and even music with each other that we’ve found knowing they will appeal to the other. We feel heard and seen when someone reflects back to us what we are projecting to the world in a positive way.

Shared Creations

And last but of course never least is the creation of memories. The best way to create memories for and with each other is to create with each other. Whether that is art, music or even learning something together. Having a reference point for the relationship is what allows them to carry our light with them long after the torch is passed. It is so important to remember that we do not leave a legacy; we live it every day with every encounter.

So here is to those next generations providing us the opportunity (and privilege) to truly live “grand”!

It gives new meaning to living today like you want tomorrow to be.

Within this light, we live today like we want their tomorrow to be.

And that will always be to live well.

 

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