Editor’s Note: Sharon Schmidt composed these words of wisdom for her granddaughters in 2009. She asked that they not think of her as a goofy old bat, but take the following advice and the love that comes with it.
* Don’t take life too seriously – it goes by too quickly and you will miss a lot.
*If you find the love of your life, cherish that love and be faithful, forgiving and loving.
*If you find that special girl-friend, cherish and appreciate her. These friends are rare. If a girl-friend betrays you, forgive her in your heart and move on. BE a good and loyal girlfriend to someone also.
*Don’t ever betray a confidence made to you. If someone trusts you enough to confide in you, honor that trust.
*Demand that the man respect and treat you like a lady. You are, after all a woman, and you should be treated like one. Likewise, act like a lady. Be proud to be a woman. You are a classy, independent, woman.
*In a relationship, keep all things private. What goes on between you is no one else’s business. You need to work it out amongst yourselves, and will thus establish a bond and strengthen your trust in each other. If you do need to confide in someone, have coffee with that special girlfriend.
*If a man abuses you, run like hell and do not look back.
*In a relationship, never, ever bring up something from the past. It is history.
*Call your Grandma
*Love your children with all of your heart and enjoy them today because time passes too quickly.
*Preparing them to be independent adults is your job.
*Do those kegel exercises every time you think about it. It will not only enhance your sex life, it will hold things in place as you get older (your bladder and uterus). Keep that pelvic wall strong.
*Get an education. Knowledge is power! FIND A WAY TO DO IT! You will be able to live your life, making a living while doing what you love.
*Think of retirement funds now. Do not depend on a man or anyone else to do this for you.
*Whoever invented the Swiffer (dusters and cloths) should be applauded.
*Whoever wrote that song, “Cowgirls don’t cry”? Hogwash!! If you need to cry, cry till you are wore out. It will refresh you, and God made those tears as our natural release valve.
*Love your parents. Treat them with respect at all times. No matter what you may think, parents (and grandparents) don’t come with a manual… they make mistakes and do things wrong too. Accept and realize that. Life is not easy. You will have your own challenges as a parent and then you will appreciate that all the more.
*Don’t spend all of your money on nonsense. Try to be thrifty, but don’t be cheap either.
*Don’t wear your pants too tight. Ick.
*Love your grandma.
*Treat yourself from time to time, but if you can’t afford it, wait till you can.
*Save money. Don’t run up credit card debt.
*Have soap and hand towels in the bathroom.
*Brush your teeth and floss every day. In fact brush them purly whites twice a day.
*Tithe. You don’t have to give a lot, just get into the habit of giving to God.
*Read books when you can.
*Nap when you are tired.
*Exercise every day. Find something you like to do and make it a life long habit.
*Eat what you like, just be careful not to eat too much of it.
*Shopping is good exercise.
*Never run out of toilet paper.
*Buy grandma a latte.
*Don’t hold a grudge or hate anyone. The other person is not even aware of it, and you are expending useless energy for nothing.
*Journal when you feel stressed, or even better, as a daily habit.
*You can never have too many shoes.
*Always wear clean undies.
*Say your night prayers. If you don’t have a favorite, find one and do it nightly.
*Apologize when you have hurt someone.
*Use napkins at all meals.
*Don’t be loud. People don’t like a loud-mouth and you sure don’t want to be called one.
*Don’t lie. Most of the time people know that you are lying, and it just complicates things. Don’t do anything in the first place that you need to lie about.
*Be a good listener. Be attentive to what others are saying to you. Don’t talk too much. Let others talk.
*Allow others to have their own opinions and beliefs. Try hard not to be judgmental.
*Johnny Cash is the greatest performer ever, right?
*Be thankful – appreciate what people do for you and show it. Send a card, make a call or buy a small gift.
*Stay in bed and listen to the rain.
*Forgive yourself. We all do things that we are not proud of, but if God can forgive us, then how can we not forgive ourselves. Likewise, forgive others.
*Clean your house. Don’t be OC about it, but it is much easier to keep a clean house than a messy one.
*Clean your car.
*Don’t be late. It is very rude. If you can’t avoid it, make a call.
*Don’t be dishonest. If someone gives you more change for instance, draw their attention to it. You don’t need to get rich at someone else’s expense.
*Be kind to others. If someone is rude or short or cuts you off in traffic etc… just try to think about what they may be going through in life.
*If grandma texts you, reply immediately.
*The color of your eyes is not important. It is what is behind and beyond those eyes that matters.
*Send cards to your mom and dad on Mother and Father’s Day.
*Despite what you may hear from others, not all grandmothers like/love dogs, cats, horses or various rodents and varmints.
*When someone you love dies, be respectful and take care of the grave.
*Love does not hurt.
*You can always be safe when you buy a gift for mom, grandma, daughter or granddaughter at Bath & Body, Starbucks or Victoria’s Secret
*If you must chew gum, do it nicely.
*The handwritten word and hard copy pictures are very important. Send cards and letters to your friends and loved ones. Electronic mail is great, but to look back at a letter, a card or a picture is just priceless.
*Stand up straight. Good posture is a must.
*Don’t text while you are driving and don’t drive fast.
*Hang your wall stuff by using sewing needles. They can hold a lot.
*You need to move away from mom & dad, but don’t move so far away that they can’t get to you if they need to. Parents aren’t always the ones who get sick.
*A glass of wine a day keeps the doctor away.
*Grandmas (and lots of old folks in general) are actually still girls, just in older bodies but with a lot more information in them.
*If your friend (or grandma) has a booger in their nose, please let them know.
*Same goes with bad breath.
*The first snow of the season is pretty cool, no matter how old you are.
*Be aware of your surroundings. Don’t be in lala land when you are out and about, especially in the evening, or any time that you are alone.
*Do not let ANYONE control you.
*You can tell grandma your secrets. She won’t tell.
Sharon Schmidt is retired, likes to travel, garden, walk, volunteer and spend time at the Women’s Health Center