Long before positive thinking or affirmations became a thing, my grandmother led by example. She had a way of framing things and people in the best light. I’ll never forget what Gran said one day after my eldest son was scolded by my father for doing something naughty. The family, exasperated with him, had decided my son had Attention Deficit Disorder. Gran said, “He’s not naughty. He doesn’t have ADD or anything like that. What he has is spirit. Mark my words, he will go far in life.” (Turned out she was right, but that’s another story). With those words, my beloved grandmother turned a bad situation around to good and changed my outlook for the better.
Gran called it ‘thinking the right thoughts.’

We love that phrase in our family. Whenever any of us had something important happening that we were hoping would go well, Gran would always say, “I’ll think the right thoughts.” Which meant she would only envisage and only speak about the best possible outcome. That was how she lived. She walked her talk. These days I use the technique constantly. In keeping with the theme of resilience in various posts lately, I thought it would be the ideal time to share some of my grandmother’s outlook on life.

You’re welcome.

Whenever Gran had an event or outing coming up, she would say, “I’m looking forward to it with a confident sense of anticipation.” It was so simple. She demonstrated positive thinking as a way of life. That little gem has become a family saying, a special something we say to one another on occasion with fond knowingness.
I used to visit my grandmother on Thursdays. She lived around the corner from our house. I’d walk into her neat, elegant little unit at the start of the day and leave again around five in the evening. Thursdays were our day to hang out together. We always started our soiree with morning tea, which Gran would have set out on a tray. There would be tea in fine china cups with saucers, served with an array of sweet treats. Gran was a legendary baker and baked every day. She’d serve a plate of fresh scones, or sponge cake, or muffins, whatever treats she had made that morning. After eating, we’d sit in the lazy-boy chairs in the living room and talk. Then I would help her put out and bring in the laundry. We sometimes looked at photos or her embroidery. Sometimes we baked together. Then Gran would serve a big lunch with meat, vegetables, and homemade dessert like her apple pie or blackberry crumble. We would talk until it was time to say goodbye.

Every time I reached her door to leave, Gran would give one parting shot to take with me. It was usually one or two favourite sayings, “Remember my dear,” she would say, “Set your sights upon a star, and you will go far,” or “Every cloud has a silver lining, if you look for the silver lining you will find it.
They were the same sayings, time and again, yet I would walk along the street thinking about what she had said and repeating it to myself.
My grandmother inspired me with her natural optimism and right thinking. It shaped how I look at everything. I am a big believer in daily affirmations, in speaking positively to myself and others. I have a whiteboard with life-affirming statements on it, which I read a few times a day.
If we want to keep our spirits up, we need to bear witness to the words coming out of our mouths. People these days tend to be one-track-minded and fatalistic. Conversations have never been more boring.

Chats with friends and neighbours can often be depressing, and I don’t think these people realize the effect they’re having on others. Why not converse with loved ones about the book you’re reading, the movie you’ve seen, or the creative project you’re working on. We don’t always have to talk about Covid, people!
I prefer following my grandmother’s example. The glass-half-full approach means looking at the things that are working in our lives. I use a daily gratitude journal to note what I’m grateful for and make it a practice to say thank you for all the blessings. If you ask how I’m doing, I’ll be thinking the right thoughts and looking forward to what the future brings with a confident sense of anticipation!

I hope you gained a gem or two from this post for yourself.
Do you have grandparents with their little sayings? Have you ever tried keeping a gratitude journal?

Talk to you later.
Keep creating!
Yvette Carol
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“Emptiness is a symptom that you are not living creatively.” – Maxwell Maltz.

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Comments
  1. davidprosser says:

    I like your glass half full approach Yvette, it brightens the lives of those you share with. I’m sure my grandmother (Nanna) shared a lot but the only thing I remember was on a little plaque near her chair. All the world’s queer save thee and me, and even thees a little queer. Robert Owen- 1771-1858
    Hugs Galore

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Keith says:

    Yvette, thank you so much for sharing these vignettes about your Gran. What a wise and wonderful spirit. I love the first quote of “thinking the right thoughts” and it serves as a key takeaway given its use as a title.

    I describe my mother’s mother, whom we called “Big Mama” (like “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”) as a person who was a character and had character. Her whole family of eleven siblings were funny and kind people. Each had to be funny to keep up.

    True story, one of my mother’s cousins (Jimmy) traveled from Georgia in the US to Australia and met his future wife there. They raised their family in Australia and, ironically, both children got wonderful jobs back in the US. So, the family has history in two countries. I met Jimmy once before he left for Australia and never saw him again until his mother suddenly passed. His mother Nell was one of the finest people I ever knew, as she was the one who was always at the hospital to be with the family whose loved one was ill. She was like your Gran.

    I am thankful that you shared these nice memories, which are therapeutic for us readers. I presume that is you with the big smile as you pose with your Gran in the last picture.

    Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Hi, Keith. Yes, that is me with my grandmother. And I agree with you, Nell sounds a lot like Gran. She was a true matriarch of the family like a rock. A very small rock. She used to say she was “five foot nothing!”
      Thanks for the feedback. They are the things I remember which bring comfort and guidance still, all these years after Gran’s passing. Keep thinking the right thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Keith says:

        Yvette, she sounds like a gem. I shared your Gran’s quote that you used in your title with my wife and one of my sons at lunch. They loved it. Just know, here I am in another hemisphere many thousands of miles away, quoting your grandmother. That is cool.

        Here is one in return. My grandmother’s children called her Mother because everyone in the small community where she grew up called her mother “Mama.” even those unrelated. My great-grandmother was the community, self-appointed nurse, so when the doctor came to town once a month, she would accompany him. Mama sounds like your Gran with the five foot nothing, as she was also tiny. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

      • yvettecarol says:

        Keith, you have brought a big smile to my face, knowing you are on the other side of the world, quoting Gran. She would be tickled pink. Thank you for telling me about Mama. She sounds wonderful.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such a lovely post Yvette. Your grandmother sounds like just the one would have wanted. And, what a beautiful photo of her. Such a positive light in your life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Thanks, Vivienne. Gran has not been far from my thoughts lately and it felt really expansive to share these things. I was thinking, that I will be writing and speaking about my grandmother all of my days. That is the measure of my admiration for this legendary woman.

      Like

  4. My dad used to say in this voice of wisdom and thoughtfulness, “Let your wind blow free, for holding your wind may be the death of thee.” Then he’d fart and clear the house out. LOL Sorry that’s the only speck of wisdom I can remember this morning.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mary Aalgaard says:

    Thanks for sharing those sweet stories of your grandmother. We can learn so much from people who live long and seem to be happy.
    Mary at Play off the Page

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      My pleasure, Mary. Despite having a lifelong weakness in the chest, then developing bone cancer and Paget’s disease in her old age, Gran still managed to live to 89. She was a true wonder. You’re right, we can learn so much from them.

      Like

  6. […] outcome. Readers of this blog may remember a post I wrote, sharing my Gran’s wisdom, Thinking the Right Thoughts. This is the method I am employing today. I will write in my journal, The theme for 2021 was …. […]

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