I think we can safely say the bar has been raised. This Tuesday isn’t about favorite snack food or fall tv – no fluffy stuff for us today – Dana @ Supernanny Where Are You? wants to know who are the 5 most influential people in your life? Who has helped define who you are today, and why?
Anybody else ready to kind of lean over your desk, into your computer, onto someone else’s computer and sneak a peek at their answers? Anybody? REALLY, nobody? JUST ME? Well… then… I guess I’ll just pretend that thought wasn’t there… Boy am I ever super pumped for this week’s question, surely I could name at least 15 people easily and with flair, but I don’t want to make anyone else out there feel all inferior and whatnot, so I’ll just trim it back down to five people – easy peasy like.
Alright… let’s go…
Well the first one that comes to mind, we’ll call her (1) is my grandmother. Growing up without a constant “mother” figure in my life (and by that I mean, since my mother and father divorced when I was like 3 and my father got sole custody and I pretty much never saw my mother again ever, though we do talk a bit now online…) my grandma on my dad’s side pretty much assumed the role in my mind. And there is no better role model. My grandma can do anything, with flair, and if she can’t, she’s been fooling me for years. Crafty (she can do ALL crafts and does them well), educated (I haven’t found a subject yet she can’t talk knowledgeably about), motivating (she is the ultimate ego boost for all around her and believes that everyone should have someone in their life always at the ready to tell them how wonderful, clever and amazing they are), loving wife (she has taught me everything I know about being a good wife, for instance, how to pretend you can’t do something even if you can, and I think my husband would tell you I’m doing a good job, so thanks goes to her), stylish and well informed, my grandma has me in awe on a fairly constant basis. Literally, while growing up, when I wondered, “What do I want to be when I grow up?” my answer has always included “a grandmother” because of her.
Of course I think my father ties with my grandmother in level of influence but since this is a Top 5, we’ll call him number (2) but you should know he’s never been number 2 in my book, he’s simply number two on this list. My father, as you have now read, raised me mostly by himself, while working 60 hour weeks. Which involved living with his mother for several years so that somebody could be at home to take care of me when I wasn’t in school but he was at work (and experience tells me that living with your parents while raising a child is HARD so kudos to him for doing it as long as he did). Yet I never felt a loss for our time together because all of our time together has been quality. He is loving and smart and passionate and has worked hard to raise me to not make his mistakes, but to not hide from the mistakes I do make. And he’s an even better grandfather. Since growing up and leaving the nest, I’ve continued to see my father make his dreams come true, try new things, find true love and in general, make me exceedingly proud of him.
(and now I sit and think hmmmmmm for hours on end, but then pretend I didn’t)
Okay, I know she’s going to blush incessantly for this, but remember my bestie who just started her own blog, (3) Red Knows How? Well, she is truly inspirational. I will try not to go into too many details, but let’s just say, has two beautiful girls with one loving husband, making them the perfect family of four, held her chin up against a lot of flack and drama, supported her family when her husband couldn’t, has already swam the seas of homeownership and a few careers and now has an amazing work at home job that most people I know could only dream of. And even when you would look at her and think, “How does she do it?” when people around her are struggling, she always lends her helping hand, a la Mother Teresa. Her life is a struggle, but she always manages to make it look easy, to me at least. There is nothing this woman can’t accomplish, no matter how crazy the world around her gets, she always, in the words of Tim Gunn, “makes it work.” A few years ago a lot of things started to happen in my own world that were vaguely reminiscent of her own struggles and I think it’s thanks to her that I’ve done as well for myself as I have. If I can be half as competent and accomplished as she is, I’ll be a happy woman.
(4) Have I told you much about my in-laws, because THEY are amazing people. My mother-in-law is another one of those women who is always reaching out, always helping those around her, while raising a family of FOUR children who all happen to be geniuses. I’d love to tell you I’m exaggerating, but I’m not. And I don’t think you need to imagine how much trouble truly smart children could get themselves into – the phrase knowing too much for your own good comes to mind. And this woman has done it all. She has given her children the childhood that I dream of for my own brood and sometimes wish I’d had myself. If I could emulate my mothering style off of anyone, she would be a prime candidate in a lot of regards.
(5) Over the past couple of years I’ve become seriously interested in this planet and what I can do to help it and the people in it. I’ve picked up some bad habits in my life but lately I’m starting to pick up good ones, too – EASY ones like shopping with reusable bags. I remember talking about how I wanted to do it someday and a friend of mine, Rochelle, said, “So do it.” And I realized, “Um, yeah, why don’t I just do that?” And she’s been helpful like that in a lot of regards. She’s a big Greenie you could say and very accomplished, along with being a wonderful mother and wife, but it’s her drive to DO the things that matter that has really inspired me to stop sitting and dreaming about the woman I could be someday, and to sometimes, get up and just DO it.
So there you have it – some of the people who have made a difference in my life, mainly by being amazing and doing so in my presence and allowing me to think, “That’s how I would do that.” Let me take this minute to address those five people, even though they will likely not be reading this, except of course for Red, and say “Thank you, thank you very much.”
Who has influenced YOUR life?