My parents divorced when I was very young and for the majority of my childhood I was brought up in a single parent household. My mother worked full-time and my father was working equally hard but in a city 70 miles away. School holidays were spent in various locations, but generally we spent a lot of time with my paternal grandparents in North London. My Granny and Grandad were very much a part of our lives and a great influence on who I am today, not that I realised that at the time. And one of the things my Granny used to say to me (because Granny’s love their sayings and mottos right?) was ‘there’s no such thing as boredom’.
My little brother and I would sometimes spend two weeks at a time over the school holidays at Granny and Grandad’s. We would play with toys from the downstairs cupboard, run around the huge garden, watch old Disney films on VHS, read old newspapers, bake flapjacks, play on the grand piano or spend hours on the swing at the back of the garden under all the apple trees. In hindsight, it was a wonderfully idyllic time.
But my Grandparents were very strict over the time we were allowed to watch television. Apparently it would make our eyes go square if we watched too much. Being the little ruffians that we were, and my lil bro was a massive telly addict, we wanted to watch a lot more telly than our rationed hour or two a day.
“But we’re booooorrrrrrred!”, we would moan. Hoping that our whining and moaning would change our Granny’s mind.
“There’s no such thing as boredom”, she would say.
And sure enough, after a whole bucket of reluctance, we would find something else to do. Playing with toys, making up imaginary scenarios, playing cricket or rounders in the garden, getting the paddling pool out, playing hide and seek for hours (it’s a higgedly piggedly house), baking, writing letters to our parents, drawing, learning chinese brush painting (my Granny took a night class), singing on the swing, taking the dog for a walk, reading books, reading newspapers, staring at the atlas for hours, playing and trying to learn the piano, watching my Grandad tinker with the car, more dog walking, more baking … and so on. We had quite an activity filled time at Granny and Grandads.
Today’s topic for #BEDM is ‘Motivation’. To me, motivation is about remembering those words from my Granny. There is always something to be done. There is always a way to be creative with time. And motivation is an attitude to life.
My Granny and Grandad are now in their 80’s and they are more active than most 20-40 year olds I know. They have spent their past 20 years of retirement playing golf and bowls. My Granny is a knitting and crochet extraordinaire. My Grandad is a huge photography enthusiast. They have the most beautiful garden, all tended to by their fair hands, their house is spotless, they have the most adorable Cockerpoo puppy, plus they have a very active social life. When they go shopping my Grandad purposely parks as far away as possible to make sure they walk a good distance. They’ve never been overweight and despite the various illnesses and whatnot that comes with older age, they keep on going, keep being active.
Because there’s no such thing as boredom.
My Grandparents are huge inspiration to me and they keep me motivated every day.