Life

Eight things Grandma learned in 2018

2018 was a crazy year, probably the wildest one I’ve had in my almost 23 years of life. Despite being a grandma, I learnt to become less-grandma-like and took some risks! I didn’t do anything crazy like sky-diving, so don’t get too excited.

  1. I learnt how to cook

Honestly, before I moved out, I really didn’t know how to cook much other than Kraft Dinner, eggs, and pasta. Even when I moved to Edmonton in the beginning of 2018 (stay tuned for another blog post in the future about Edmonton), I lived with family and was very spoiled because they cooked for me almost every day. Although I did learn some very valuable cooking skills from my aunt that I lived with during that time, she knew so much! After I left Edmonton and moved to Kelowna, Pinterest became my BFF (typical middle-aged mom/grandma life). I have become so much more adventurous in cooking, and I’ve made so many recipes that I never would have attempted before. I try to cook every day, but sometimes we just heat up a frozen pizza in the oven, which is totally fine and I’ve learnt to not put unrealistic expectations on making fancy meals during the week. I also bought an instant pot and it’s been life changing. Here are some links to recipes I love!

This spaghetti is one of the easiest things I’ve ever made – Ahmed and I both loved it!
https://thesaltymarshmallow.com/instant-pot-spaghetti

This lasagna is really simple as well and so delicious!                                    http://foodcuration.org/recipes/spinach-lasagna-roll-up/

I’m not a vegetarian, but I try to have one veggie meal a week, these tacos are fantastic and one of my favourite recipes
https://www.cookingclassy.com/roasted-veggie-black-bean-tacos/

2. I learnt how to adapt to change

In 2018, I lived in three different cities. I started the year in Edmonton, moved back to Calgary for a few weeks, before finally moving to Kelowna in May. I’ve never liked change, even when I was younger, I never wanted to adapt or adjust to anything new. Growing up, my dad played softball with a bunch of his friends and I always went to all of his games. One year, he told me that he was thinking about not playing, and I completely lost it! I wasn’t even the one making this decision, but because it meant change, I was not in favour at all! There are so many examples where I’ve resisted any type of change, but 2018 taught me that change isn’t always bad, and learning to adapt is a good life skill to have.

3. I learnt that I need a dog in my life

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Moving away from home in Calgary meant leaving Avalanche, my little dog that I’ve had in my life since I was 12 years old. He’s going to be 11 years old in 2019 which is so crazy because I remember when he was just a puppy and chewed everything in our house, good times. I miss him so much and I wish we weren’t renting in Kelowna so we could get a dog. Animals relieve so much stress and are such a calming presence to have. I never realized how much I needed a dog until I left Avalanche. I wish I could bring him here to live with us, but I’m so excited to visit him over Christmas.

4. I learnt that working full-time sucks

I don’t have much to say about this one. I wish I could retire.

5. I learnt a lot about Alberta

When I lived in Edmonton, I had to travel around the province with work, and I went to small towns that I had never been to. It was actually really fun because on all of the road trips, we always researched the town that we were going to and learnt some random trivia facts. I also visited the world’s largest pierogi and took this selfie.

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Alberta at a glance appears to be just farms, mountains and oil. When I was growing up I couldn’t wait to leave the province, but looking back on it, it’s so beautiful and I should have appreciated it more when I lived there. In 2018, I learnt that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side (or province in this case).

6. I learnt that it’s okay to do life at your own pace

When Ahmed and I first started dating, maybe a year into our relationship, I remember thinking “Okay, we’ll get married and buy our first house at 25, wait two years, and then have kids at 27,” because that’s what my parents did, and that’s what made sense to me. It wasn’t until this year where I realized “why do I have such a specific and concrete plan in my mind?” I was so attached to this idea, for no reason other than I just thought it was what was supposed to happen. I was so convinced that this was the only way our life would go, and it had to happen. North American society has a way of making women feel like they need to have their life together before they turn 30, and I think this is crazy! Buying a house, getting married and having kids is all so expensive, and I’ve put a lot of unnecessary pressure on myself to have it all achieved by the time I’m a certain age. One day I was just thinking about this idea, and it’s like a switch flipped in my mind. I realized that it’s completely okay if we don’t get married at 25, and it’s okay if we can’t buy a house right away. There is no book that says you have to live life a specific way, and realizing this was really a game changer for me.

7. I learnt that I am such a homebody, and that’s okay

I remember always feeling so guilty and bad when people would invite me out to do things when I was a teenager, and I didn’t feel like going because I just wanted to stay home and read a book and take a bath. I felt like I was being a bad friend and I was letting them down because I didn’t want to do the same things that they were interested in. This year, I learnt that I don’t have to feel bad if I don’t want to go out, because I don’t have to do things just to please people. I still love doing low-key things with friends like going out for breakfast, going to a yoga class or a farmer’s market, but I know that if I just want to stay home I shouldn’t be hard on myself and feel bad. I am a grandma after all, I can only handle so much activity.

8. I learnt that I love kids more than anything

Along with leaving my dog in Calgary, I also left my two amazing siblings, who are now 10 and almost 12 years old. Before they came into my life, I never wanted children. I remember my mom would say “you’re young, you’ll change your mind and you’ll want kids one day!” But I always insisted that my mind was made up, and there was nothing that would change it. Seeing my siblings grow up has been an amazing experience for me, and I’ve loved being a big sister to them, even though there’s so much of an age difference between us and I was an only child for so many years. Moving away has made me realize how much I wish I could be there for them every day, and spend all of my time hanging out with them.

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Although I am a grandma, I am also such a kid at heart. I love playing LEGO with them, colouring, making slime, really anything that they want me to do with them, I will agree to. They hold such a special place in my heart and they’ve made me realize how badly I wish I could be a teacher, maybe one day I will go back to school and fulfil this, who knows! Now, instead of not wanting kids, I actually want a minimum of 11 kids (I’m joking, but I do dream about having my cool mom SUV full of kids and taking them to soccer practice).

I think that’s everything, I probably learnt a lot more, but since I’m aging, my memory isn’t what it used to be.

Thanks for reading, I hope you learnt something too!

G-MA

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