Jerry Grundman Marketing Consultant & Business Owner, Peacock Yards LLC
Lessons from Grandfatherhood: Mindfulness and Reflecting on Past and Present
Just before the holidays last year, my oldest daughter made me a grandfather for the first time, giving birth to the most amazing little girl.
The joy of being a grandparent is everything I imagined it would be and more. Holding my granddaughter and watching her grow and develop is an incredible experience.
But it's also brought back vivid memories of when my children were young, and it's easy to get caught up in those memories, to start judging my past self, and forget to fully appreciate the present.
This isn’t a problem when I’m holding my granddaughter and we’re gazing into each other’s eyes. But other times, reliving the past while staying present can be a very challenging balancing act.
Memories have the ability to transport me back in time, to the people and places I’ve loved and lost. So it's equally important to stay grounded in the present and appreciate the moment I’m living in, without getting too caught up in past or future thoughts.
As a new grandfather, I’m experiencing this tension firsthand.
One of the most striking things about looking back like this is how quickly time has passed. It's a bittersweet feeling, as I cherish those early memories while also feeling proud of the amazing people my kids have become.
Yet I occasionally struggle with the uncomfortable feeling that I was not fully present back then, like I am with my granddaughter today. Ouch.
So how do we balance these competing demands of reliving the past while staying present?
One way that helps me is to practice mindfulness, which is focusing my attention on the present moment - without judgment.
Mindfulness can help me stay grounded in the present, while also allowing me to observe my thoughts and emotions without getting too caught up in them. And it cultivates a greater sense of awareness and appreciation for the world around me.
Another approach is to use my memories as a source of inspiration for the present.
I can draw on the lessons I’ve learned from past experiences to inform my present decisions and actions. By doing so, I can honor the past while also staying grounded in the present.
Ultimately, finding the right balance between reliving the past and staying present will depend on the individual and their life circumstances.
By being mindful of our thoughts and emotions, and using our memories as a source of inspiration, we can find a way to navigate these competing demands and live a richer, more fulfilling life, and be more useful to those around us.
As I navigate the tension between reliving the past and staying present, my granddaughter reminds me of the importance of being fully engaged in the present moment.
It is also a constant reminder that life is fleeting, and that each moment is precious. By being present with my granddaughter, I am able to fully appreciate the beauty and wonder of life as it unfolds.
At the same time, my memories of my own children's early years serve as a source of inspiration and guidance as I navigate this new chapter in my life.
Through a combination of mindfulness and reflection, I am finding a way to balance the past and present, and to live my life to the fullest.
I’d love to hear other grandparent’s experiences with this topic. I still have a lot to learn!
Jerry Grundman is a continuous learner and business owner with a diverse range of experience in sales leadership, networking, and marketing. Over the last 25 years, he has worked with numerous small business owners, developing a unique outlook on how to assist others in reaching their personal and professional aspirations.
Jerry is passionate about marketing and supporting entrepreneurship. He is known for his imaginative and cooperative team-player attitude, building strong connections with clients, stakeholders, and colleagues.
In 2022, Jerry achieved his longtime dream of launching a lawn care business, Peacock Yards LLC. Alongside running this business, he uses his website and marketing skills to support solopreneurs, consultants, coaches, freelancers, and small business owners.
Jerry’s focus is on helping people develop their vision, set goals, and create success plans to create progress towards their aspirations.