In Blog, Monday Morning

John O'Leary and Grandma CaddyMy Grandmother Caddy Reminds Us to Embrace the Gifts in Front of Us Today

“It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast- you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.” -Eddie Cantor

All the buildup, excitement, planning, time away from work, family gatherings, gifts exchanged, and holidays celebrated is just about over.

And as we prepare to flip the calendar to another year and head back to work, to school, and to real life, many of us wrestle with the question: So, now what?

A woman with nine and a half decades of experience gave me some sage advice at our family Christmas Eve celebration a couple years ago, and today, I’m going to share it with all of you.

Are We Racing and Missing the Gifts Right in Front of Us?

Every year, my parents host as many of their children, daughters and sons-in-law, grandchildren, and dear friends as find themselves in town. In the midst of the chaos two years ago, the matriarch of the family, my 96-year-old grandmother Caddy and I stepped into a quiet room and had a wonderful conversation.

Caddy is an amazing woman. She drinks from the fountain of youth, always wears a smile, and strives to put a smile on the face of anyone with whom she’s speaking.

Grandma Caddy’s short-term memory is fading a bit, but her zest for life and natural beauty remain perfectly intact. During our conversation I asked about her childhood, how she met my grandpa, what it was like during World War II when he was in the Pacific, what life was like raising kids during the 50s, and a few of her favorite memories.

I then asked what advice she’d give me as I continued along this path in life.

She looked me in the eyes, patted my right leg, and responded thoughtfully, “John, it seems like everyone today is so busy racing. All that racing means they’re busy doing things, but also more likely to miss the gifts that are in front of them right now.”

How Can You Embrace Grandma Caddy’s Advice?

Caddy’s 96 of years of raising kids and losing friends, savoring mighty blessings and minor gifts, learning through mistakes, and living life has taught her what matters most. She knows that the success so many of us long for is illusive until we slow down long enough to notice the joys that are already ours to celebrate.

My friends, as we step into a new year, with new goals, new resolutions, new opportunities and new uncertainties, I encourage you to embrace the sage advice of Caddy to slow down and take an inventory of the blessings in your life.

Look around at all you have and stop searching for all you don’t. [Tweet this.] | [Share on Facebook.]

Take account of the lessons you’ve learned, the adventures you’ve experienced, the wisdom you’ve received, the life you’ve lived and the possibility before you.

Because it’s not only the scenery you miss by going fast. You’re also likely to miss the sense of where you are going and why you were going there in the first place.

This is your day. Live Inspired.

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Comments
  • John Krystofik
    Reply

    John,
    This has been too long in coming but I want to thank you for who you are and all you do to inspire all of us. I met you in the beginning of 2018 at our firm’s “State of the Firm” event in New Jersey. I work for Withum Smith + Brown. You signed my copy of your book and included a Scripture reference (James 1, Vs 2-4). I couldn’t wait to look up the scripture verse and to read your book. Since that time, I have spoken about you with family, friends and my parish community and have gifted many copies of your book.
    John, God bless you for never giving up and for living your message of “What more can I do”. I am currently working with key individuals in my Parish (St. Catherine’s in Holmdel, NJ) to see if we could host a presentation by you. Our Parish is one of four Catholic Parishes that is considered our “cohort”. Last fall, we hosted Dr. Allen Hunt and the Dynamic Catholic team. My wife Michelle and I worked on the organization team. I even spoke to Dr. Hunt about you and he said he knew you.
    I continue to follow your podcasts and share them. Would you be interested in coming back to New Jersey to share your story with some fellow sojourners? Please let me know if this is a possibility and how we can arrange it.
    Thank you John.

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