Every child and every adult woman wants to have friends and be part of a group. With guiding principles, I think you as their grandmother can play a role in educating them on the important principles of friendship and how to choose a group of friends. This will help them make wise decisions and avoid fickle, fake, and poor role models. Teaching grandchildren through storytelling is a great way to impart a message. I choose to tell my grandchildren a true story about, The Olive Tree.
I use her as a guide because I learned The Olive Tree is giving, sharing, and caring. She embodies the good character our grandchildren and women over 50 should examine before choosing a new friend or group of friends.
Here is my story…
The Olive Tree Story
When I moved to California, I was aghast at the unattractiveness of the hundreds of olive trees lining the streets of Rancho Mirage. It was difficult for me to lay my eyes upon them. I wanted nothing to do with these trees and wished they would go away. They were ugly and scary looking, and their trunks looked as though they were a million years old.
One day out of curiosity I googled ‘Olive Tree’. I wanted to learn about it before passing final judgment, something you should do when you choose a new friend or a group of friends. Why? Because each can have a powerful influence on your attitude, reputation, and the direction you take in your life.
I’m so glad I did my research because I was in for a wonderful and pleasant surprise. (See what happens when you are curious!)
The Olive Tree is mentioned several times in The Bible. It was the first tree that sprouted up 7,000 years ago in the warm regions of the Middle East and its life span is over 2,000 years. Because of research, curiosity, and an open mind, my viewpoint was changing. I now saw the tree as ‘God-like,’ even going so far as calling her, ’The Tree of God.’ I was having a 100% change of heart. I continued reading and learned more:
The Olive Tree was a ‘best friend’ to all the people in the Middle East because she was caring and giving. She became revered for bearing olives for nourishment and sharing the oils in her olives to light the sacred lamps. Her oils were used for cooking, ointments, and even skin products. She was considerate, shading her people during warm weather with her outlay of branched leaves. She was generous; her trunk used for wood making and building homes. She provided income for families from the sale of her olives and wood. Her olive branch is still the symbol of peace. The Olive Tree has a 7,000-year history of ‘sharing herself’ with the world!
And this, dear Grandchildren, is your grandmother’s message…
Before hitching your star to any person or group compare them to The Olive Tree. Her attributes speak of her inner beauty. She is sharing, considerate, helpful, kind, and nourishing. And, it is those inner traits you look for, dear Grandchild of mine, in a friend or in a group of friends. Amen.
Women Over 50 and Friendship
As time passes and our children leave our nest, we enter a new passage in life. Often times our friends change because our lives change. There is no more carpooling, PTA meetings, after-school activities, or moments on the phone to discuss teachers or an upcoming event. Some of us are newly divorced or widowed. Many of us move away from our old neighborhood and start a new life, and while some of us stay put in our neighborhood, we purchase a second home.
With these changes come new acquaintances. This can be a marvelous experience because you personally get to choose your friends and groups. Of course, you are far more intuitive and knowledgeable than you were in your 20’s and 30’s, but that is not to say mistakes will be made along the way.
What I have been reading is most older women are great but some act like teenagers or worse! These women can be marvelous, bright, sharped tongued, bullies, jealous, and just plain mean. And, I have learned from my readings that older women with far less to do revert to the catty and spiteful comments they made in high school.
I have run into only a very few of the mean ones and I am sure you have as well. They puzzle and baffle me and I feel sorry for them. Just recently, I eliminated one from my life. She pushed me too far. She can be most unkind and uses different types of bullying tactics. Her reason is to hurt me but she can’t. I am not worried about her missing me. She will find one or more women to take my place.
So you see darling, meanness comes at every age, and at this stage of life, none of us need it. This is our time to smell the roses and bloom. What better way than to have interesting and lovely women in our lives.
I believe in visualization. Therefore, when you are choosing new friends, acquaintances, and a new group, I pass this message on to you…
Think of The Olive Tree, so unattractive because of her gnarled and twisted trunk. Yet, after taking the time to evaluate her, I wound up loving her because of her majestic and valuable inner beauty. She gave back. That, darling, is how you choose a new friend, acquaintance or group, after 50.
My Olive Tree Has a New Home
We no longer own our home, Shangri-La, in Rancho Mirage. One day, years before, I decided to plant an olive tree outside the doors of my office. I decided on a Dwarf Olive. Every day I admired her for more reasons than I can share. She grew and came to be majestically beautiful with her sturdy trunk and several branches and she earned her place in my heart for all eternity. To my amazement, she became so beautiful because of her inner beauty! Just like my close friends who have earned a place in my heart for all eternity.
When we sold our home in Rancho Mirage, all I could think about on an emotional level was my tree and her future care. I did not want to wonder and worry about possible neglect…So, I had her uprooted and gave her to my housekeeper, Rosa, one of my dearest friends. She is safe. Rosa will enjoy and nurture her. She will thrive and each will make the other happy. And, though I miss my Olive, she will have a lasting place in my heart. She taught me a lesson on giving, and I hopefully taught my Grands, and hopefully sent you a message, too.
It is late at night. I just turned off the lights and I feel the silkiness of my beautiful white linens with green trim wrapped around me. I feel the weight of the flowered duvet keeping me warm, and my pooch and Ultimate Concierge next to me and…my Olive, close to my heart. I am at peace.
Do you have any stories you share with your grandchildren to teach them life lessons? Please share them in the comments at the bottom of this page. I would love to hear from you.
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