I wrote this blog in 2011, but in honor of Betty’s 94th birthday, I’m reposting!
Well, neither of my grandmothers were Betty White but they were both lovable, feisty and opinionated in their own rights. I remember my fraternal grandmother asking me once, when I was in high school, how much longer I was going to wear that “black eye makeup because it makes you look like a hooker.” It’s hilarious to think about now and don’t think I didn’t consider her surprising remark then. Of course, I’m bloodline to families of highly stubborn women, so I took my time … but, yes, I changed my makeup.
I can’t help but think of my grandmothers when I see Betty White. The actress celebrated her 89th birthday this week in style – making the rounds of television entertainment shows, drinking Vodka with David Letterman, plugging the second season of her saucy sitcom, Hot in Cleveland. After seven decades in show business, this ornery lady made quite the comeback in the past year starting with that very surprising and memorable Snickers Super Bowl commercial.
I celebrated my own birthday this month — without quite the same fanfare — and did a little inventory of my life to date. I thought about all the lessons (most quite forming, though one or two may have seemed harsh) I learned from my grandmothers. And in light of her being so top of mind, I’ve also introspectively asked myself, “So what have I learned from Betty White?”
Not how to eat a healthy diet. Reports are that her daily diet is full of french fries, hot dogs, Red Vines licorice and Diet Coke. Not a diet my grandmothers would approve of (and I’m with Betty on that Diet Coke train).
How to be polite and respectful? Not quite. Her language is a bit salty for some, at times, but it’s the juxtaposition of that with her sweet appearance that makes her so darn lovable.
I think what I’ve taken away the most from Betty is “stick-to-it-tiveness”. Relating that to recent occurrences in my own life, it means rolling with the flow when live throws you a curveball, taking advantage of surprising opportunities that may come to you out of the blue, or just staying committed to reaching a personal or professional goal.
“Stick-to-it-tiveness” for me is remaining committed to embracing change. Whether you’re 40 or 90, it’s never too late to meet someone new, alarm your family with a major life decision or just do something that takes you out of your comfort zone. If you don’t embrace change life becomes stagnant. Shake it up a bit. By embracing change you just might lead yourself to people, places and accomplishments you’ve never imagined. Thanks Betty.
So what would you like to thank Betty White (or your grandmothers) for today?