18 Ways You Should Live the Way Your Grandparents Did

Life was pretty damn different for our grandparents then it is for us.

They lived greener, simpler, and more frugal lives full of actual in-person conversations, Sunday night dinners, and card games.

And though forgetting a smartphone at home is pretty much worthy of a public panic attack in a way they’d never understand, the older we get, the more we realize that our grandparents were right about a few things. 

Here are some ‘older’ life lessons you should be keeping in mind.

1. Get Dressed Up to Do Ordinary Things
Our grandparents dressed up to do ordinary things – like a trip to the grocery store, a flight, or a visit to the hairdresser. And though it’s nice having the option not to (sweats and ball caps are sometimes essential), there’s no shame in looking our finest whenever we step outside– even if it’s just to grab takeout.

2. Fix it if it’s Broken
Our grandparents knew how to get the most out of their clothes and shoes – if they were broken, they’d “mend” it. While most of us can’t even sew a button, they could hem their own pants, make dresses and clothes, and sew curtains. Now, that’s resourceful.

3. Memorize Phone Numbers
Many young professionals couldn’t recite their significant other’s phone number if you paid them. But anyone who’s lost a cellphone to a cab or toilet while out on the town knows just how essential knowing a number by memory (especially your own) can be.

4. Commit and Stick to Plans
When your grandparents made plans, they stuck to them. Without smartphones, there wasn’t a way to cancel last minute anyway. With so many options at our fingertips, we’re flakier than ever thanks to the smartphone and our love/hate relationship with it. 

5. Make Meals from Scratch
If you’re going to make a meal, do it authentically, straight from scratch the way your grandma used to…or don’t make it at all.

6. Write Handwritten Letters
Grandparents have written practically as many handwritten letters – complete with impeccable cursive writing – as we have emails (well, close). Today, handwritten letters are such a rarity that when received, they leave a major impact.

7. Play the Piano (Or Any Instrument)
Ever notice that pretty much every grandparent could play the piano? Or at least had one in their home? While it doesn’t have to be the piano, learning to play an instrument could fill that creative void you’ve been craving.  

8. Bring Your Lunch
While most of us think nothing of eating out five times a week, for our grandparents, hitting a restaurant was reserved for special occasions. That’s why they’d head off to work with a brown-bagged lunch of last night’s leftovers in hand, saving money and – likely – needless calories.

9. Play Non-Electronic Games
All you needed was a full deck of cards for hours of entertainment with our grandparents and their houseguests. We’ve seen a return to the board game in recent years and hope it’s not a fading trend.

10. Grow Your Own Food
Who isn’t into local these days? It doesn’t get much more local than your backyard or balcony, so create your own garden like your grandparents did. Your body and wallet will thank you.

11. Hang Your Clothes Out to Dry
Give your dryer a break and hang your clothes to dry. Not only will you be a less angry human when your clothes don’t shrink, nothing smells better than air-dried sheets and tees, plus, you’re reducing your carbon footprint in the process.

12. Buy Less
No matter their means, after living through the Great Depression, our grandparents bought a whole lot less than we do – and were smarter with their purchases. Most YPs tend to squeeze every last drop out of their paycheque on everything from hefty bar tabs to yet another pair of sunglasses.

13. Live Within Your Means
If our grandparents couldn’t afford it, they didn’t do it. In the absence of credit cards, there was no borrowing of money to fund things like another vacation or shoe habit you couldn’t afford (thanks, Carrie Bradshaw).

14. Use a Proper Camera
Don’t lie; your phone’s full of dozens of virtually the same photograph in an attempt to capture the perfect one for Instagram. Remember when every shot mattered? And the excitement of waiting for photos to be developed? Sure, the shots may not have been perfect, but how fun was that?

15. Marry Your Best Friend
When the party’s over, looks are fading, and health concerns become real, you need to have married someone who will be right there alongside you, holding your wrinkly hand through everything.

16. Create and Embrace Tradition
Whether it was Sunday night dinner or family game night, grandparents lived their lives with some sort of tradition. With life more over stimulated and chaotic than ever before, we all could use something stable.

17. Entertain at Home
Bring the party back into your home. Always be prepared for last minute company, and make it a habit to host more dinner parties – you’ll get to know your friends better than you would in a restaurant, and you can eliminate a cab ride from the equation.

18. Place More Value in the Small Things
Having lived through simpler times and enough years to know what’s really important, grandparents know how to appreciate the small things – whether a sunset or a bird – more than anyone. And that’s essential in achieving basic happiness. 


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Cover image from: http://www.sherwood-oaks.com

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