A Word From The Wise

Jane, Judy, Angie, Glenna, Sue, Cathy, Karen. 

7 women, all 30+ years my senior. Jane is my grandmother, and Cathy is my aunt. The rest are dear family friends, but we might as well just call them my godmothers. I had the pleasure of spending my Memorial Day weekend with these ladies at the shore, relaxing in the sand, sharing a few laughs over wine, and sharing even more over a game of Cards Against Humanity. Yes, I made my 86 year-old grandmother play, and oh my gosh, am I going to cherish that hour of side-splitting laughter for the rest of my life. For anyone who’s ever played this racy game, or as my Grammy calls it, “a bad, bad game”,  it’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s SO FUN.


The last few Memorial Day weekends, I’ve been thankful that I get to escape Philly and slow my place for minute. No work, no stress… just me and “the gals”. It’s not everyday that I find myself in the company of generations spanning well past mine, and it’s actually become quite a treat for me. Being surrounded by these women, I feel safe and I feel at ease. They teach me things without even knowing it. I observe from the sidelines; watching them in the kitchen, watching them tidy up a room, listening to their conversations…

As the weekend came to a close, I realized how much I love being in their presence. Their wisdom is wholesome, their knowledge is wise. I learn so much from these real life “Giving Trees”. From their stories to their worries, I take in everything I hear, then digest.


I asked each of them to tell me one important thing they’ve learned and kept with them thus far in life. I created a little list on my phone of everything they said, plus some of my own learnings that I took away from this past weekend. It looks a little bit like this:

*Never lose your humor

*You’re as young as you feel

*It’s never too late to travel (apparently there’s water in Tahiti so blue that it will make you cry)

*Save money. Always. 


*Live in the moment, and take everything for what it is

*Don’t dwell on the past

*Frame of reference — view things from all perspectives

*First impressions are not always the best

*Be patient

*It’s always “5 o’clock somewhere,” but be responsible

*With age comes happiness

*Cherish your friendships

*Keep the ones you love close by


Having that list is like having them by my side and a constant reminder to always be the best version of myself.

Much love, ladies <3

More inspiring posts from the BLDG 25 Blog.

Follow Jana on Twitter and Instagram.


  1. Beautiful words for a wonderful weekend together. Thanks for stating it so eloquently. The sharing and learning comes from you as well Jana!

  2. So sweet! As the bishop of the weekend, I bless you with many more days like these last few. A little warmer wouldn’t hurt either! <3 <3 <3

  3. As one of the people (Free, or otherwise), privileged to be part of such a wonderfully wise, caring and beautiful group, I applaud your insight as to what really matters. I am eternally grateful to be in the company of such great human beings. I look forward to you carrying on the traditions and goodness of your grandmother.

  4. i love this! is there a way we can get this as a background for phones/laptops. would be a nice constant reminder

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.