Finding the raisins

Finding the raisins

This week we celebrated the life of my grandmother. She died a sudden unexpected death at 96, she just collapsed on the street. In this post I describe the main lesson I learned from her: “You should always find the raisins, in each and every day”.

My granny was 96, survived 2 world wars and a case of Corona. She was known for lots of things. Her cooking was legendary, I once took 2 American friends to her to sample an authentic Dutch meal. She was always connecting people, having them over for coffee, organizing cocktail parties and creating what we as Dutch call: gezelligheid.

She also fully modernised. She was using Facebook, FaceTime, Google Duo, Google Hangouts, email and Google maps on her little motor scooter. My colleagues were very impressed to the point where I used her permission to use a screenshot I took of her and I video calling for a presentation to 250 product managers at Google. I used it as an example of the kinds of users that user our products. So last week I read back through the history of chat with this amazing lady and discovered the main lesson I learned from her and the one I believe kept her in relatively good health until the end.

I saw that we discussed a lot of things. We shared the pleasantries and also updated on the kids etc. But we often discussed things that frustrated me about life. Me hitting my own limitations at work and in other areas. And then the wisdom would come, often more timeless and useful than many management books. She would say something like. “Nothing is perfect, every job has something in it that you won’t like. But you should look for something positive in each day. If you look hard enough you will find something to be thankful for in each day”. She called this: finding the raisins in the oatmeal”

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