I decided to start a new series on my blog where I interview different people from all backgrounds, generations, etc. Starting with my Nan.
I’m very lucky that I have a lovely Nan who I’ve always been very close to. She’s very much been someone that I look up to when it comes to needing courage or warmth. She has always supported me in everything I’ve done, and I am very grateful for that.
I hope the questions I decided to ask my Nan are interesting and her answers give some sort of insight. As a part of Gen Z, it was very insightful for me to find out what someone who I presume is in the baby boomer generation thought of things.
What is the earliest memory you have? Is it a good or a bad memory?
I think the earliest memory I have is of my Mum reading bedtime stories to me, I remember sitting on her lap, along with my brother, while she read Little Grey Rabbit, and Noddy and Big Ears amongst others, so it’s a very happy memory.
What are your dreams for your children and grandchildren?
My dreams for my children and Grandchildren have always been the same for both, that they have a happy, healthy life and achieve the goals they aim for. Living in a peaceful world too.
Do you think society has improved or deteriorated as a whole? (Are we more of a community or less of a community?)Society has changed a lot. As a whole I think it’s sadly deteriorated, people are less tolerant and life is a rush. The community spirit has dwindled too but I hope that things will get better, it’s important to encourage people to talk and get together more.
What are your views on the rise of technology – good or bad? (Could you live without it now that you’ve used it?)
Technology has changed so much in the last 10 yrs, let alone the last 50! In a lot of respects it’s a good thing, enabling us to communicate better and to explore new ideas, in medicine and travel it’s opened up so many new opportunities. I suppose I’d miss some things now that I’ve got used to using them, but as I grew up without a lot of it anyway I think I could survive all right if I had to go without.
How have views on mental illness changed between our generations?
I have seen views on mental illness change a lot over the years, thank goodness. I think it’s taken a lot of work by the younger generation to bring it to the attention of us older ones, which is good, and there is, thankfully, more understanding between generations now I think.
What is your biggest regret from when you were my age?
I don’t really have any big regrets from when I was in my 20s. I was happily married with 2 young children, there was never a lot of money but I as I had friends in the same situation we helped each other and generally had a good life.
Were you aware of mental illness/mental health when you were my age? Was it spoken about?
Yes, I was aware of mental illness/mental health issues as I grew up mainly just from hearing about things from friends, but between the family it was never really spoken about, there was always the stigma of it and I knew people were being put on medication or locked away. It was never open to discussion with adults and I think I just accepted that.
What’s your best advice for people of my generation in the modern age?
The advice I would give now is to learn to listen to other people when they need to talk, have patience and understanding, don’t judge others without knowing the full story.
What is the most valuable lesson you learnt from your parents? Did you pass this lesson on, or make your own?
I think the lessons that they taught me about how to treat others, accept help when needed and to learn to forgive those who wrong you are some of the most valuable lessons, it’s important to do what you feel is right at the time, have no regrets if it doesn’t work out. The past cannot be changed but we can learn from our mistakes and work on the future. I hope I have passed some of these thoughts on to my family..
If you could make a rule/law surrounding mental health, what would it be? (Equal rights, making access to therapy easier, etc?)The issues of mental health and wellbeing have been around for years, it’s just that it was never brought to the attention of so many people before and now there is the opportunity for the future generations to do just that, making therapy easier to get, shorter waits for those who need it, and better facilities for the care of those who have these kinds of problems would be a big step.
And there you have it! A MASSIVE thanks to my Nan for doing this interview for me. I hope that the way the stigma around mental health has diminished can continue the way it’s going.