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Why this?

By June 6, 2023August 7th, 2023No Comments

Why This?

two adult women, mother & daughter, smiling and having fun on the tea cups ride in Disney World. They are centered in a yellow cup with orange decoration and other people are in different colored cups in the background

As I tell people about my idea, several people have asked me how I came up with the idea and why I want to do this in particular. So, here’s the answer…

From a young age, I’ve gotten satisfaction from volunteering and community service. I believe in giving back to your community when you can. After high school, I didn’t consistently keep a volunteer position but would participate in one-off volunteer days or charity events. I still strived for that fulfillment I got in high school from my regular volunteering position. For years I’ve looked for opportunities that felt like they suited me, but couldn’t seem to find the right fit.

Now I find myself in Warren, PA, where there is a rapidly growing aging population. Each week I page through the Warren County Guide and see advertisements looking for volunteers at the aging adult and assisted living communities. One that caught my eye and piqued my interest was asking for volunteers to do manicures. Having a manicure always makes me feel a little fancy and I’m not bad at doing my own nails, so I thought this seemed like something I’d like to explore.

As part of our business, we produce podcasts, so I’m thinking about and working on podcasts throughout my work days. Podcasting is on my mind.

Also on my mind is how to get more fulfillment out of my life. How do I bring together things that I like to do and the things I know how to do, to create something for myself? I started thinking about my favorite parts of my work. What do I do in my business that I truly love doing? I really love interviewing people. I don’t get to do it often, but when the opportunity does come up, I always enjoy it – from the prep work, to the actual interview, to the final product.

I like getting to know someone on a personal level. I like feeling a real connection with another person.

To me, connecting with other people means sharing stories, asking questions, and listening.

In the past few years I lost some very important women in my life. My grandmother didn’t share much about her life with me. I like to think we were close, but I always knew her in the now and don’t know much about her younger years, before I was born. I know her stories that I was a part of, framed through my own memories. I wish she were still here for me to ask her about what she was like as a teenager, in her 20s, how did she feel on her wedding day, and why didn’t her marriage work? So many questions go left unanswered.

My great grandmother was more of a storyteller. She would talk about what it was like growing up in the middle of Pennsylvania and she would give me insight into the early days of her and my great-grandfather’s relationship. She wasn’t necessarily a particularly good storyteller, but that’s not what it was about. These were her stories, told by her. No one can retell them. I can remember them and recall them to you, but they are hollow stories without her emotion, inflection and truth in the words. I wish I had recorded her telling me her stories.

All of that brings me to here – Manis with Grannies. I took all of these ideas and emotions and sat with them and cooked up this fun idea. I will give back to my community by pampering one set of hands at a time, while I preserve memories for other families.

I can’t have my grandmom’s stories recorded, but I can make sure that other people do have that opportunity.


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