10 Life Lessons From 1 Wonderful Mom
Welcome to the Special Sunday Edition of A Wish Come Clear!
In honor of Mother’s Day (and in lieu of my usual Monday post), I’d like to share with you 10 things my Mom taught me, through her words and her actions. Each line includes a link to a post that’s moved me this week.
10 Life Lessons From 1 Wonderful Mom:
1. Wherever you’re going, take snacks. (In other words, feed yourself.)
3. Always bring a gift if you’ll be staying at someone else’s house. Corollary: Don’t arrive empty-handed to a party. It can be flowers, wine, chocolate, a card. Whatever you choose, give to those who invite you to their homes. And thank-you notes matter.
4. If you have a headache, you’re probably dehydrated. If you’re cranky, you’re probably hungry or tired. Instead of popping a pill and forging on with your day when you feel a physical symptom, stop for a moment. Ask yourself what needs aren’t getting met. You might just need to press pause on your life, relax and have a good laugh.
5. Don’t settle. My mom has an amazing fitness level, and it’s because she’s made a commitment to activities she loves. She does yoga, teaches strength and fitness classes, plays tennis and goes for long walks. Through her example, she taught me to see exercise as an energy-builder, rather than an onerous chore. Likewise, my mom taught me that making healthy choices (in regards to food, exercise and life choices) allows you to give yourself the gift of good health.
6. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, make a list. Even if it’s a not-to-do list.
7. The way to grow something good is to give it time every day. My mom taught this by example; she grew her strong faith little by little, day by day. Every morning as I trudged down the stairs to get ready for school, I’d see her sitting at her desk. She’d be wrapped in an afghan, journaling, meditating and spending time with God. These times prepared her to cope with the very difficult years of my brother’s behavioral issues. She set aside time for herself each morning, and because of that sacred space, she was able to face a good deal during her days.
Corollary: don’t give up on people you love. My parents did not give up on my brother, despite all the ways in which he did (and still does at times) wreak havoc. That doesn’t mean controlling someone else, not accepting reality, or trying to force another person to change. It simply means: fight for your relationships, and fight for your ideals. Give them all you’ve got.
8. It will always look better in the morning. In other words: your problems seem more terrible and insurmountable when you’re tired. Get some rest.
9. Remember the story of your birth. My mom has told me the (abridged) version of how I was born many times, and I treasure that story. It gives me a glimpse of the person I’ve always been, even as an infant, and the person I hope to be as a woman: wide-eyed, awake, focused, present.
10. Give the gift of yourself. When I asked my mom what she wanted for Mother’s Day. After a pause, she said, “Well…write me something!” In other words, she wanted me to give her an organic gift, to celebrate her day by doing what comes naturally to me.
Mom, I hope you like your gift. Happy Mother’s Day!
Show your love by sending this along to your mom, aunt, grandmother, or another special woman in your life.
PS ~ What did your mother teach you about life? Tell me in the comments!
About Caroline McGraw
I'm a would-be childhood paleontologist turned full-time writer, digging for treasure in people and uncovering sacred stories in ordinary days. I grew up in New Jersey (think peaceful suburb, not Newark), graduated from Vassar with honors, then served as a live-in caregiver and program director at L'Arche Washington DC. Nowadays, my husband renovates our historic 1901 home in northwestern Alabama, while I try (& fail) to keep our cat Bootsie from developing an epic tuna fish addiction. It's a beautiful life. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.