I’ve always had a close relationship with my mom.
I think I’ve probably told her things that one shouldn’t necessarily share with their mother, but I’ve always felt like I could tell her anything. By no means was it smooth sailing growing up… I’m definitely one to blame for giving a gray hair or two during my adolescent years. I’ll be honest and say that I was a pretty whiny kid. If I could go back and change anything, it would be the way in which I spoke back to the woman who gave me this gift of life. I think I might have been a little bit of a brat. Not all the time… but you know, going to the movies, or staying up all night with your best girlfriends was high priority. If my mom said no to that, the world was over in my eyes. Teenage years… glorious, right?
It’s funny, my best friends find it so hard to believe that I could have ever been a back-talker to my parents. I find it hard to believe, too. My personality lends no real hint that I would be, but that’s just what happens in a parent-child relationship. It’s one that is so unique. You act out, sometimes with no real explanation, but that’s love. Even though my mom and I had our times of bickering, she was still my best friend.
Now that I’m a few years past being a teenager, I’ve learned one thing: Moms are always right. Here’s a few things my greatest professor taught me…
Take It Easy
“Don’t overdo it.” I can’t tell you how many times my mother has told me this. Just this past week, I stayed home sick a few days, and every phone conversation I had with her ended in those words. She’s always told me to listen to my body, and to take things easy if I’m feeling run down. I have the habit of ignoring the signs of a cold, then going at a pace as if I’m in full health. I’ve learned that this gets me nowhere, and her constant reminders to slow down have kept me in check in all aspects of life. Even just on the day-to-day… be easy, be relaxed, and be well.
Life is sweet, don’t take it for granted
I come from a family of runners. My Grandpa influenced my mom, then my mom passed it on to me. Staying healthy and in shape has always been a top priority. My parents had my brother and I involved in sports at very young ages, so keeping fit has come natural to us. My mother always told me that you shouldn’t ruin a good thing — we’re given one life, so cherish it. Staying fit physically needs to be accompanied by a good outlook on life. Eating healthy, staying positive… it goes hand in hand. She’s always pushed me to keep a healthy lifestyle, and as I grow older and feel the effects of stress and hard work, I’ve made a point to always surround myself with the things that sweeten my life.
Always say “Thank you”
I hated writing thank you notes when I was younger. I never thought it was important, rather just this annoying thing my mom made me do every time there was any sort of celebration. I can hear my mom yelling to me from the kitchen…”Janaaaaa come write these thank you notes!” I would whine, try to put it off a day without luck, then roll my eyes and slowly emerge from the bedroom with pen in hand. It never took more than 10 minutes after it was all said and done. It’s a good thing that growth and time transformed my perspective. Making a point to say “Thank you” is one of the simplest things you can do to make someone feel good. The act of handwriting a note or letter has become so foreign today that doing so makes it that more appreciative. Those two words can get you far, so keep them in your back pocket.
Follow Your Heart
My mom and dad met when they were 18, and haven’t been apart since. Their relationship is one of the purest I’ve witnessed, and I am so thankful for that. I think it’s what’s kept our family bond so strong. Her experiences have helped me in my personal relationships, and she’s the first one I turn to whenever I need advice. She’s always been there for me. To listen, to lend a word, to be that understanding voice on the other end of the phone when I need a good cry… she just gets it. One thing she’s told me that I’ve forever held onto is to always follow your heart. It tells no lie. It’s what keep us breathing, keeps us alive. The things that make is beat faster and stronger are the things we need to keep around and the things we need to pursue. If it doesn’t feel right, then move on. Life’s too short to keep the weight around.
This is my thank you note to you, mom. Thanks for being the best teacher in my life. Happy Mother’s day.
+ What lessons have you learned from your family? Please share in the comments!