I have spent most of the last year trying to answer one question: Why am I the way I am? This has been rather evident in my personal writings, such as posts about my heritage and my Father’s Day post.
Today marks a special day…my mother’s birthday. I figured if I can reduce my father’s good advice into one post, I could do the same for my mother. After all, I am half of her. So, here it goes.
My mother and I are similar in many ways: physically, emotionally and personality-wise. We both dislike beans and we both have eyes that are sensitive to contact lenses. I am tall like her, and most notably, we are both generally freezing. It is from her that I got my ice-cold hands and the saying “Cold hands, warm heart.” She passed down the feeling of obligation to practice healthy fitness and eating habits. (And let’s be real, it is most certainly an obligation and not a fun activity.) I love her so.
My mom, like so many other mothers, has the ability to always be right. And, like children everywhere, this infuriates me.
While I refuse to play word games with her, I do like speding time with her and gathering her wisdom about life and happiness.
It is from her that I get my stream-of-consciousness speech and thought process, which I annoys anyone who has spent five minutes with my candid self.
Here are the most important things I have learned from my mom. (You should pay attention, because these are good.)
- Be concerned and caring, always. It generally works when you get pulled over for speeding, as well as in everyday life. What other way is there to live? By remembering to be empathetic towards others, you can make a difference in othjer people’s lives. It took a few years of college tom realize that not everybody was raised with this outlook. And that is a darn shame.
- Things aren’y what they always seem. For example, Coffeemate non-dairy containers are much more than plastic tubs. They are chocolate chip cookie transportation devices.
- Be patient, even when you want to give up. My mom has a capacity for patience that I lack. As a reading teacher, she sometimes spends an entire month working with a kid to differentiate “it” and “is,” or even how to form a letter. I could not do that. She is also patient with me, which is saying something.
- When in doubt, ask. People are usually willing to help you. Pick up the phone and call, and with persitance and a positive attitude, it will all work out in the end. In a store, on the street, on the phone– Just ask! It can’t hurt. I have found that this is especially applicable in my journalistic endeavors, but it applies to much of life.
- Wait a bit, and it will go on sale. The small mall in Kearney makes it easy to peruse the entire thing in a short amount of time. The most important shopping tip she taught me, besides the realness of ‘mall karma,’ is that things always go on sale. Wait a month or two, and then get what you desire at a usually discounted rate. That being said, splurge on the good things, like comfortable basics and skincare.
- Find a purpose in life. It doesn’t have to be big or grandiose or anything, it can be very simple. It can also change. Just know why you do what you do. Find a purpose, or a mission, or whatever, and just do it.
- Be goofy. Being goofy is a good thing. An ability to laugh at yourself or situations you are in is necessary in living a happy life. Inside jokes, funny accents, pretending to make inanimate objects speak– nothing is too silly. Also, make up songs about little things. I wish I could remember half of the little tunes we created while watching “What not to wear” or taking the dog on a walk. If it makes you laugh and diffuses tension, then it is worth doing.
Happy birthday, mom! I love you. Thanks for all the advice over the years. And yes, I ate plenty of vegetables today.