Lessons Learned from My Mother

When I think of my mother, many things come to mind – her personality, memories that we have shared together, our similarities, our differences, and so much more.  And it seems that the older I get, the more I appreciate what I have learned from her.  Some things she intended to teach me and others she probably doesn’t realize are lessons I attribute to her.  So on this Mother’s Day I would like to honor my mother, the “Queen of Lists”, with a list of lessons that I have learned from her.

  1. Fill your house with plants.  Not only do they help clean the air, but they add life to your home.  And don’t forget to water!
  2. Hang-dry as much laundry as possible – the dryer is hard on fabrics.  I have to say my clothes have lasted longer than most because they rarely see the inside of a dryer.
  3. If you don’t write it down, you probably won’t remember it.  My mom has lists oozing out of every corner of her house.  They cover the counters, the bathroom counters, the desk, the kitchen table, the coffee table…you get the idea. But you know what?  There’s not much that she forgets!
  4. Remember the birthdays of those who are close to you.  My mom’s memory is like a steel trap when it comes to birthdays.  She never forgets and she always sends a card.  And if a card can’t get to you in time, she will call to tell you the card is on its way, oh, and also to wish you a Happy Birthday!
  5. Keep busy and active.  My mom walks several miles every morning before work, she is involved with more organizations than I can count, and she always has a project to work on, rarely sitting still.  And while occasionally she has to take a break, more often than not I think her activities give her more energy and I admire all that she does.
  6. Family & Friends are important – take the time to keep in touch.  My mom is the best at keeping in touch.  We didn’t grow up near any of our extended family, but it didn’t feel like it because my mom always schedule get-togethers and called or wrote letters to keep up with what was happening with those we loved.  She is definitely the glue that holds many of our most important relationships together.  I only hope I can do the same.
  7. Always write a thank-you note.  As a kid sometimes I groaned at the constant reminder from my mom to write my thank-you notes for holiday gifts or when someone did something nice for me.  But now that I am in a position to give to others, whether in gifts or in time, I know how much I appreciate a note of thanks.  I am so glad that she never let me forget to say thank you.
  8. Appreciate your elders – they have much to teach us.  My mom raised us to appreciate the stories and lessons that elders can share with us.  We made many visits to local nursing homes to see members of our church or sing for residents.  My mom is so good at listening and providing company to anyone who needs it and I love that about her.  I can’t tell you the number of things I have learned and come to appreciate from generations before me because of my mom.
  9. Save your money so you can live a comfortable life, but don’t forget to spend now and then to enjoy life along the way.  My mom is a wonderful saver and she instilled that in me and my sister at a young age.  But she’s also shown us that it’s ok to spend on things you will enjoy as long as it’s not beyond your means.

Happy Mother’s Day to my mom who has taught me so much.  I am continually amazed by her.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the other wonderful women in my life.  Happy Mother’s Day to my step-mom Nanci, my Grandmother Sandy, my “Grandma” Patty, my step-mother-in-law Kathy, and my mother-in-law Rita.  All amazing women who love and support me.  I am so lucky to have you in my life.


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