In honor of Mother’s Day, I’m reflecting on the lessons I’ve learned from my Mom, Julie. An adventurous spirit, Julie has hiked 14ers (14,000 foot peaks), ridden the rapids of roaring rivers, seen the base of Mt. Everest, ridden on the back of a motorcycle across multiple states and into Mexico, skied the Swiss Alps and several of the ski slopes in the United States, danced go-go, sailed the Carribean, and has even shared a stage with drag queens in Vegas.
If you’re thinking she’s a crazy partier, she’s not, she gave up booze over 30 years ago and lives a life full of heart and love for others.
Whether you had an incredibly positive experience with your Mom or a more challenging one, there’s no doubt you’ve learned something from her.
Here are a few of the key lessons I’ve learned from my Mom:
Go for what you want, no matter what other people think.
At 40 years-old, Mom decided to go back to school and get her Bachelors and Masters degrees so she could become a marriage, family, child counselor. After high school, she did what a lot of women did in the 60s – took a few courses at the local community college and got married. After she got married, she abandoned her education to be a wife and a Mom.
Fortunately, years later, she found something she really wanted to do and went for it with determination! To help pay for the classes, she cleaned people’s houses and became a helper for one of the seniors in our neighborhood. She worked hard and received top honors.
People questioned why she would want to work so hard and “start over” so late in life. She taught me not to listen to any of that. She kept her eye on her goal and continually shared her fascination of what she was learning.
It’s not personal.
Mom does a really good job of not taking things personally. She is human and isn’t always successful but this is one of her core values that shows in how she treats and accepts others.
Accept others for who they are and where they’re at.
Being a counselor has given Mom a lot of practice at accepting others. Yet, I remember her doing this well before she became a counselor. She embraces all types of different people and beliefs, makes friends easily, and people feel comfortable sharing with her because she accepts them for who they are and where they’re at.
Laugh and have fun!
My Mom will dance with or without music, laugh just because, and finds ways to have fun in all types of scenarios. As a teenager, this drove me crazy. Now, it makes me smile.
Love your partner.
Mom loves my Dad. She expresses this with care, concern, cooking meals, affection, and love. She taught me the specialness of having a partner and how important it is to love him.
Stay open to learning new things.
Mom is a vegetarian, she has followed different spiritual paths, she loves to read, she enjoys conversing with all different types of people, she likes to travel and to learn about different cultures. She loves to learn and does so in different ways – through reading, talking with others, traveling, etc.
For those of you who have lost your Mom, may her powerful lessons carry you through the tough times. If you had a challenging childhood, may you use what you learned to shift your experience to one that makes more sense for you.
I am grateful for the lessons I’ve learned from my Mom and am happy to share them in hopes of lifting others in honor of Mother’s Day.