Thank You, Mom: 8 Lessons I Learned From My Mom
I’ve spent pretty much my entire life getting told I look exactly like my mom. Each teacher, waitress, stranger or a little old lady at church who exclaimed “Oh, you two look just like each other!” said as if they believed they were the first to come to that realization.
At seven I thought it was fun. At 13 I’d roll my eyes every time someone pointed it out. At 17 I’d put up with it and smile politely. But now, at 21, I love it. I’m pretty dang proud to be a spitting image of such an amazing woman. And as much as 13 year old Sarah would hate to admit it, she really knows her stuff.
So in honor of Mothers Day, here are 8 lessons I’ve learned from my mom:
- Put things away when you’re done with them Just do it now. I’ll be easier than to push it off for later. If you don’t it’ll get in the way and be hanging over you and become more and more of a problem. And things that are left out seem to attract other things and suddenly you have a whole pile of stuff to put away. And it’s not just physical objects (like that sweater I’ve had laying on my desk chair for a week… oops) but also emotions, difficult conversations, and anything else you’d rather not deal with.
- Walk every day I’ve always been an athlete so working out to me always meant getting sweaty and having a defined goal. My mom is the one who reminds me that exercise is about a lot more. Getting outside and moving your body a little bit every day has a huge benefit on both your physical and mental health. This is a thank you for every time I’ve been made to go for a walk when I’ve had a head cold, over ate, or have been stressed out.
- Take care of your clothes Hang them up, wash them properly, and wear them well. It’s about taking pride in yourself and in your investment.
- Really bad horror movies are worth watching (as long as you clean on the commercials) It’s a guilty pleasure I gained from my mom to tune into whatever Sci-Fi channel has playing on any given Saturday. But that doesn’t mean turning into a couch potato. She taught me how to enjoy myself while still staying productive and using whatever extra time you can find wisely.
- Reward yourself Whether its a manicure, a new shirt, or a frappucino, my mom knows the value of a good reward. But it is always just that: a reward. Work hard, get done what you need to, and then treat yo’ self (paraphrasing of course).
- Be honest When I was in high school this was always the policy, be honest about where you’re going and about what you’re doing and you get more leniency. But it was also about being honest with yourself — know where you stand and why you’re making the choices you are. In the end you’re the only one who you’re accountable to.
- Respect animals My love of animals came from straight from her. She always taught me to extend kindess and compassion towards animals and to protect and care for them. It’s the reason that (as much as I want to) I don’t have a pet in college, because I know I’m not in a position where I would be able to take care of animal the way I need to. And it’s also the reason I keep in an old towel in my car so I can always help an animal in need.
- Always carry a nickel Even though this is no longer practical advice since payphones are basically nonexistent (and cost a lot more than a nickel), the sentiment still stands. What it means is that you should always know you can call home, and never hesitate to do so. Whether I need a ride, advice, or just someone to talk to, I know my mom is always there for me and all I have to do is call.
This barely begins to cover everything my mom has taught me. I without a doubt am who I am today because of her (and yes, Mom — because I know you’re reading this — that is a good thing!)
I am beyond lucky to have her as my mom and as my friend (and as a predictor of how I’ll look a few decades from now).
So now when people point out are similarities, I smile genuinely and say “Thank you!”.
Do you look like your Mom? And what lessons (good, bad, and ugly) have you learned from her?
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