Unfortunately, I lost my mother over 20 years ago, yet most days don’t go by without me thinking of her. In honor of Mother’s Day, I’ve narrowed down my mom’s impact to six “big” lessons learned:
1. Everyone Deserves Respect.
My mother wouldn’t understand all the hate in the world right now. I am so thankful I wasn’t taught to hate others who were different than me, but rather that every human being deserved to be treated with respect. Didn’t matter your religion, your skin color, your age, your gender, your occupation, or your political beliefs.
2. Do Your Best – Give Your Best Effort.
This is based on the work ethic of my mom’s own upbringing. Yes, we were expected to do well in school or athletics. However, it was more important that you put your best effort into it rather than the outcome. I remember returning home after my first semester at college. I had worked so hard in an Honors program class but earned a “B”. I was so disappointed. My mother simply asked if I had done my best. I had. There is also a lesson in there that you won’t be great at everything you tackle in life.
3. Laugh – Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously.
My mom had a great sense of humor and I can still hear her giggle. I’m still trying to get better at this and not take myself too seriously. It’s easy to be defensive when others tease you, but it’s more fun to join in! And laughing is healthy for you. There were many moments in my life that my mom made me laugh so hard I cried.
4. Empathy – Be There When People Need You.
You don’t have to solve their problem, just lend an ear and be present with them. When they lose a loved one or have a significant setback in life, you likely can’t make the problem better or make it disappear. You can though, be there for them.
5. Honesty – It’s much easier and of course, the right thing to do.
As I get older, this seemingly becomes even more important because my memory isn’t great. (so creating stories/ lying can be a problem). I’ve walked out of grocery stores a couple of times in the past year and realized I hadn’t paid for an item on the low shelf of the shopping cart. I go back into the store to pay up and the cashier inevitably thanks me, and I tell her to thank my mother. Just a small example illustrating that doing the right thing is more important than doing the convenient thing.
6. Always Take a Buddy to a Scary Movie.
I end with this as a bow to #3, which is to laugh. Find humor in situations. My dad was a traveling sales executive and by the time I was 12, my older siblings were off to college. Which left a lot of nights with only me and my mom in the house. My mom enjoyed true crime books and suspense movies. Invariably at least once a week my mom would find a scary movie to watch. Of course, she didn’t want to watch it alone, so I was encouraged to join her. The only problem is I was prone to nightmares. My sisters and I laugh to this day about me, the scaredy-cat, being my mom’s scary movie buddy! Also a lesson in making do with what ya got!
For all you moms out there, thank you for all the big and little things you do. Keep in mind just how impactful you are in your children’s lives.
Joni Lindquist, MBA, CFP®, is a Principal at Aspyre Wealth Partners, specializing in Financial Planning and Executive/Career Coaching. For help with your specific situation contact Joni Lindquist at jlindquist@AspyreWealth.com, (913) 345-1881 or visit our website at AspyreWealth.com. We help successful people Master What’s Next® – whatever phase of life they are in.