Having just celebrated Mother’s Day (four years after Mom’s death at age 96), I find myself thinking of all the lessons which she provided for us that are great insights into resilient living.
Mostly in the form of one liners, Mom would make pronouncements that had we 3 kids either nodding in agreement, groaning in frustration, or shaking our heads wondering “where did THAT come from?”
It is in retrospect that I can find extended wisdom in some of her “momisms”. See if any of these resonate with you.
“If I don’t have a good day, it’s my own fault.” This was her pat answer when someone, normally a store clerk, told her to have a good day. Read anything about positive psychology and you realize that the locus of control is within. We DO have the power to determine whether a day is good or not. In fact, that locus of control is the entire thesis behind Carol Dweck’s best-selling book, Mindset. Mom had it down waaaaayy before psychologists started to explore personal power.
“Watch your manners!” Resilient relationships are forged in respect for the other person. Courtesy is simple respect. Isn’t that why when we are treated rudely by a someone, we make a silent vow to have little to do with them? Considering the rude and crude tone in our current political scene, Mom would be pointing a finger at the television set and telling those candidates to “mind your manners!”
“Wear clean underwear in case…” I don’t even have to finish this one. Every audience can always complete this sentence for me. It seems to be part of the maternal DNA that somehow just pops out. Other than the obvious, I think there is wisdom in being prepared for the unexpected. There are things we can do in our life and our work that can be safeguards. From bringing a back-up outfit when you travel to making sure that your nearest and dearest know all of your pertinent personal information if something does happen.
I’ll bet you, my dear readers, can think of some of your own “momisms”. I’d love to know what they are. Mostly, however, this post is to celebrate the women in our lives who cared enough to set us straight, to admonish, to hug, and even chastise at times. If you are lucky to still have such a mother in your life, maybe you could make every day Mother’s Day.
I miss you, Mom!