I feel lucky every single day that my mom was chosen for me. She has been there for every scrape, heartbreak, job change, and everything else in-between. She’s offered countless smiles, has cried along with me, and has celebrated every one of my small successes. My mom has also been a great teacher, teaching me some of life’s most important lessons and I have no doubt that I will continue to learn from her as we journey through this life together.
Here are 5 life lessons my mom has taught me:
1. You can do or become anything you want, regardless of your age.
My mom has done a ton of different things in her lifetime, whether it’s commercial fishing on boats in Alaska, to running an in-home daycare, to now being a Registered Nurse, my mom has truly done it all. She frequently states, “I haven’t decided what I want to be when I grow up,” which has shown me that I can do and become anything I want in my lifetime. Just a few years ago, at the age of 54, my mom took the initiative to return to college, building on her Associate’s degree to complete a Bachelor’s in nursing. Her ability to adapt and create the life she wants for herself has taught me that regardless of where you are in your life or how old you may be, you always have the opportunity to change and do something different. Often people feel they are too old to do something or that they missed out on doing something at a different point in their lives, however that absolutely doesn’t have to be true. Just like my mom, you have the ability to create any change you want for yourself, at any moment of your lifetime, you simply have to believe you can.
2. Traveling will nourish your soul.
Similar to myself, my mom is a bit of a wanderluster, which is likely where my desire for adventure and travel stemmed from. Growing up my mom was always dreaming up our next family adventure and it wasn’t uncommon for her to bundle my siblings and I, still in our pajamas, into our small Toyota Corolla to take a weekend road trip to visit our aunt and cousins, who lived 6 hours away. The summer before I started high school, my mom took my brother, sister, plus my little cousin, and I on a road trip from Alaska to Maine! We camped along the way, visited 17 different states on this trip, and then spent a month on Madawaska Lake in Aroostook County, Maine, before making our trek back. Many people would think my mom was crazy for making this trip with 4 children ranging in age of 6-14, but to this day that road trip was one of the best adventures of my life and has left me with some of my fondest memories. These experiences have taught me that traveling and adventure can be extremely nourishing for the soul. Travel allows you to get out of the comfort of your day to day routine, expose you to new people, sights and ways of living, and has the ability to teach you so much about yourself.
3. Be kind. Always.
Anyone who has met my mom can attest to just how kind, compassionate, and caring she is. She has devoted the majority of her life to taking care of other people, whether that is raising 3 children as a single parent or caring for my aging grandmother. Every person my mom encounters is treated with nothing but love and kindness. Through watching my mom, I learned at a very young age that being kind, to all people, is of utmost importance. Her kindness has helped shape the person I am and has cultivated my own desire to compassionately help others. It is also a lesson that I strive to instill in all of the middle school students I have the opportunity to teach.
4. Work hard
I come from a long line of hardworking (some may argue stubborn as well) folks and my mom is one of the hardest workers I have ever met. Growing up she constantly juggled multiple roles to help support my siblings and I. There were many points in time in which she would be working 1 or 2 full-time jobs, while also taking college night classes, and shuttling us around from one sport to the next. She has taught me that if I want to accomplish something in my life, I need to roll up my sleeves and put in the work, rather than feeling entitled to the things that I have. This has allowed me to appreciate all that I do have and to feel proud of what I have accomplished because I fully understand how much work it took to make it happen.
5. Fiercely love those that are close to you.
My brother, sister, and I have all made many mistakes up to this point in our lives, and without a doubt we will continue to make a lot more. However, my mom has never made us feel as though those mistakes have caused her to love us less in any way. There are times in which she likely has felt disappointed in us, but instead of showing or communicating that disappointment, she has always offered up her support or help with whatever situation we are in. Every text message and email she sends us she closes the conversation with, “I love you, “ making sure she never misses an opportunity to tell us how she feels. This has taught me that even though those closest to us may disappoint us or break our heart, we love them no matter what. We offer support and love, rather than harsh words or actions. We also never know if it will be the last time to tell someone close to us how we feel, so we can never say, “I love you,” enough.
What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned from your mom?