Lessons From My Mother

With the thought of the upcoming Mother’s Day holiday in mind, I have been reflecting on the wisdom imparted to me by my own dear mother.

I feel like everyone has a few stock words of wisdom that were standbys of their own mothers.  These are a few that I now realize at 26 years old are valuable lessons to keep in mind:

1. “Go to school, you’ll feel better.”

I may have had the fewest absences of anyone in my high school class.  If I woke up and had a headache, was tired, had cramps or felt it was too cold to stand at the bus stop, I was told to suck it up and go to school.  It would take my mind off of it.  I had to be legitimately sick with a fever, vomiting or bleeding from the head to have her call me off sick.

And 99% of the time, she was right. I went to school and either forgot about it or suffered through and made it home alive. I had awful allergies every spring.  I took tissues and sudaphed with me in my backpack.  I did not die.

I still hear her voice in my head every morning that I wake up and think “Ugh I cannot breathe today, damn tree pollen… I do have 12 vacation days…” And then I man up, drag my ass out of bed and get to work.  Because a stuffy nose does not equal death.  I go in, get my work done and either feel better or deal with it.  Being at work and having to go through a box of tissues or a few advil is better than allowing a massive pile of work to build up to greet you the next day.

No, you lazy cat. Go to work.

2. “If you wouldn’t say something to a person’s face, don’t say it at all.”

This was my first lesson in being a bigger person and keeping my trap shut on gossip and passing judgment.  Clearly my mother didn’t realize the types of characters I would encounter in the future who would make this so darn difficult.  Just kidding. She is right.  I need to start doing the Christian thing and tell people what’s wrong with them to their faces.

3. “You can tell how a man will treat you by how he treats his own mother.” 

This one is pure motherly advice gold.  I have yet to find an exception to this rule.  Men who treat their mothers as their slaves do so to their wives.  On the alternate side, men who have excellent relationships with their mothers and are able to communicate with them will be open to communication in romantic relationships.  Men who resent their mothers treat women like trash and objects to get back at their mothers.

Usher loves his mama; therefore would make a lovely husband. Fact.

4. “When at the dinner table, never discuss money, religion or politics.”

Personal preferences are just that. Personal.  Keep your preferences to yourself in the office, on a first date or at a dinner with, oh say, your future in-laws.  Talking about money is tacky, religion always offends someone and your own personal politics are your own business.  Think up other interesting topics to discuss.  Like the fact that Jessica Simpson finally gave birth. Something like that.

That being said, vote for Obama or we aren’t friends anymore.

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Obviously there have been many more golden nuggets of wisdom that I have learned from her.  Be on time. Actually, be early. Always have more food than guests. Mail your taxes with certified receipts. Write a personal message in greeting cards; it means so much more to the recipient.  Chose family over social events/work every time.

She is a super-smart lady and I am lucky to have her to answer all my questions from “how long should I cook this chicken” to “what kind of vacuum should I purchase.  I hope that this Mother’s Day everyone thanks their own mothers for all of life’s lessons that we have been fortunate enough to receive.

(Don’t hit on the Good Humor man.)

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