Monday, May 14, 2012

Some Mothers Day advice

As if to honor Mothers' Day, my neighbor's garden burst into poppy flames yesterday; so glorious!

In fact, it was a glorious day all 'round -- beautiful weather, great conversations with my girls, and some quality time with my hubby, spent driving to one of my favorite destinations: Port Townsend, WA.

While we were driving, he had me read from a Linked-in page where parents had been invited to answer the question: If you could only tell your children three things, what would they be? ... which, of course, led to a discussion of what we most want our OWN children to have taken with them from their association with us.

So I'm kind of building a list.  It's not in any particular order yet, and certainly  neither complete nor narrowed down to three.  But here are some of the things that came up for us, and are still coming up for me:

Figure out what you love doing, and find a way to do it.

Work hard, do your best, and don't be afraid to risk or fail, but keep asking: What did I learn from this?

Don't stay in a relationship with (or marry) anyone who expresses contempt for you or anything you care about.

Success doesn't bring happiness: happiness is more of an attitude than a result of what you've done or what you have.  Smiling helps.

Listen: to yourself, to the people around you, to nature, to the promptings of the spirit... Pay attention!

Try to find balance -- between body, mind, emotion and spirit; between alone time and time with others; between working and playing, between criticizing and celebrating, between left and right (in brain, politics, and religion); between blaming others and guilting yourself...

If you have objections to something someone is doing, tell them -- don't whine to the rest of the world.  Give them a chance to work on it; secrets like that destroy relationships.

Pain is inevitable, but you can control suffering.  And running away from it doesn't make it better.

Put the oxygen mask over your own face first -- you won't be able to pour out of an empty cup.

Breathe.  Breathe deeply and often.  And in times of crisis, well -- keep breathing!

Enough pronouncements for today.  But I welcome any you have to add!

... and here's my first addition (which belongs somewhere near the top, I think, if not at the top; thanks, Ann for reminding us of what's really important!)

Be kind. Be compassionate. Everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.

Ooh.  And -- related to that -- try to live as if there is no "us" and "them;" there is only "we."

Hmm.  I may be adding to this for a while...

4 comments:

Unknown said...

My suggestion:

Be kind. Be compassionate. Everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.

Ann R.

Gaye said...

I love your phrase pain is inevitable but you can control suffering. I had never looked at it this way before... this is something I definitely want to share with my sons.

I am beginning to work on my own list. Thanks for the idea.

Diane Walker said...

Love that, Ann. That one definitely came up yesterday, and deserves to be VERY high on the list; hoping it's okay if I just add it now!

Martha Spong said...

Especially the one about contempt. Thank you.