Tag Archives: Mother’s Day

Day of Rest: Mother’s Day

myfavoriteone

Whether you have your mother or don’t, whether you are a mother or aren’t, I invite you to consider all the traits that you believe make for a wonderful Mama. Today, notice and celebrate all of that within YOU, you powerful, compassionate, nurturing, creative, fierce, tender, resilient Love, You! ~Tanya Geisler

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again today, I am so grateful, so lucky to have the mom I do. I think about those without a mother, whether their mother has died or is simply absent or ineffective, and about what a sad thing that is, to have to become your own mother. For my entire life, I’ve had a mother who loves me, who wanted me, who took care of me and still does, when I let her. She has been and is a constant, loving presence in my life. I am so lucky. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

And to balance out the love fest, and because I am not a mother myself, I offer you Why I Hate Mother’s Day by Anne Lamott.

And finally, because he’s adorable and always makes me smile, a Mother’s Day message from Kid President.

P.S. A beautiful note from Geneen Roth this morning,

First, I wanted to wish you all a happy, sweet Mother’s Day. Whether you are a mother of a child or not, hopefully, you mother yourself, and you do with all the love you can muster.

So, today, whatever the situation, muster that love. That kindness. Allow yourself to make room for yourself. Sometimes that’s all it takes. We keep shoving ourselves out of the way, keep wanting to distract ourselves or numb ourselves from what we’re feeling. Muster the love. Lavish yourself with kindness. See what happens.

Day of Rest

I have always loved school, so when I was younger, I hated to have to stay home when I was sick. What made it okay was my mom would set me up on the couch with a nice warm blanket and pillows, and let me watch TV all day. She’d bring me soup and 7-Up and crackers, a grilled cheese sandwich if I was up to it. She’d give me medicine and provide general comfort. In this way, she taught me how to rest and care for myself. She also taught me that sometimes it’s okay, even if you aren’t sick, to take a mental health day, stay in your pjs all day and eat junk, watch movies or read books and take naps if that’s what you need to do.

 

Thanks for that, Mom. For that and for everything else. And to all the mothers out there, thanks for what you are doing, for how hard you are trying, for your soft and gentle presence, for your love and forgiveness, for the mess and the wreck of it, for staying even when it’s really, really hard and you want to run away from home.

And for those of you who, through various circumstances, have had to become your own mother, may there be some motherly grace, some wisdom, some kindness in your life today that softens that reality, and may you know that you are loved.

What I Learned from My Mom

No gift to your mother can ever equal her gift to you – life. ~Anonymous

In many ways, I am my father’s daughter. Stubborn, strong, creative, sensitive, intelligent, introverted, pensive, easily irritated and hurt, critical, and funny, (what some might call a “smart ass”). I offer you these two pictures as some measure of proof.

Both of us are lucky enough to have my mom, to love us, to take care of us, and to forgive us when we need it.

I have been thinking about those without a mother, whether their mother has died or is simply absent or ineffective, and about what a sad thing that is, to have to become your own mother. For my entire life, I’ve had a mother who loves me, who wanted me, who took care of me and still does, when I let her. She has been and is a constant, loving presence in my life. I am so lucky.

What I’ve learned from my mom:

  1. Kindness. This is my mom’s most fundamental quality. She is kind to everyone she meets, even the ones that don’t necessarily deserve it. I learned from her that you lose nothing by being kind, gentle, friendly, nice, and more importantly, that by doing so you might ease someone else’s suffering.
  2. Generosity. My mom is giving and compassionate, to every one, especially those who need it most or have the least. She taught me the importance of service, charity, helping, pitching in, sharing the load, and that “many hands make light work.”
  3. Love of books, music, and film. My mom read to me, encouraged me to read, showed me the wonder of stories and books, gifted me that constant and abiding joy, so central to my life. There was always music in our house, and singing, another pleasure that infuses my life, so much so it feels as essential as eating or breathing or sleep. Some of my favorite memories are of snuggling up on the couch and watching movies like “Funny Girl” together. Even now, one of our favorite things to do together is to rent three or four movies and spend the whole day watching.
  4. How to make a home. She taught me to sew, to mend, to garden, to cook, to bake, to clean, to do laundry, to make a bed, to mow a lawn, to throw a party. She showed me the value of hard work and handmade, the ways to make peace. She taught me to take care of myself, to be independent, but also to nurture others, to create a home filled with love and comfort.

    Mom with my cousin Brian, who was asking her “these weeds?”

  5. Joy and Gratitude. These are so closely linked, I don’t know how to write about them separately. For my mom, the moment there is joy, the gratitude for whatever conditions enabled that joy will immediately follow. “I’m so happy” and “I’m so thankful” are almost the same thought. My mom shares her joy, is funny, and not in the mean, snide way I can sometimes be funny, but in the sweetest, silliest way. She makes me laugh, but also reminds me to notice how beautiful the world around us is, how lucky we are. She’ll say, “oh look!” and point out something I would have walked right past. In the worst of moments, she puts her heart and effort into cheering up, raising spirits, hoping for and looking towards that better day she is certain will come.
  6. Humility. My mom has a modest view of her own importance, her own worth. She won’t take full credit for the work she does, the impact she makes, but would rather share the wealth. She doesn’t do to be known or praised, but rather because the doing needs done, and she has love to give.
  7. Hard work. My mom is not a big woman, but I have seen her do backbreaking, hard labor. She grew up on a farm, the second oldest of 12 children, and she knows how to work, and never shies away from it. She rolls up her sleeves and gets to it. I dare you to invite her to dinner and try to keep her from helping to clean up, from doing the dishes–better men than you have tried and failed.
  8. Patience. She’s not going to let you get to her. She has the capacity to accept, to tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset, to remain cool, calm, steady–she’ll simply try another approach, another way, even if that means ignoring or denying the trouble altogether. She hardly ever gets irritated, (it happens, but it’s rare), flustered maybe, but she’s almost never angry.

    my brother Chris, me, and Mom at Disneyland

  9. Faith. We no longer share the exact same faith or set of practices, but my mom taught me the value of trusting, believing in something sacred. She taught me that there is love, that we are loved, and that we can be love, that love is worth practicing, devoutly. Also, that it doesn’t matter who or what we pray to, there is power in prayer.
  10. Not to worry.This is the only thing on this list where she taught me something by doing it in a way I don’t want to model, by being a bad example. She worries too much, can’t seem to help herself, especially when it comes to her family. If something hurts us, is hard for us, it hurts her too, and when she can’t directly fix it or make it better, she worries. It makes me sad to see it, how sad and upset she makes herself, and helps remind me that worrying doesn’t help.

    Mom with her first granddaughter, baby Jessamy

  11. Family and friends. This is what is most important to my mom, always has been. If she is your friend, you are so lucky. If she’s your mom, well…even better.
  12. Love + forgiveness + hard work = marriage.My parents have been married for 45+ years. What they’ve taught me is that sometimes it’s hard, you fight, drive each other crazy, but sometimes it’s really good, you laugh until your face and stomach hurt, you help each other make it through the tough stuff, and through all of it you love each other, are a family, and all the other stuff, you find a way to forgive. It’s no mystery why I got out of a bad first marriage and have such a successful second one–I know what I want and how to make it work (so far, knock on wood, fingers crossed).

    my 8th grade graduation

  13. Education. My mom valued our education, and did what she could to help us with it. She went on almost every field trip, volunteered in our classrooms and at school events, and was even the chairman of our school board for awhile. When I was 13, she started a career as an office manager at a middle school. All the kids and staff and parents loved her. Even after she retired, she volunteered at my old grade school for a few years, helping kids with their reading. She taught me that the path to everything I wanted, to success and being able to take care of myself, was through my education. She believed in school as a safe place for all kids but especially the ones who didn’t have that at home, a way kids could gain confidence and power. She knew an education would enable them to help themselves and to then maybe, hopefully go on to help others, and she did what she could to assist them.
  14. The joy of walking, of talking. I have a lot of pictures of my mom on the phone, partly because she’d never let my dad take her picture otherwise, but also because she actually spent time talking to people, (she still writes letters too). And she loves a good walk, first thing in the morning, or before or after dinner. I have walked many miles next to her, talking about nothing and everything, and hope to walk many more.
  15. How to be a good mom. More than likely, at this point I won’t literally be anyone’s mom, other than my dogs, but if I were to be, I know I’d be awesome at it, because I had such a good role model.

Oddly enough, this post has been kind of hard to write. You’d think that it would make me happy, that I’d feel nothing but good doing it. But to think in depth about all the things I love so much about my mom makes me profoundly sad. We live 1200 miles away from each other, and only get to spend physical time together once a year, and I miss her.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I love and miss you, and I’ll see you soon!

Gratitude Friday

This post is a mashup of The Little Bliss List and Joy Jam, and as such is meant to celebrate: the little things that brought me hope and happiness this week, the sweet stuff of life, those small gifts that brought me joy this week. By sharing them, I not only make public my gratitude, but maybe also help you notice your own good stuff and send some positive energy out into the world.

1. The flower bed in front of the building where I work is in full bloom.

2. A good night’s sleep. After a week of not sleeping well, and the full on insomnia the night before, sleeping well last night was so nice.

3. I forgot my lunch again. But, the good news is that means I get to have lunch with a good friend, two times in one week!

4. Lots of rain in the forecast this weekend. Okay, when I say “lots” I mean Colorado lots, not Pacific Northwest lots. This is good for my yard, but also means I will be getting extra rest this weekend and the temperatures will be cooler.

5. Dexter wagging his tail again. I mentioned yesterday that he’s suffering a bought of Cold Water Tail, Broken Tail, Dead Tail, Broken Wag, or “broken butt toy” as a friend calls it. But it’s getting better, and seeing him wag his tail this morning was one of the best things all week.

dexter and i, much much younger

6. A Prayer for Moving Forward from Sandi Amorim of Deva Coaching. I left a comment for Sandi explaining that I think I’ve been praying this, wordlessly, formlessly, for a long time, but she gave me words, so here goes:

Are you there God [the one whose real name I do not know]? It’s me Jill.

I’ve had it, I’m done, I surrender.
I hereby give up my need to do it my way, and I’m asking for help.
Help me be clear, and of service.
Help me show up and share my gifts.

And please. . .

Help me get out of my own way.
I want to shine so bright that even you God, have got to wear shades.
I know what I’m here to do.
Help me do it.

Amen. And thank you, Sandi.

7. Speaking of amazing women… Two things were announced this week that are going to be so fantastic wicked awesome, I can’t hardly stand it.

Susan Piver announced her new Open Heart Project “Practioner” option, a year long paid subscription to so much good stuff I almost can’t bear to think about it, I get too excited, breathing becomes difficult, my chest gets tight, and I tear up. She will continue with her Open Heart Project “Basic,” so if you are interested in starting or maintaining a meditation practice, you should sign up. Since the new project doesn’t start until June, once you get on the mailing list, you will hear all about the “practitioner” option, if you are interested. For me, it’s such a perfect fit, such good timing, it feels like something Susan is doing just for me.

And, if that weren’t enough, I’m on the Roots of She mailing list, and this week Jenn Gibson announced the guides for the upcoming session of her Self-Love Warriors ecourse (hang on to your hat, tighten your seatbelt!):

Body: Hannah Marcotti, business and life coach and creator of Joy UP [soft and tender hearted warrior mamma whose presence is like an embodied lullaby]
Mind: Susan Piver, writer, teacher and New York Times best-selling author [amazing being of light and wisdom, fearless, brave and open hearted warrior]
Heart: Susannah Conway, photographer, author, retreat leader and creator of Unravelling [creative visionary, giggle instigator, maker and sharer of beauty & encouragement]
Soul: Jennifer Louden, bestselling author and the leader of the Savor & Serve movement [the queen of everything, who will show you how to be queen of your everything]

If you’ve been reading this blog, you know that these are four of my very favorite women and self-love is one of my very favorite topics, so I can’t wait for this course!

Bonus Joy: Mother’s Day is this weekend. I have a mom, she’s great and she loves me, and I love her, and I get to remind her tomorrow. “Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body,” (Elizabeth Stone). I’m so glad she was willing to make me, to care for me, to love me, and to let me “go walking around” outside her body.