You know that moment when you're out with friends, shivering, wishing you had listened to your mother and taken a darn coat?
Well that's happened to me. A lot. And with much bigger things than occasionally forgetting a coat.
Here's a list of some lessons – from my Mother – that I only learned to appreciate later in life...perhaps they'll come in in handy for you, too.
By the way, happy birthday Ima. You are truly the best.
- A tidy room is a tidy life:(I wish I could tell this to my High School self.) I learned that it's really not about the clothes strewn across the floor. It's the habit of keeping things in their proper place. I found that my mind is messy enough – I don't need a messy room, too.
- Be your own best friend: You always taught me to value alone time. Now, I can't get enough of it.
- Shop for quality, not quantity: Unfortunately, I cannot take back all the meaningless hours spent in Forever 21, buying clothes that unraveled soon after. Fortunately, now I know better.
- Find good deals but don't be cheap: The difference between the two is critical. I am now a thrift shop addict, but love buying others' meals and presents. The former does NOT negate the latter.
- Creativity is everything: Whether is was building junkyard sculptures on Rye beach or doodling bugs on restaurant napkins, we never lacked creative inspiration. I now seek creative solutions to all of my problems.
- Take good care of your things: You still have belts that you saved from the 1970's...good for me that hippy style is cool again. Perhaps in 30 years my daughter will want my awesome Genie pants.
- Minimize the things! You can't take stuff with you to the grave...and until then, things are simply a burden. Have a few things you love and refer to #6.
- Confront issues head-on. Don't wait until tomorrow. Deferring the issue exacerbates it, always.
- Don't be afraid to get deep: Even when I didn't feel like talking about the meaning of life over my morning Cheerio's, in the end, I was always glad to have had the conversation. Now, I'm the same way. Ive learned it's the only way to really get to know someone.
- Keep it natural: You were always way ahead of the kale-curve. No lunchables, Poptarts, or fruit rollups for me. Today, I am a very healthy human being. Not sure if was the 2 years of breastfeeding, the excessive amounts of Kale, or just good genes, but something you did worked.
- Say sorry: Sometimes it's the hardest thing to do, but it's always worth it in the end. Swallowing your pride → smaller ego → better relationships.
- Cry it out: Not once did you tell me to “suck it up,” or “grow this skin” when I was sad—quite the opposite. You sat with me while I cried and admired my sensitivity. Now I see my sensitivity as a strength and share my crying playlist with those who need it. If you don't have one, I highly recommend creating one, starting with “The Scientist” by Coldplay.
- Only depend on Yourself: In the end, it's all we've got. As much as we can trust others, being self-sufficient is the only way to ensure things will turn out as planned. After navigating NYC Subways and Condo laundry machines by age 13, I can confidently call myself a strong independent woman.
- “Little creation of Hashem (G-d) ”: Calling me this instilled in me an innate sense of security. Feeling connected to something bigger than myself has helped me strengthen my intuition, sense of belonging, and find meaning in everyday life.
Though I may not have gotten all of the Tiffany bracelets or Juicy sweatshirts I needed in Middle School, I got the stuff that really mattered. For these intangible gifts, I am eternally grateful.