Friday, September 23, 2011

Mom Knows Best

Scott and I are hanging out on the couch, splitting a bottle of pinot grigio.  It's been a long week, but this morning started with a very insightful email from my mom.

I've learned over the years that Mom really knows best.  It might have taken a freezing-cold night camping with the Girl Scouts without my winter coat because I refused to listen to her suggestion to take it along... but I have since trusted her advice (for the most part!)

I wanted to share her email with you all too (I highlighted some of my favorite nuggets in bold).  Read on for a mother's wisdom...
Easter 2010... (I'm the bottom left...the shoe with tulle!)
It sounds to me like most of us right now are very overwhelmed with life. I wish I had the magic answer to make all this anxiety disappear but unfortunately that is not the case. Some of life's worries can be avoided by planning ahead and prioritizing what is important in life but some are inevitable. Try not to set yourself for failure though. We are human and have a limitation as to how much we can get accomplished in a day or week. We are very compassionate and driven people who hold ourselves to very high and sometimes too high expectations. Here are some tips:

1. Step back and try to look at the big picture. Will this really matter in 5 or 10 years? In the heat of the moment getting that report done on time or making a perfect meal for guests seems so stressful but really will the world come to an end if I get a B or use already prepared food instead of making everything from scratch? See what stresses in your life could be avoided or lessened by making some changes to how we approach each day. I have come to realize that if I run errands after work and get home at 7:30 it is not realistic to think that I can accomplish the long list of tasks I have. Instead of staying up past midnight and then being wiped out the next day, I try and either plan my week to have one errand day or try to get my home tasks done first and then do errands later in the week. Or if I decide to go to Home Goods for a quick errand, I have to realize that the "fun" of browsing may make me more stressed out and have to decide if it is worth it. Not sure if this makes sense...

2. I know that I have tried this approach some time with success and other times not, but when you are in a situation that you cannot really control the only thing that you can control is how you react to it. There are some frustrating and aggravating people in all of our lives. We are not going to change them as much as we hope and try, so the only thing we can do is try to change how we interact or react to them.

3. Here is when I will again sound like Pollyanna but life really is good. Try and step back and concentrate on all the wonderful blessings you have in your life. We have a loving family, friends, food to eat, a warm bed to sleep in, good education, gainful employment (for some of us) and relatively good health. This is what really matters. Sure, life is going to be filled with challenges but with the Lord's guidance we are able to tackle them. Sure, we will make mistakes but it really is OK.

I am here for all of you to vent and I hope that this helps but if there is some way to alleviate life's stresses and not keep getting ourselves into the same situation repeatedly, let's aim to do it. Take a deep breath, take in the beauty of nature, and count your blessings.

Love ya, Mom
Mom and the girls goofing around... Christmas 2010
My family is close, so we all share in each other's happiness and stress.  Things like perfectionism and anxiety seem to run in our blood.  But I'm so blessed to have my parents and sisters (and Scott!) to lean on when I am stressed, upset, or uncertain--and we have a heck of a lot of fun together.

My mom's email today was especially interesting because her words can apply to the various issues my sisters and I are currently facing in different ways.  It was certainly a reminder to focus on what is truly important in life...

On that note, I have to thank God for protecting my sister J today.  A semi truck cut her off on the highway and crashed into her car.  Miraculously, she was physically unharmed... I can't even think about the alternative.  It hits close to home since my other sister A and I had our own incident with a semi back in 2005: after being cut off, we had to brake quickly, hit ice and spun out into a snowy ditch.  We were shaken but not physically hurt, thank God.  Those d*** semi trucks!

I really don't know what I would do without my sisters.  They each bring a unique joy to my life and make me smile on a daily basis. And thank you, Mom and Dad--for listening and understanding and being there.  (This post may be sentimental, but I swear it's not the wine!)


  1. Thanks for sharing the tips! I think a lot of us can use that advice. And I'm glad everyone in your family is safe from those darn semi's.

    Hope you have a great weekend!


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