IN HONOR OF MOTHER’S DAY … THE EXPANDED VERSION
Mother’s Day is this week. Happily, I am the mother of Grayson, Cooper, and Delaney. Now 25, 23, and 19 years old, my kids have received tons of my advice over the years, especially as I was sending them off to college. Some of my most steadfast advice includes:
Choose friends wisely. Life is far too short to spend even one second surrounded by poor friends. Find people who believe in you, support you, encourage you, value you. And in return, show them that same belief, support, encouragement and value.
Autograph everything you do with excellence. This adage is attributed to my husband. In our family, it literally means everything: vacuuming the living room, taking out the trash, a school project, a work event.
Read 1 hour every day. This was a summer mandate when my kids were younger. After lunch, everyone had to read for one hour. It was a way to start developing a lifelong love of learning. We all know that reading opens so many doors, expands so many horizons. That never ends.
Have tea parties … or coffee dates. I’m crazy about tea parties. To me, it’s a time to truly engage with the people sitting at my table. Whether it is at a restaurant or in a home, whether it is an afternoon chat or a special occasion, it is a time to slow down and savor the moment. For all intents and purposes, coffee dates are similar to taking tea. Seize the opportunity to enjoy a friend – to talk, reminisce, solve the world’s problems.
Don’t let anyone steal your joy. I hate the pressure of living up to someone else’s expectations – on how I should dress, what car I should drive, how my house should be decorated, what skills I should possess. Trying to live up to those expectations can be pretty stressing. Get comfortable in your own skin. The relief you’ll feel in your day-to-day life will be immeasurable.
JOMO. The joy of missing out. This goes hand in hand with not letting anyone steal your joy. Instead of spending time doing what other people are doing, spend time doing what you want to do. This means that you don’t need to attend every activity, and you certainly don’t need to attend the ones to which you are not even remotely connected. Staying home to enjoy the activities and people you enjoy are far more important than being present just to be seen.
No regrets. My husband and I committed to this idea on our wedding day. There are two aspects to this advice: 1) Make the best decision you can, based on the information that you have at the time, and then move forward without looking back. Do not live your life in the should-have, could-have, would-have. 2) Take action to ensure that you will not have regrets later. Study for the test. Don’t drink and drive. Declare your love.
Make people feel special. Everyone goes through much of life feeling lost in the crowd. Do what can you to make someone feel special – to feel noticed, appreciated, valued.
Suck the most out of life. So many of the other pieces of advice support this one. If you are doing all of these other things – reading, engaging with friends, doing activities that you enjoy – you are probably sucking the most out of life. There are so many people around us who are simply going through the motions; living life but not enjoying it. Learn. Engage. Explore. Appreciate. Every day.
Finish strong. As the school year draws to an end, this is especially applicable. You’ve worked hard all year/semester. Now is not the time to slack off, get distracted, or lose sight of the finish line.
Through my motherhood role, I helped my own three children find and fund their ideal college experiences. Through my work with SCOUT, I hope to help other families successfully do the same. To find out more, join me at https://scoutcollegeconsulting.com/
Happy Mother’s Day!