Happy Thursday! Today’s post is a little bit different from what I normally share, but probably my favorite thing to write in a long time. Today is my mom’s 50th birthday, and while she and my dad are off traveling through Italy today, I’m sharing the four biggest lessons that my mom has taught me so far in my 24 years of life. I’m sure there’s been hundreds of lessons she’s taught me, like when I was in seventh grade and learned that TP’ing someones house stood for “toilet papering”, or more practical things I learned in college like how to do laundry or how to boil an egg. But these four lessons below have shaped me into the woman I am today (although I don’t know where I’d be if she hadn’t shown me how to do laundry, either). Without further ado…
Embrace your creativity.
If you know my mom, or if you’ve followed me for any time period, you see that I share her artwork a LOT, because she is incredibly talented and deserves for people to see it. She’s had her business since I was in high school because I basically forced her to make an Instagram account and start posting, but she’s been doing creative projects since long before I’ve been around. I have grown up surrounded by paint and yarn and construction paper and calligraphy pens and the freedom to try it all. She is patient and also loves learning new skills just as much as I do, so art has been a way for us to spend even more time together as I’ve grown up, going to calligraphy workshops or watching watercolor classes online. She’s always pushed me to just go for it and do what I love, and those lessons learned from making mistakes have made me even better today. I’d like to say that I’m a pretty creative and artistic person, but she deserves all the credit from those traits of mine.
Done is better than perfect.
I have spent many, many hours, hundreds (probably thousands) of text messages, and many tears telling my mom all of the things I dream about, all of the things I want to work towards and accomplish, and all of my worries, fears, and things holding me back. And do you know what she always tells me? You just have to start. Just try it, and if it doesn’t work the first time, then let’s figure it out and you can try it again! And that’s something that I’ve truly learned to embrace in the last year or so. I shared a blog post recently about this exact topic, and it’s something that I have to keep reminding myself of often, or I’d probably be paralyzed with that perfectionistic fear forever.
Just take it one step at a time.
This one could also be rephrased in the way that my dad shares it: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” It goes hand in hand with the point above, that done is better than perfect, because once you realize that you will never ever reach the perfection that you’re waiting on, you just have to take the first step to start making things happen. Then another. Then another. And before you know it, your goal is within reach, and you can look back and see that it wasn’t so scary after all.
Life’s too short to get worked up about little things.
I am 24 years old, and in my 24 years of life, I have heard my mom raise her voice in frustration only one time. Ever. And that was in the midst of a 20 hour road trip from Wyoming to Arkansas through the night where she had no sleep and a horrible cold and was stuck in the backseat because I was carsick. (It’s honestly the best story, and if you know her, you can understand the humor there.) But in all seriousness, my mom does not get outwardly angry, she doesn’t argue, she doesn’t complain, she doesn’t huff and puff in frustration when she doesn’t get her way. She takes everything life throws at her with grace and a calm about her that I hope to someday achieve because that’s just how she is.
So thank you, Mom, for teaching me and guiding me and putting up with my incessant text messages and dumb questions and bossing you around when it comes to your Instagram. Happy birthday – I love you!