Mother-daughter dynamics and relationships are funny; you spend the first few years of your life completely dependent on her for everything and the next few years thinking she’s trying to kill you with piano lessons, brussel sprouts, and a curfew. When you get a bit older you realize that every bit of advice, every punishment, and every lesson she tried to get you to learn on your own was because she loves you and has done this all before. In honour of my mom’s birthday it is time to give credit where credit it due…
Here are the important life lessons I have learned from my mom:
There is such thing as a free lunch: Timing your Costco trips is an essential life skill. The warehouse club has the most samples available during lunch time on the weekends, so you can pick up your lifetime supply of paper towel while also indulging in as many free samples of drinkable yogurt, cream cheese and crackers, frozen pizza, and fruit cups as your heart desires #itsbettertobeamember
Don’t dumb yourself down for attention: There’s nothing wrong with being smart, asking intelligent questions, admitting you like crossword puzzles, or read the Globe and Mail. At the same time there’s nothing wrong with discussing celebrity gossip and makeup or engaging in conversations about politics, business or world issues #realtalk
It’s better to be misinformed than uninformed: this is basically her way of saying fake it ‘til you make it. It all started when some 80 year old woman asked her how many hours it took to make a quilt when we were volunteering at a silent charity auction and my mom looked at her, and with conviction told her it took 162 hours. Not only does she have no idea how many hours it takes to sew a quilt, but my mom can barely sew on a button (she once stapled the hem of my pants before school). The older woman, looking awestruck, proceeded to bid on the quilt, and helped raise money for the charity. Now you’re probably thinking that was deceitful, but what I learned is that people just want to know if you know the answer. Worst case scenario is you lie, go find the right answer, and go back and correct yourself. You come across as someone who checks their facts and isn’t afraid to admit when they’re wrong #winning
Shop until you drop: You can literally shop until you drop (we have proved this several times) and you should because those shoes are on sale today only and some of the best memories are made from marathon mother-daughter shopping trips: from sing-alongs in the car, to stopping at every gas station in Michigan to ask for directions because you always get lost no matter how good your directions, to eating Kernels popcorn for lunch in the outlet mall food court.
If you’re going to commit a crime, make it a big one: Now she isn’t saying to have a complete disregard for the law, but if you’re going to commit a crime, make it a big one. Don’t go to jail for shoplifting a two dollar candy bar, go to jail for stealing $50 million from the vault at the Bellagio Casino #gobigorgohome
The importance of giving back: My mom has run more food drives, organized more fundraisers, and donated more of her time to charitable causes than anyone I know. She has also volunteered my time more than anyone I know. But, she taught me the importance of giving back and I am thankful for all the great people I have met through charitable work and the opportunities that have come to me through volunteering.
Nothing good ever came from taking shots: Or as my mom calls them “shooters”. She’s right, the only thing that ever comes from taking shots of hard liquor is a smashed iPhone screen, puke in your hair and a fuzzy memory.
Get out of your comfort zone: You know I’m not even sure if my mom has a comfort zone. You could literally put her in just about any situation and she would wind up making a friend, embarking on a new adventure, or at the very least getting a great story out of it. She used to puts me in the most uncomfortable situations from sending me to a French triathlon camp in the heart of Quebec to speaking in front of hundreds of students, she has constantly forced me to step out of my comfort zone and I can’t thank her enough for it.