It’s Mother’s Day! Today we celebrate the women who mean the most to us, from our biological mothers, to our adopted mothers, to the aunts, grandmothers, godmothers, and even our best-friend’s moms and mother-in-laws, who have impacted our lives in so many ways.
So, in honor of Mother’s Day, I would like to take a moment to share some lessons others have learned from their moms and other important female figures in their lives, as well as to share some things I learned from my own mom.
*Disclaimer: There may be some feels ahead.
Jacob B., SJ
“My mom taught me to be strong through the storm. She also taught me the joy of laughter. And how to cheat playing dominoes… [which] she learned from her mom.”
“I learned to pray ‘through the moment’ from my mom.”
“My mom taught me love, prayer obedience, and service to others.”
“My mom taught me patience and how to love unconditionally.”
“I learned how to cook from my mom!”
“My mom taught me to find joy even when something went wrong, to love even when a person seemed unlovable, to honor and respect your husband and to honor the vow made to each other. Plus, she had made me realize you are never too old to learn something new. She taught me to “dance” every opportunity I could, and I DO!!”
“My mom taught me how to live simply, laugh often, and how to “whip up” a party for 50 with next to nothing in the refrigerator. When I was older and would come to her with friend drama she told me, ‘when people tell you who they are… listen.’ I ❤ that.”
“I learned how to garden, cook, love being a mom to my own kiddos, put God first.”
“From my mom:
From my grandma:
“My mom taught me to be true to myself, to develop a social conscience and to practice justice. She also taught me love generously and unconditionally. She tried to teach me how to be graceful and gracious. Still working on that. Oh, and last but not least she taught me to always wear lipstick!”
“My mom taught me all the basic stuff like how to sew and cook and clean, but she also taught me to stand firm in my beliefs, even when the rest of the world stands against me.”
And a few lessons that my mom taught me:
To all the moms out there, and to all the women who share their mothering spirit even with children who are not their own, thank you for all that you do, have done, and will continue to do.
Thank you to all the moms who watch down on their children from heaven, who still continue to work on their behalf. Truly, a mother’s work is never done!
Thank you to the moms who have children in heaven.
Thank you to the moms struggling to conceive, but who haven’t given up hope (and to the fathers and extended family).
Thank you to all single fathers out there, pulling double duty to provide for their child(ren) emotionally, financially, and spiritually.
You may be exhausted, but you’re doing great. Keep going. Keep fighting the good fight.
There are approximately 71,900,000 search results that appear when you Google the phrase “How to Lose Weight”. The fitness and nutrition world is extensive, and oftentimes mind-boggling for those attempting to transition to healthier lifestyles. The upside? There is no shortage of information on how to implement healthier lifestyle choices and achieve your weight goals.
The down side?
The amount of conflicting information and suggestions that one has to sift through to find a plan that works for them and their dietary needs.
Every body is different. Some people have to account for health complications like diabetes or thyroid diseases, while others have to consider certain genetic dispositions. Though there are certain methods of weight loss that nutritionists and fitness gurus agree on across the board, like staying well hydrated and choosing healthier foods, the tedious part comes in the form of disagreements between the how and what.
Now here’s the fun part.
When you Google “How to Write”, there comes a whopping 1.35 billion (oh, yes, you read that right) search results. Of course, you could narrow this search based on the type of writing you plan to do. For example, that number goes from 1.35 billion to 197 million when you search the more specific “how to write a novel”.
That’s still no shortage of information. And no shortage of headache.
Much like the fitness and nutrition world, conflicting suggestions and “advice” can have you reaching for the Tylenol bottle in about .5 seconds, or can have you discouraged in an equal amount of time. Some professionals in the literary world will follow suit with the great Stephen King (no sarcasm intended) and say to cut any adverbs of the “ly” variety from your story, while others say, “hey, don’t be an adverb Nazi.”
And if you’re wondering, “Using adverbs in a novel” brings up nearly half a million results. Holy cow!
The silver lining in this literary conundrum is that, just like every body is different, and a cookie-cutter diet plan won’t work across the board, every mind is different, and a cookie-cutter “how to” on writing your novel won’t work across the board, either. Every writer has their style, their own unique “voice”.
And we all have our own muse. We all have our own idea of a perfect writing space, the perfect music, the perfect pen or word processor. We each have a ritual when it comes to writing. And I think that at some point, we all self-loathe our work. If not, snide kuddos to you.
In a nutshell, the English language is a fickle beast. It can both create and destroy. It all boils down to the sequence in which you pluck the notes to evoke a certain emotion, to tell a certain story. For some people, their music is a simple quartet, while others require an entire orchestra. Both are beautiful, and built for their own purpose.
I won’t offer any advice other than to just keep writing. I think that’s a pretty agreed-upon sentiment in the writing world. Keep trying. Even if the rejection letters are rolling in back-to-back, and your mailbox is brimming, still keep trying. And keep learning your craft. Find your voice and run with it; don’t let anyone else take it from you. Finish that first draft with all the plot holes and spelling errors if for no other reason than to say that you did it.
You can pander on the technicalities later.
And, of course, there is always the comfort in knowing that, if nothing else, we can all agree on this: