My mom, like most mothers, has a lot of valuable things to say. But I, like most daughters, didn’t realize how valuable any of those things were until I was in my twenties. In honor of my mom’s birthday coming up this month, I’m going to do something she’s likely been waiting for since 1994 – sharing a few of my favorite lessons that I’ve learned from her!
You are in charge of deciding what kind of day you’re going to have.
If you’ve been following me for a long time, you’ve heard this story about my earliest memory before. Or maybe you saw it in my 23 Things I Learned by Age 23 post recently. Well, I can’t exactly take credit for that lesson all on my own. When I was a toddler, I was being particularly moody on my way to preschool. My mom simply told me that if I wanted to have a good day, all I had to do was decide that on my own. So I did. When she picked me up, I told her that I had the best day ever. Next time you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, don’t wait for the events of the day to determine your mood; decide on your own that you are going to have a great day.
If you don’t sleep enough, you will get sick.
I swear every single time I talked to my mom on the phone while I was in college, she asked me if I was sleeping enough, and then told me I was going to get sick if I didn’t sleep. And, of course, I would get annoyed, and tell her that sleep wasn’t a top priority when I had a fifty-page paper and a presentation the next day, along with an 8-hour shift at work. And, of course, I got sick every time. Those were always the moments when I thought the classic shit, I should’ve listened to my mom. You were right, Gail, okay? Are you happy now?
Wear one nicer item and the rest of your outfit will look expensive, too.
This is probably the best fashion tip I’ve ever received. I will literally wear a $2 t-shirt from the Good Will with leggings from Walmart and a Louis Vuitton purse and no one will ever suspect I’m wearing thrifted clothes. Investing in timeless, high quality pieces will add to any outfit. There is no sense in buying basic clothing (like plain sweaters, shirts, etc) just to say you own something from a certain brand/designer. Save that money for something you can keep for years and years.
Material items won’t make you happy.
Although my mom does advocate for dressing up your outfits with nice things every once in a while, she definitely does not believe that you need any sort of material item (designer or not) to make you happy. My dad and I sometimes struggle to take this lesson to heart. Whenever we talk about wanting to purchase something new, she always asks us, “and then will you be haaaaapppyyyy?” in that sing-songy, mocking tone. Of course, the answer shouldn’t be “yes.” You will only ever truly be able to feel fulfilled by God’s love, connections with your friends and family, and your intangible personal achievements.
Sounds like common sense, right? Something you should have probably learned by the age of five? Yeah, you’d think… but people still flat out lie ALL. THE. TIME. Of course, everyone tells a little white lie here and there. Yeah, mom, I’ll write Grammy that thank-you note right now *doesn’t actually do it for a week.* But seriously, guys, lying is probably THE dumbest way to (attempt to) get yourself out of a tough situation. The most consistent thing my mom has always said throughout my life about herself is “I don’t lie,” and she literally doesn’t. As a result of that, she never gets herself into any pickles (lol…keep reading to hear about mine).
I can only remember one time in my life where I’ve told an actual, straight-up lie to try to get myself out of something, and it did not end well. Since I know you’re probably interested in the gossip, I’ll tell you the story:
When I was in college (that’s weird to say. I feel old. Okay, back to the story), I started talking to a new boy, and I thought he was the best person ever. Problem was, I hadn’t quite stopped talking to a previous boy… Let’s call them Boy #1 and Boy #2. Well, Boy #2 loved to contact me through all forms of communication; a million texts at a time, Snapchat after Snapchat, you get the picture. One night, I went to hang out with Boy #1, and knew that Boy #2 would be onto me if I didn’t answer him right away. So, I turned off my phone. That was my first mistake. The whole time, I was freaking out about what Boy #2 would think when he didn’t hear from me. The next morning, I woke up to hundreds (yes, hundreds) of texts, countless Snapchats, and even an Instagram DM. I didn’t even know how to respond, so I ignored him for the better part of the morning. When I finally answered, I told him that my phone was dead and my roommate needed my charger. This is why you don’t lie, people! What the hell kind of lie is that?! I suck at lying. Obviously no one would just give up their phone charger to their roommate when their phone was dead. I’m literally laughing as I’m writing this right now because it’s so freaking stupid. Of course, this story ends with a very mad Boy #2.
Moral of the story: TELL THE TRUTH. And you probably shouldn’t talk to two boys at once, either. (Side note: both Boys #1 and #2 were eventually both made aware of each other, and are now long gone from my life. This is definitely for the best. Sorry to Boy #2 for being a liar. My bad.) (Side note number two: no need to comment negative things, I have learned from my mistake!)
And that concludes my favorite lessons I’ve learned from my mom (so far). Thank you so much for reading! Comment below what your favorite lesson you’ve learned from your parents is! XO