Happy Mother’s Day!
Are you celebrating with your mother today? Are you recognizing all her contributions that make you who you are today?
How successful would you be without her attention and guidance?
In this post I’m going to share some principles my mom instilled in me that you might find beneficial.
Had my mom not been devoted to raising her three kids, I think one career path for her could have been professional athlete.
She really loves to win. Everything from board games and card games to sports (in particular tennis and golf). She excels under pressure. The more pressure the better. This sets her apart from her competition. And it has resulted in her winning club championships in golf and taking me and my brother and sister down at golf when we’re down to the final hold in a close match.
When she coached my sister in soccer, they always won. Usually by scores of 9 to 0 or 10 to 1. She didn’t believe in letting up or putting in the weaker players when they were up by 5 or more. When you had a lead, you closed it out.
She wasn’t mean about it. She didn’t rub it in. But she did make sure that winning was the point and she would pull out all the stops to make it happen.
Giving up was not allowed in our household. If you had to struggle, so be it. If you were losing, still give it your all.
This showed up a couple times.
The first example was when I was playing on the high school tennis team. I was an okay player. Played #5 singles. So typically I played against other people who were similar in ability.
This one match, however, was not like the others. I played a guy who was ranked in the State of California and was very good. So the first set I hadn’t won a game. Barely won any points, let alone a game. I prayed for his first serve to land in because it was just hard and I could block it back. His second serve was a reverse twist that bounced high and back into me and was almost impossible to return.
After that first set I came off the court dejected. I told my mom I wanted to just forfeit the match. That was the wrong thing to say. She got really mad at me and said I need to get back out on the court. And give it my all. If I couldn’t get a set off of him then try to win a game. If I couldn’t get a game then try to get a point. Regardless she wanted me to give it my all and not give up.
A lesson well learned. Although there have been times I wanted to throw in the towel, my mom’s words keep ringing in my ears, coaxing me along.
Stand Up For What’s Right
For Mom there was right and wrong. Grey wasn’t really in her vocabulary.
One case was before the era of social media and the anything goes world we live in today, she went to our local Bank of America to deposit a check or something. And as she was walking into the bank she sees a sign (one of the times that was a popular line of slogans) that said something like “Banks Do It With Interest”.
Well she got offended and had a talk with the manager about that sign. And they ended up removing it.
Or there was the time when our family ran a 5k race in Patterson. The Apricot Festival. And if you placed in the top three in your age group then you’d win some dried apricots. Well my sister got in the top three, can’t remember what position, but I do remember when the announcer didn’t announce my sister’s name and was going to give her award to someone else. Well mama bear wasn’t going to let that happen to her daughter. She went up to the announcer and let him know my sister was the winner of that prize and got it for her.
Take Time For Yourself
Mom always made sure she got her exercise and social time in. Whether it was her bridge group, women’s club, or tennis. She used to take us kids to her tennis matches and we’d play at the park or in the grass or dirt outside the courts while we waited for her to finish.
Now it is golf. It is her time to do something she enjoys. I’ve done the same and always had some hobbies that I enjoy to recharge with.
The Power of Practice
Practice was something I always struggled with. I liked to do things once and be done with it. I hated repetition with a passion. My mom however, always reinforced that practice would make you better. She practiced and had us practice. Usually this was around my sister and I practicing our musical instruments (clarinet, flute, piano).
Although I didn’t really enjoy it at the time, it did instill some good habits for the future.
I hope you enjoyed your Mother’s Day either as a mother or as someone who is celebrating their mom. And hopefully you picked up a good reminder from my mom that you can use too.