My mum celebrated her birthday at the beginning of February, and I thought it would be nice to share some of the most valuable lessons she has taught me during my life.
1. There’s always something to smile about.
Several of you have referred to me as “like sunshine” and, if you think that’s true, you should meet my mum.
Right from when I was young, she encouraged me to look for positives. On our walks home from school, she would ask me for one good thing from the day. Now I’m older, if I’m having a whinge, she tends to be the first to offer up a silver living. Even when life has thrown setbacks in her direction, she’s come through them and maintained her positive outlook.
2. You’re only as old as you feel.
I’m sure my mum won’t mind me saying this, but she’s a big kid. It’s one of the things I love the most about her. It’s also the reason I tend to forget her actual age.
She loves kid films, Christmas and gets more excited than anyone I know when she sees a rainbow. I wouldn’t change her for the world.
3. Be generous.
Both with your money and your time. My mum has a heart of pure gold, I’m absolutely convinced of it.
In recent years, the jobs she has chosen have all been to benefit others – from running a charity to organising activities in a care home. She also regularly donates to charity when she can, and can’t resist buying little gifts for others. Every time I see her, the sentence “I’ve got a little something for you!” comes out of her mouth. It melts my heart.
4. It’s good to be creative.
Though our creativity takes different forms, I do think it’s her that I inherited this streak from. My creativity mainly shines through writing, whereas hers is through arts and crafts. She also loves drama and singing. She has always encouraged us with anything of this nature! You may have even seen her leave a comment or two on my blog as she’s been very supportive of this!
5. It’s important to treat yourself.
There were times in our lives when money was tight, but my mum always made a point of getting a little treat, even if she had to save a little to make it happen. It could be a hot chocolate while we were out, or a cake from the local bakery. This made me realise that treats don’t need to be something extravagant, just something we would enjoy.
Whenever we go shopping together now, if I’m eyeing something up, she’s the one who gives me the “treat yourself” nudge. She very rarely takes no for an answer. Though my bank balance may not be grateful, I am. I love the fact I’ve been brought up to know it’s okay to treat yourself once in a while.
6. Love conquers all.
My mum and dad have been through a whole bunch of stuff together. As a couple, they’ve come through things which others may not be able to. All that comes down to is the fact they love each other. They love each other enough to look beyond the mistakes, and to support each other when things get hard. They wouldn’t be together now if they didn’t.
Several years ago, my dad’s diabetes led to him becoming disabled. At times, my mum has had to be strong enough for the both of them. I imagine the experience has been incredibly demanding, both mentally and physically. When I’ve asked her how she copes, she says “I love him so it’s what I have to do”, and that’s it. That’s all there is to it for her. I love that I have that example of unconditional love in my life.
7. My mum is the best friend I’ll ever have.
I’ve always believed this, but since moving to Aberdeen, this has been more apparent than ever before. I don’t get to see her anywhere near as much as I would like to, and there are days when that really gets me down. Even at 28, I still cry and say “I just want my mum.” Frankly, I don’t think that will ever change. There are things in life that can only be cured by a hug from my mum. I’ll never discover a better remedy, of that I’m sure.
Mum – if you’re reading this, as I know you often do, I love you more than you’ll ever know. Thank you for everything you’ve done and continue to do. Even if I don’t tell you every day, I am extremely grateful for you. You are incredibly special. It’s impossible not be filled with admiration for you. I’m so proud of the person you are and the fact I get to say “that’s my mum.”