Sunday, May 9, 2010

Question of the Day #550

My mother uses little phrases and a raised eyebrow to say big things.

When I'm frustrated that things aren't moving fast enough, she says, "Paciencia en la vida. Paciencia." Just like her mother said to her. It's their reminder that hard work will eventually get me where I want to be.

When I'm procrastinating about writing or tackling something I'm dreading, she says, "Just do it!" An exclamation born out of a wedding job 20 years ago, when she and all her employees barrelled towards a deadline without enough flowers. Everyone complained that they were "never going to make it," and it was "going to be a disaster" and "maybe they should cancel" when one of them yelled, "Just do it!" All the grumblings stopped and they did it well.

If I'm debating a situation and give pause on one side of things, she stamps the decision with, "That's it." A phrase originally dropped by her father, which we now interpret as, "Okay, you figured it out. Now get it done."

Since she is also an artist, she understands how inspiration can be fleeting. So when we overhear an intense conversation or drive past Mexican shanty homes or sail next to whales, she nudges me and says, "Save this." Thanks to her, I have a whole bank of life's images to write about.

It's in those moments, that my mother, the woman, the person comes out. Her experiences and her knowledge are to be trusted. Because more times than not, she's right.

So how will you finish the sentence below?

Mom was right about ______________________ .



  1. being kind. Whenever I encountered a difficult person she would always say, "Just kill 'em with kindness, Honey." That advice always turned an uncomfortable situation around...friendships were formed and conflicts resolved. Yay for my good, kind Mommy!

    And, a very Happy Mother's Day to your amazing Mommy!! XOxo

  2. Beck, great comment! My mother taught me to kill with kindness too. Very good advice. Happy Mother's Day to you and your wonderful Mommy too! xoxo

  3. This post is fantastic. I've had those "save this" moments with your mom, and I totally get it.

    My relationship with my own mother is a complex one, and it took me some time to answer this question. Mom was right about using common sense. It has really helped me survive a lot of things in this life.

    I've been fortunate to have two wonderful mothers-in-law who both have been right about their approaches to family and unconditional love. They've taught me a lot, and I am blessed to have them in my life.

  4. Awwee...what a lovely post. You do have a wonderful mom!

    I'm just going's complicated.

  5. EMoney hit the nail on the head. EVERYTHING!

  6. I agree with EMoney. Everything. Though, I'd admit so grudgingly :-)

  7. Great post! However, I really can't fill in the blank. Not now, anyway ... :(


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