Lessons I learned from my mother

Pouring Tea by Kai Chan Vong

Christmas is my time for reflection; for thinking about family, the past and the future. This is when I think of the 10 lessons I learned from my mother.

1. Batch cook: Life’s too short to spend every night cooking. Free time up to laugh, love, sing, dance, read, snuggle up on the couch, hug a friend, think fondly of your dead.

2. (Nearly) everything freezes: When you’re feeding a horde, learn to love your freezer. My family was large, we froze everything we could. Bread, the riches from a Sunday’s batch cook, milk, and more.

3. You, always you: Don’t love someone so much you destroy your life for them. Especially when they don’t love you back.

4. No regrets: Drowning in your sea of regrets means you’re always looking back. Never forward and never around you, never seeing that life is full of light, shadow, bursts of pastels and shades of greys.

5. You aren’t superwoman: Be OK with taking care of yourself. A breakdown doesn’t mean you’ve failed, it doesn’t mean you’re weak. It means you definitely need to take care of you. Attach your mask before you help others.

6. Be honest: Lying is a crapshoot at the best of times but burying yourself in lies is odds on to lead to misery.

7. Stop blaming everyone else: Take some responsibility for your life, it’s not always your fault but it is your life, your responsibility, your driving seat.

8. Make friends: Your family and children can’t be your whole world. It warps your relationships, it makes things weird.

9. Know when to let go: Your children will grow, your dreams will change; Learn when it’s time to let go and move on. This doesn’t mean you’ve failed, it means things have changed.

10. Don’t give up on yourself: Things may feel insurmountable right now. Tomorrow is a different place, tomorrow doesn’t have to inherit today.

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