Today my mom turns 70 so this post is dedicated to her and what I learned from her over the past 5 decades in my role as her oldest kid.
1. Keep moving! I watched my mom embrace the jogging in the 80's as well as Jane Fonda and aerobics! When roller-blades became popular my mom did that too. She has kept active kayaking, hiking and swimming. She hasn't stopped yet. She may not keep the pace she once did, but the forward motion matters.
2. Get as much education as you can afford even if you can't. Both my parents were SOTAs (students over a traditional age) even before there was such an acronym. My mom went to community college when my sister was born and then earned a scholarship to FSU where she went and finished her bachelors and then her masters. My siblings and I watched her do this. Later she then moved into working into my dad's business and made it theirs. Even in that business, she kept going to training, reading, and learning. Education doesn't necessarily have to happen in school, but education does
matter. So get as much as you can.
3. Travel! The world is a wide and wonderful place. It is a classroom for yourself and your children. Get out there even if it is just your unexplored community. Don't wait! You'll never have enough money or enough time, so the time is now. Take your kids with you when you can. What they read in school because a living tangible thing. I remember our first trip to DC. It was history alive. I remember our trip to the Keys. Although I was to scared to snorkel then, I do it now. My kid does too. Travel gives us windows into the world.
4. Spend thoughtfully so you can do the things you love. Sometimes my clothes came out of box of hand me downs from my cousins or the downtown Jax Junior League thrift store. We always, however, took a family vacation. These experiences are where memories are made. We might have been camping in a borrowed VW van with the pop up ceiling or going to all the tourist attractions on military appreciation day in St. Augustine, but they still created opportunities by choosing to put dollars elsewhere.
5. Play your cards wisely. I started playing cards with the grown-ups at age 10. Hi-Lo-Jack was the name of the game. We would play cut-throat or teams and still do. It taught me to pay attention, think ahead, be strategic, and rely on your partner's strengths. It taught me to patient and not rash or reckless. It taught me to take risks. It was obviously more than a card game. It's also our crazy family initiation or hazing I suppose when we welcome you to play.
7. Choose laughter. You can fight with your friends and family and you will, but always come back to the joy and laughter. That's what lasts and is lasting. Happy 70th Mom! Love ya! Looking forward to many more memories, laughter and love!