Saturday, March 18, 2017

Spring into Saturday: Celebrating 70 Years

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.

6. Persevere! This lesson was never more evident then after my dad died.  My mom had 3 kids left to put through school plus my parents' business to run.  There wasn't an opportunity to lay down and weep; this is not to say that she didn't grieve.  She did, however, have to get up each day and keep moving.  She didn't have an option to stop.  Many times we can be blindsided by a tragedy; what I know is that we too can move thru it.  It isn't easy and sometimes the forward feels like you are slogging through molasses, but you will have momentum and the ability to revision a new life. Just get up! That's where you start.

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!


  1. Happy birthday to your mom! She sounds like an amazing woman who taught you incredible life lessons. Those are lessons we all need to remember!

  2. Many great live lessons here. Some of them I think I am learning as I get old. When I was younger people would give me this advice but it really didn't make any sense to me.

    I really like the idea of travel. I have traveled to some pretty far out places and your post reminds me that I need to get my own kids to follow that advice.

  3. These life lessons are priceless! I'm reminded of my history. Sometimes while living with the choices doesn't seem rewarding or honorable it turns out to be just that.

  4. Inspirational slice for sure! Hold onto those wonderful memories and continue doing what you are doing to make more! Mom has emphasized the important things in life for sure for you! Tell your mom we love her workout work ethic and that some Maine people said thanks for doing a great job with the life lessons with you!

  5. What a wonderful example! It sounds like your mother has always made the most of her life and made sure her children did. too. I am inspired by your post.

  6. What a sweet tribute! My own mom is turning 70 this year as well. Some very good lessons learned, that's for sure. Thanks for sharing.

  7. My mom heart smiled even more strongly. Your mom certainly is a role model, and what better way to honor than through the gift of writing. Since my OLW for 2017 is persevere, that's the paragraph that stood out the most. I especially liked this, "There wasn't an opportunity to lay down and weep; this is not to say that she didn't grieve. She did, however, have to get up each day and keep moving." Thank you for sharing!

  8. Oh happy, happy birthday! LOVE the lessons your family is still teaching you and I love how you listed out the most important ones. Such full-heart writing made me get all the feels as the kids say. Cheers all around!

  9. Happy birthday to your mom,,,my wonderful sister!!!!!


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