What’s the Best Advice Your Mother Ever Gave You?

May 11, 2014

by Diane Gage Lofgren

Today we celebrate Mothers! The mother who, hopefully, loved us unconditionally, and raised us through it all. We also celebrate the women who served as our “other mother” when we needed additional wisdom, support, guidance and perhaps even some rescuing. Sometimes we mother our friends and they mother us right back. It’s amazing that the word Mother (and for that matter Father) is both a noun and a verb! As I tell my son, you can never have enough mothers!

I had an amazing Mom. She raised three daughters to be strong, independent, caring, and nurturing. I know we each strive to be that, most of the time! What was extraordinary about our Mom is that she came from a large family, lost her mother when she was just 12, and virtually raised her two younger siblings. She grew up quickly, and in the process garnered great wisdom and insights into life.

My Mom, Charlotte, and me years ago in San Diego.

My Mom, Charlotte, and me years ago in San Diego.

My mom, Charlotte, could literally do anything. She would rewire lamps, paint the house, fix small issues with the car, and tend to all the landscaping as my father, talented in different ways, served in the Army. She lived all over the world — England, Japan, Alaska, Hawaii and more. When helping us with Spanish homework, she did so with the hint of a Japanese accent! For science fairs, she dove right in – even defeathering a deceased pelican my sister found and wiring the bones together to show off at the science fair.

While you would think that the best advice my Mom gave us would be “You can do and be anything,” she never had to do that because she lived it every day. We got that instinctively. The wisdom I can hear her departing over and over again is, “If they don’t pay your bills, don’t let someone tell you how to live your life.”

What? Oh yeah. Seems a little odd until you realize that no one, not even your employer pays your bills. You alone decide how to spend your hard-earned dollars. So in essence my Mom was making sure we knew that ultimately we already know what to do in our lives. It’s a gut check. If something inside gives us a warning, if we feel that pit in our stomach, then we may want to stop and reassess. But if we know that we know, then do it—regardless of what others think. We have this one life, this one moment to make a difference for ourselves and others.

So, I follow my mother’s advice, to follow my own internal compass. That doesn’t mean I don’t check in with others and hear perspectives, but when it comes down to it, only I am responsible for my choices and the way I live my life. Thanks Mom!

What is the best advice your Mom ever gave you? Please share!

Happy Mother’s Day!

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