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Things My Mother Taught Me
A Work in Progress, A Lens of Insight
This lens, dedicated to and about my Mom for her years of putting up with the kids is not all done, so come back every once in awhile and see what else I learned from my Mom.
Also, I do have a father and I learned a lot of things from him, too. That's my next project.
Pay Attention to Your Nails
For better or for worse, outside appearances matter and something as little as whether or not you have nicely manicured nails impacts people's impression of you.
I might not follow this advice every day, but I have never met a boyfriend's mother or grandmother without doing my nails first.
At Home Manicure
Always Pack the Night Before a Trip - and other packing tips
- Always, always, always pack the night before. It doesn't matter how short a trip you are going on, you should pack at least one night before. It exponentially lowers the possibility that you will leave something at home.
- In addition, make a list of the things you bring with you. You are much less more likely to check under the bed and in all the drawers if you *know* you are missing something instead of just thinking, "Didn't I have an extra t-shirt?"
- Bring a bag for dirty laundry.
I originally just wanted an image of a suitcase, but then the suitcase I usually used lost its last two wheels, so I went looking for a great carry-on. This costs money, but it is highly recommended, has a lifetime guarantee, and I love it. Different colors are available, but I got the reddish one. I think they call it cinnamon or cajun.
Naps are Good
Your Passport Should Be Up to Date at All Times . . .
. . . because you never know when someone is going to ask you to go to Paris for the weekend.
That may never happen, I don't know. The point is that if it does happen, I'll be able to go because I have a valid passport. I've had a valid passport since I was seven. Another plus, though, is that if you lose your wallet, it is a lot easier to get around if you already have a second form of government-sanctioned ID.
To get your passport, go to The U.S. State Department to get all the information you need.
Just Start from Where Ever You Are
I am a big procrastinator, let's start from there. I would always get behind on my homework. The real trouble would start when, the next day, instead of doing that day's homework, I would try to get all the homework done in order. While this might make sense for math, it just made everything later. My mom always told me that I should just do that day's homework first, my stubborn sense of the correct order of things made me usually ignore her. My mistake.
We had a library at my house. This wasn't one of those fancy rooms where all books were leather bound but may as well have been blank inside. No, there were books of all shapes and sizes for kids, for adults. Religious texts, mystery novels, classic literature, the Nancy Drew series. Some of the spines were cracked and some of the pages dog-eared and any of us kids could wander in, pick a book and read it at a leisurely pace, returning it when done. I would be very surprised to find out that my parents had fewer than 500 books in the house I grew up in.
Charity Isn't Just About Money - You've heard that time is money, right?
I never really thought of mom as an uber-volunteer, but I think that might be because the amount she volunteered was normal for all the moms in my house (which would just be her).
In addition to either currently or formerly being the librarian, archivist, etc. for my home synagogue, she has dedicated an enormous amount of time to a bunch of other great causes. Just see below.
- Treasurer of Retinoblastoma International
When my little brother got cancer, she didn't just get informed and pray and cry (although she did all of those things). She became very involved raising research money for this little known childhood cancer. And, in case you're wondering, my brother
- Captain of a Relay for Life Team
For the past seven years (seven?), my mom has been captain (or co-captain) of the Relay for Life team that has generated more money than any other team in our town. In 2005 alone, they raised over $26,000. This year, her mom died of brain cancer, whi
- Created a Foundation to Save Our Choir Teacher's Job
It's no secret that California is in a lot of economic trouble now. Sadly, this has been the case for awhile. When I was in high school, the board of education announced cuts. Teachers were RIFfed (Reduction in Force) based on seniority and three of
- Built a House in New Orleans
Hurricane Katrina devastated the coast of Louisiana, especially New Orleans, in 2005. Rebuilding continues even today. In 2006, my mom went down to New Orleans with a group to help build a house for a local elderly resident.
- More to Come
and much, much more, which I will detail as time goes by.
What would you say the best lessons you learned from you mom were?