Hi, friends. Recently I’ve been having conversations with some people at my work to find out about moving up, or where I want my career to go and what that might look like in the future. Which has also gotten me thinking about how people relate to one another, and what truly matters when it comes to working relationships. Some of the most important things I’ve learned about relationships, and life in general, I learned from my mom. She was one of the most competent, fun, graceful people with all the wisdom in the world, so here are a few pieces of that wisdom: 🙂
Have a sense of humor.
In many situations, I think a sense of humor can serve you so well. Combined with being grounded and aware of other people and their feelings, a sense of humor is one of the best qualities I think a person can have, and my mom knew that balance better than most. She could make fun of herself, most importantly, and poke good-natured fun at others and situations while still being endearing.
When you can’t control a situation, you can control your attitude.
Honestly, you would never see my mom in a truly bad mood. She faced plenty of trying and difficult circumstances, from angry school parents to unfairness and school politics. She always seemed to know that getting angry or in a huff would do nobody any good, and time after time her sense of calm and even-keel would shine through. You can always control your attitude, even in the worst of situations, and I think that, over time, that has a profound effect on those around you.
Be a servant leader.
My mom was an incredible leader. As a teacher and eventual elementary school principal, she cared about absolutely everyone in her school and made sure they knew it. Her door was literally always open and everyone felt that they could come to her with a problem, that they were valued, and that they had an advocate. She visited “every classroom, everyday” and that’s something I think you can subscribe to in any role to show that you care and are committed to those around you. She was so humble and wouldn’t think of herself above anyone. It’s an attitude I strive to have in everything I do, and why I hope to be in a leadership role someday.
Music was a huge thing in my mom’s life, and it’s something she passed on to me for sure. We went to the opera together, listening to classical music on the way and discussing the opera the whole way back home. She loved John Denver, The Beatles, James Taylor, Billy Joel (who we saw in concert last year) and so many others. Often I would ask if we could sit down at the piano, so she would play and we’d sing together – this was honestly one of my favorite things in the world, along with waking up on Sunday mornings to the sound of her playing the piano before church. She often wrote funny songs for people. An appreciation and love for music is one thing that I’m grateful I was given, and I think it keeps a connection to my mom that will last forever.
Always look up the actor.
Whenever we watched a movie, show, awards show, anything…she would always look up the actors (if she didn’t know them already) and any trivia she could. We’d be sitting there watching and every so often she would read a bit of trivia that she found particularly interesting. If you know me, you know I’m usually the one to know who an actor is and maybe something else that they’ve been in, and that’s because it’s a tradition that started with my grandpa and that I feel I have to carry on.
Have faith in the right thing.
My mom’s faith was incredibly important to her. Those words sound too weak to describe what her faith in God meant, and every day she showed that faith in action. Until the day she died, she knew that God would provide for her and oversee everything in her life. Putting faith in people is never as successful as you’d think, and the only thing that is truly constant and will last after this life is God.
Be competitive (and sweet).
Something that not everyone knew about my mom was how competitive she was, and that’s because she balanced that out with being incredibly genuine and sweet to people. Even during family games, where the competitive spirit ran at its most intense, after the fact there was no animosity because her attitude wasn’t antagonistic. I definitely got the competitive gene, but I hope I’m successful at mellowing out the effects of that by having the same generous attitude toward others.
Of course there are 1,000 more things that I learned from my mom, both big and small, but the few I’ve talked about today were the ones that were on my mind. I hope you can take them into consideration for yourself, or maybe you just learned a little more about me. Either way, please feel free to comment down below any thoughts; I’d love to hear from you. 🙂
Until next time. xx