If the people who knew you best were to give a speech about you, what would they say? Not strangers. The people who know cranky you, and hungry, playful you, how would they describe you?
So passionate, so honest, so raw and real. Makes others feel less alone, made me work harder at my relationships. Such a great cook and baker and hostess, her details are unforgettable, she always surprises with unique unexpected touches, and she always makes me feel so great about who I AM when I’m around her. She’s made me know that mine is the only opinion I should care about, to trust my instincts, go ahead and live eccentrically, do whatever brings me joy, even if it’s not the most responsible or respected route. I can hear her wisdom in my head, as a parent, in my life in general, I stop and think, “Now, what would she do if she were in this position?” She always lives down her bones, follows her passions and instincts, licks up life, forgives herself, and gives her kids so much love. Mostly, I admire how comfortable she is with who she is, flaws out, heart out, take me, leave me, she’ll be just fine.
She’s no nonsense when it comes to building their character, even when it makes her life harder; when she tells them “No,” it’s obvious that she does it purposefully, as if to say, “You probably won’t thank me, but you should.” She loves them win or lose, just as they are, and they know it through their spines.
She’s my mother and best friend. I can tell her anything, even when I can hardly stand to hear it myself. She gives support and advice, but she never judges. She makes me feel important and really seen and valued just as I am. I am in awe of her creativity and her laid back spontaneity, her unforgivable talent and willingness to share all that she knows. She never hoards, except maybe her movie theater nachos. She makes every holiday and tradition memorable, with her cakes, with her ability to capture, with words, with photographs, with everything.
Those kids are so so lucky to have such a self-aware emboldening mother. And man can that woman throw a party! She’s so chill and loving, she’s like a big Italian song, all gussied up and girly, wine in hand, apron on, dancing and forcing food on people.
Now, ask yourself if the everyday life you are living, the choices you’re making, do these decisions about how to spend your time reflect the underlying values of the words you hope to hear? Are your goals in alignment with how you’re composing your days? If you want to be described as a good friend, take a look at your daily to-do list and see, where do your friends rank? You want to be known as a hostess, and how many people are you actually inviting into your home? Now, where’s the disconnect?
I don’t know about you, but this exercise put a breeze into my laundry. If you’re finding your days spent pinning items to Pinterest and updating your twitter and facebook status, maybe it’s time to take a closer look at how you want to be spending your time. We all need to unwind and feel connected, but is this behavior important enough to make it into your daily calendar?
If you find your to-do list littered with errands in lieu of actual plans, where time is spent cleaning and planning dinner and carpooling, schlepping kids between activities, make sure it’s purposeful. Is your time better spent letting things go to shit a bit, so you can attend to what matters most to you? Maybe you’ve just forgotten what that even is.
It’s time to look at it. What does matter to you? Big picture. What are you doing right now to get it done? You want to be known for your wisdom and advice, are you still curious, still working to learn more, listen harder? You want to be known for being bold and brave? How’s that working out in your stained pajamas? What’s the last bold thing you did? Time to walk that shit again.
Maybe there are fewer after-school enrichment programs and more one-on-one essentials, time for quality homework help and after school unwinding, the folding into beds with books and traditions. Maybe you order in a lot more. Maybe you invite your neighbors over for dinner, for themed nights, make more plans, more Barolo. Keep what’s on track, stick to your over-the-top Thanksgiving obsessions. Now ask yourself this: did being thin even make the speech? No one remembers us for what we weighed. Want to be remembered as strong? Then, that’s a reason to hit the weights, for you, not them. It’s time to check in with who you are and who you want to be.