Mother’s Day: Egypt, Ballet, and Adventure

mothers-dayWith mother’s day coming up I thought I’d share a little about mine. My mother is a very bright woman who is originally from Indiana and Florida. I have definitely learned a lot from my mother. She has a thirst for knowledge and is always studying something. She goes to a local college library and checks out books based on courses taught there, just to learn. Where my father is more left brained and logical, my mother is right brained and abstract in her thinking. As a child, I did very well at finding patterns on testing, probably because of the combination of their strengths.

My mother has also been an advocate for adventure. She tried to put me in many activities as a child. Piano and ballet were not really my thing but she insisted I try different avenues. I’m glad that she did because it fostered a philosophy of “try” in my personality. This did not come easy due to my also natural tendency to like structure and work ethic I obtained from my father. On paper, these versions of myself clashed but once I learned to balance them I became more myself.

Now, it is common for me to function best daily when in structure. I like knowing when I get up each day, when I take a lunch, when I go home. I usually park in the same parking spot. I usually leave for practice at the same time. I order the same meals over and over from teriyaki. I like routine. It keeps me focused and I get a lot done. I’m a Capricorn and pragmatic. But every couple of months I would say, I get this itch. Not a physical itch but rather a spiritual itch that I feel like I have to get away for a minute. This usually includes me jumping in my car and randomly driving without any plan, finding a random spot, getting out and hiking outside. Incidentally, this is easy to do in the beautiful Northwest where you can drive 30 minutes and be surrounded by incredible scenery.

I owe that to my mother.

The one who pushed me to travel even when I was concerned about getting homework done or going to a softball tournament. The one who would wake me up early on a school day in grade school, take me to go bowling, eat breakfast, and then drop me off at school like we were on a top secret mission. The one who took me seadooing and tried to knock me off mine but ended up knocking herself off hers in the process. The one that got yelled at by an old lady on a tour bus in Vienna for having her music too loud. Or the one who went with me in the dead of the desert in Egypt to get yelled at by guards with AK-47s, when I tried to step closer to take a picture of the step pyramid. The one who grabbed the phone in Guatemala and shoved it in my hand, thinking my 2 years of high school Spanish at 17, would be enough for me to order us lunch. The one who stayed with me at the Ice Hotel in Quebec while my contacts froze into two ice blocks overnight. Or stared with me in front of a clock in a Christmas market in Munich that was supposed to be awesome but was boring as hell. The one who insisted I try to get into the study abroad program in England for a semester through her old college and sacrificed so I could essentially live in a mini castle for 5 months.

I owe that to my mother.

She also taught me something I can pass along to you. And that’s when life is hard, which it has been for me as well anyone, it is best to take a step back and write a list of what you are thankful for. It sounds counterproductive and silly. But when you do it, and you see what you do have, it makes you feel better and that positivity puts you in a space where you feel like you can actually deal with the obstacles you have and move through them. Usually mine are as simple as, I have a place to live, food to eat, a car to drive, and a job to go to. Simply acknowledging that info will assist you.

So here is to my mother. And your mother. And every mother who gives us wisdom even though in the moment we might not even realize it.

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