I came across a post on the Internet about lessons learned from my parents, written by a young female like myself. I don’t know how I stumbled upon it but I did and it was incredible. It got me thinking what a HUGE influence by parents have been in my life and made me realize they have truly shaped me into the person I am today. I am so grateful to have amazing parents, who after 3o years are still so in love, happy, and have such a zest for life.
Without adue, here are 12 things I have learned from my parents
Never go to bed angry I grew up in a household where my parents rarely got in big arguments. Sure, they had their quarrels here and there, but I rarely saw them fight. I know people argue and get in disagreements, and I am a HUGE believer in open communication. No relationship will ever work if the people involved cannot share their sides of the story or opinions on the given situation. I used to be in a relationship where fights would happen, he would leave and then come back like nothing happened. That does not fly with me. Successful relationships begin with communication and honesty and throwing an issue underneath a blanket is no way to deal with things. So, I was taught to ‘never go to bed angry’ meaning, no matter what…if there is an argument no matter how big or small-it should be addressed that same day. Sit, talk, hear each other out and work it out. Before the next day. I will always carry this with me and think it is the greatest advice. Ever.
I would call my parents quite the world travelers. If I had to describe their relationship, it would involve something about a trip they have taken or a a souvenir in their house that they got from when they traveled. Exploring new and different parts of the world was always something that intrigued my parents and they made it a priority to make sure my brother and I grew up learning other cultures, languages, visiting different countries and taking in what the world has to offer. Every winter vacation we went away, usually somewhere different. Some of my most vivid family memories are those when I was out of the country. The world has so much to offer, and so much I have yet to see. Travel is such an important hobby and interest of mine and it is something I will forever have a special place in my heart for.
Don’t Be Ordinary.
This is somewhat of an inside ‘family joke’ yet it reigns so true in all aspects of life. This is something my dad would say to my brother and I every single day when we were younger “Have a great day at school…don’t be ordinary” At the time I always thought it was silly and even got embarrassed at times that he ALWAYS said this to us. Then as I got older, I realized what he was saying. Be yourself. There is no one else like you on this planet, and show it off to the world. Don’t just follow the path, but create a new one; one that makes you happy, makes you thrive, one that you can work hard and be yourself. I will forever hear these words and think of my dad “Don’t be ordinary”
Drive Stick Shift
I have an older brother (2 years older) When he was able to drive, he was going to get a car that would eventually be mine when he went away to college. SURPRISE-its stick shift. “Here’s a car for you and your brother. Its stick shift. Learn to drive it and its yours!” You should have seen the look on my face when I realized I had to learn to drive this thing. The months leading up to my license were quite interesting. They involved time spent in open parking lots, banging on the wheel, stalling out, tears, yelling and frustration. Learning to drive a stick shift is NOT easy. Once I finally mastered the skill of driving a stick shift car, I couldn’t imagine driving anything else. Not only this, but all of the boys at my school were extremely impressed that me, a ‘girl’ knew how to drive stick. I felt confident and in control of the vehicle. I know that I can travel the world and anywhere I go, I will be able to rent a car and be safe and comfortable. This is one of the most important things I have learned from my parents for sure.
Pursue What You Love
My parents never cared what my brother and I did for a living or even what we wanted to study in school. What mattered to them was that whatever it was we were working towards, it was something we truly enjoyed. When you find something you enjoy, it never feels like work, right? I grew up taking voice lessons-I wasn’t a ‘singer’ by any means, but I had a (not to toot my own horn) a very good voice. My father has a very musical background so this made him so happy that I had taken on singing as a hobby. The thing was, I never truly enjoyed it. Sure, I went to the voice lessons each week, even performed in a few concerts, but I never really saw myself pursuing this as a passion. When I finally told him that-I was oddly surprised on how relaxed and non-chalant he was. I thought by telling him I was not going to pursue singing as a ‘career’ this would devastate him. Nope, it was the complete opposite. I was told to do what I love. I would be successful, happy and confident if I followed the path that I wanted to follow. Now that I am in the health and fitness field, having studied it in college and have it consume my life…I love waking up to emails and notes containing great health related articles or important info from both of my parents. They know what makes me ‘tick’ and couldn’t be happier.
Its Just ‘Information’
There have been people I have come across, had to work with or met in my life that I simply do not get along or ‘mesh’ well with for whatever reason. It could be that we have different points of view on a specific topic or that we just don’t ‘mesh’ I would sometimes come home when I was younger and vent to my mom about the ‘mean girl’ or ‘way someone said something to me’ at school or even at college. My mom would always tell me to take a deep breathe and she would say “Naomi, this is just information” what she meant by this is that everyone has baggage and opinions and everyone was also brought up differently. When I was angry or frustrated with someone, I would always just know that this was ‘information’ about them that I knew and always kept in the back of my mind. I had a friend who was extremely unreliable. I would base my day and plans around her on more than one occasion and then last minute she would always cancel. I was always disappointed, yet it kept happening again and again. After a while, I realized I knew this trait about her. It was simply ‘information’ and I no longer planned my whole day around her. It took a whole level of stress off my shoulders when I didn’t make her a priority. I learned to make other plans, or not base my day around her because I knew this ‘information’
Never Show Up Empty Handed
It didn’t matter where I was going, when I was invited over someone else’s house, I always had something in my hands for the host and/or hostess. It could have been anything from something I cooked (or my mom cooked) a housewarming gift, a bottle of wine, or even a card. I never showed up empty handed. To this day, I feel uncomfortable walking into some one’s home for a dinner or gathering without a little ‘something’ for the host/hostess.
Importance of Religion
I was brought up in a Jewish home and although I am not extremely religious, Judaism is a huge part of who I am and has shaped me to the person I am today. It is important to me to keep my religion alive with a family of my own one day. I respect all religions and cultures and love meeting people from all over the world who celebrate different holidays and traditions. I know where my roots are and I want to forever be ‘connected’ to my heritage.
Be Independent (especially with money)
This is in every aspect of life and especially when it comes to money. My parents (father especially) always made it a point to help my brother and I understand how to manage our funds. We kept track of our allowance on a graph that my father had printed out in our kitchen. My parents always believed it was important to understand where money comes from, where I am putting it towards and how to save it. I was taught to be deal with my own money. I never want to be dependent on another person when it comes to my money, so therefore I think this is one of the most important and practical items on this list. At the time, when my mother and father would sit me down with my checkbook and teach me how to balance it, I wanted to run as fast away from the table and go put on “Full House” but you know what? I could not be more thankful for them taking the time to invest in showing my brother and I how to feel 100% comfortable with our money.
Read the Paper
My mother taught me to have an avid interest in the events going on in the world and in business. When we are together we always watch the Nightly Business Review, the local news and the national news on TV.My father would always come downstairs in the morning and the first thing he would say is “lets see what happened overnight” He always made it a point to not only watch the news but read the news. We had the Boston Globe delivered to our house every single day and he would always ask my brother and I to take a part of the paper and read some articles. When we would be slacking he even offered some bribery. We would read an article and write up a brief summary of the story. My dad would read it and ask some questions and we would get some money for it. It seems crazy, I know…bribing kids to read the paper BUT it worked. And not only this-he never made us do it-it was merely an option. From then on, I always took an interest in knowing what was happening in the world beyond where I was living. Current events and reading the paper had made their way into my routine and I was so happy about it
How To Cook
This is more my mom’s doing for this bullet point. My mom is a fabulous cook. Incredible actually. I used to crave her cooking when I went away to overnight camp. I remember writing letters home before I would be home telling her exactly what I wanted when I came home for my first meal. She always involved me in the kitchen and to this day I am so incredibly grateful because one of my favorite places to be is in the kitchen stirring up something new and unique. My mom often makes something and I will ask where I can get the recipe. She looks up at me and says “I don’t remember! I made it up” She often takes the base of a recipe but always makes it ‘her own’ She has such a creative eye and taste when it comes to food and I am so happy that she has passed this on to myself. I love cooking for others and it a hobby that I will always have with me
This is my mothers actual “cookbook” I use that term loosely because well, this thing needs a serious makeover.
It is separated by category and there are recipes in this book passed down from generations as well as new ones that she makes up or finds in magazines. It is quite the compilation of ‘stuff’
Here is a marinade that she made up, and as you can see not everything is listed in exact quantity. This is how my mom does it. She ‘eyeballs’ many of her recipes and somehow they always turn out fantastic!
My parents own a small boat and named it “The Look Around” This is a saying that they always had said and continue to say and it reigns true for almost anything. Look around. Take it all in. Be grateful for what you have and always smile. Just Look Around
This July my parents will celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. 30TH! I can only hope to be married to my best friend for that long
What have you learned from your mom, dad, grandma or anyone important in your life?