Lessons from mums

Today, 10 May, is Mother’s Day. While admittedly low on ideas, I’ve decided to earmark this week’s post as another tribute to mums. We are still in the midst of the pandemic. Most Australian states may have eased their restrictions. However, some of the small indulgences from the past are still off-limits. Regardless, we could still try to maximise the date and thank her for the gift of life. Here are a few things I’ve learned from dealings with mums.

  1. Make the most of now. ‘Time is gold.’ There are many things on Earth that you can change, manipulate, exchange, or return. Unfortunately, time is not one of them. We cannot wind back the clock to meet Einstein or Napoleon or feast on dodos. Due to this unique quality, every hour is an irreplaceable resource. The clock is our enemy. Unlike rubbish, we cannot hoard time. Today is all we’ve got so we should live life to the fullest. Timelessness is a quality we should all aspire for. We see works, art, and inventions that stay relevant well beyond their innovator’s lifetime. If these people could bend and reimagine time, then why should we settle for less?

Some people are like veteran coaches. They hoard things for tomorrow and save their timeouts for next season. This is a flawed mindset. Why not enjoy now, while you still can? Why wait for the uncertainty of tomorrow? We only have one lifetime and our spell on earth is fleeting. If you want something within your means, then don’t think twice. Now is the time to travel, to spend on things that we like, to cherish life. Every moment is a gift from God and all that is good comes from Him. When Yahweh made the Earth, He instructed us to enjoy in its abundance.

2. Following on from the first lesson, having a balanced life is likewise of consequence. We must maximise our opportunities but remember not to overdo this. People must push their boundaries to realise their potential. However, those parameters are not limitless. There has to be a balance. For the most part, you cannot hoard timeouts while expecting to escape with a win. You have to use those breaks wisely. Moreover, you cannot travel the world all at once; that should be spread over time. Throughout the centuries, humankind has never been attached to only one activity; exploring is in our nature. Now in the third decade of the twenty-first century, this evolution is constant.

3. Avoid tunnel vision. How humanoids go through life while sticking to the same foods, purchases, and people is head-scratching. Indeed, hating change is loathing life. If you go for the same brands, the same dentist, the same ice block…then ah, you’ve hardly lived at all. What’s even more pitiful is saying that this coffee brand is awful when you’ve never even tried it. The rainbow has seven colours and the sky is not always blue. There are four seasons in a year, and over two hundred countries on Earth. We should eschew being the Other stuck in a time capsule. Discover and try more things; I’m sure it’ll grow on you.

4. Be flexible. This goes in line with the previous lesson. Human beings have adapted through time. From cavemen we became hunter gatherers. From building fires, learning by rote, and memorising epics, we learned how to read and write. The human mind is an amazing organ. Through time, it has repeatedly impressed an amazing ability to find ways and navigate new horizons. Ergo, we should not be content with mediocrity. Who’s to say that you cannot learn a new language? Or engage in a tennis rally? Or climb Mount Fuji? As earthlings we should tire of all the improbabilities and naysayers and ‘let the game come to you.’

This thirst to learn, to soak as much in, is never more apparent than in our mothers. They’re always out to perfect a new recipe to share with the fam. Most of us have been treated to mum’s hairdressing skills, especially as a child. Furthermore, they became our seamstresses, saving us a trip to the tailor. As mentioned last year, they are usually our first teachers. They show us that learning never ends. Age must not hinder us. The classroom provides us knowledge and hones our skills. For the most part, the blackboard is an indispensable medium. Yet other things can complement the lecture. In some cases, these are the elements that would define us.

5. ‘Simplicity is beauty.’ Ah, the classic one. Originally, this applied to birds who overdress or overdid their beauty treatment. In any case, simplicity is favoured over excess. Yet this is far from a chick problem. This could also be applied to clothes. Overly bright colours and fancy designs appear illogical. The same applies to shoes: where possible, avoid the gaudy colour schemes and complex designs. For instance, better select the plain shoe rather than the bicoloured striped one. Less designs and colourways mean easier pairing with other items.  

Voila! That’s five takeaways this mum’s day. Amid Coronavirus and uncertainty, let me wish all mothers and grandmothers a Happy Mother’s Day.

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