Balancing act: Mom's example, shared traits influence my quest for balance
We worry a lot.
About pretty much everything.
"I often worry about things that are not even important to worry about," my mom said. In particular, she'll spend hours chastising herself for something she has said. "I'll think, 'I wish I hadn't said that or done that.’ ”
But lately she has realized that she's probably the only one who worries about such things. That has helped her let go of some of her concerns.
She said she also has realized that most things she worries about will take care of themselves in time. For example, she wrote and self-published a book last year, and she said her worries surrounding that process just about drove both her and my dad crazy.
"But the things I worried about so much, no one has ever mentioned," she said.
In an effort to help her set her worries aside, she has taken up tai chi. As she finishes each session, she looks out the window and tells herself, "Everything will be all right."
I'm sure I can remember her telling me exactly that when I was a child, stressing out about some real or perceived problem in my life. My wife says the same thing to me all the time now.
If both my mom and my wife are saying it, I'm positive that it's true.
In many ways, it's not easy being like my mom. While these tendencies we share help us succeed in many ways, they also lead to stress and anxiety. I've reflected on this often during the last few weeks as I've contemplated a series of challenges at work and at home.
But my mom has kept learning and growing throughout her life. And, once again, I want to follow her example. I need to remember that I can soften some of these tendencies, as she has, and that doing so will help me build the balanced life I seek.
As our conversation on this topic drew to a close, my mom commented that one of the primary lessons she has learned is that making other people happy is the most important part of life.
"Those are the things people should think about more than the nitpicky things," she said.
I know my mom makes other people happy. She always focuses on serving and helping those around her. I also know I could do a better job in this area.
I don't mention this often enough, Mom, but I sincerely appreciate the example you've set for me, and I'm glad we share so many personality traits. If I can keep following your example, I'm confident that I'll be the best person I can be.
Because I know you are exactly that.
Thanks, mom. And happy Mother's Day!