NEVER GIVE UP

KINDNESS

Why Kindness Matters What if I could share some information with you, that will transform your life and the lives of others for the better. Would that be useful to you? Imagine having more self-confidence, motivation and a purposeful life. Well, you can now, because what I would like to share with you is this: Your kindness matters. It is in giving that you will receive. Now, I am not saying that practising daily RAOK (Random Acts Of Kindness) will change your life, but it changed my life and my family’s lives, and has helped transform the lives of thousands of families, communities and people from around the globe. WHY KINDNESS MATTERS: When you do your 30 Day Challenge, one of the many positive benefits for you and others when practising daily kindness is that your body releases a hormone called Oxytocin – the ‘feel good’ hormone. Now, I don’t know about you, but I like to feel good all of the time. Simple acts of kindness that some people take for granted, like smiling at random people, opening doors, letting somebody go before you in the queue etc, can have a massive impact on your day and other people’s days, too. HERE’S THE THING: “Kindness very rarely costs a thing, but the value is priceless.” – John Magee THE BENEFITS OF KINDNESS Makes us happier Gives us healthier hearts Slows the age process Makes for better relationships It’s contagious – in a good way Reduces stress and anxiety Helps with depression “What you do comes back to you.” Whether you like it or not, when you are kind to others, you are kind to yourself, and your kind actions ALWAYS come back to you. It’s been scientifically proven that it takes 21 days to create a new habit. When committing to do the 30 Day Challenge, you will form a new habit, and you will reap the positive consequences of your actions. WHY YOUR KINDNESS MATTERS: When you take the 30 Day Challenge, you will receive many psychological benefits. More importantly, you become the change that you want to see in the world. On behalf of myself, my family and our global community, thank you for your kindness and doing the 30 Day Challenge. Let me sign off by sharing with you one of my favourite affirmations that I live by. “A greeting, gesture or a giggle…. Leave other people feeling better than before they met you.” – John Magee ‘Go on’ start the 30 Day Challenge today and make the world a kinder place 🙂 [click here] Like Comment Comments Steve Beer Write a comment...

Do You Have FOGO, the Fear of Going Out?

Over the past few months we've been besieged with constant news updates, orders, commands and admonishments about the dangers of going out due to the global pandemic. We've seen outrage at pictures of large groups of people flouting the rules and even been encouraged to report on disobedient neighbours. Going out has become a stressful, much less appealing activity, resulting in some people developing FOGO, the fear of going out. Many of us have discovered that we can comfortably live well with much less than before, how few things are actually essential and how convenient it is to have food, clothes, work, education and socialising delivered to our homes. By not going out we save time, possibly money on random purchases and avoid the stress of leaving home. During this period many of us have invested significant time, love and attention into our homes, cleaning, baking, sorting out the garden, doing those jobs that we've never had time to do. Making our homes cosy and comfortable strengthens our attachment to staying indoors. Becoming established in new home-based routines for work, exercise, mealtimes, where everything's to hand and we've everything we need, can make hibernating an easy, attractive proposition. Now that restrictions are easing it's no surprise that some people are apprehensive at the prospect of leaving home. We've had weeks of scary statistics, posters, TV adverts and conflicting information everywhere we look. Some of us have got so used to staying in, dressing casually, living this new routine that going out feels overwhelming, too much effort, 'can I be bothered?' In fact, fear of going out can become a convenient reason for staying in, remaining on our devices, not have to make an effort, able to hunker down. What's the appeal of going out when we're faced with ongoing regulations; queuing, mandatory face coverings, one-way systems, no browsing, no trying on in shops, pre-booking, social distancing, limited numbers, table service only, no cash accepted in some venues. While places are coming to terms with the new codes of practice going out is not such a pleasant experience. It's more pleasant to stay home! Overcoming the fear of going out has to handled sensitively. There are still many unanswered questions and no clear end to the pandemic in sight. Many families have lost loved ones, their businesses and livelihoods have been impacted, their relationships have suffered; no one has been unaffected by this situation. But being ruled by fear, running worst-case scenarios is debilitating and unhelpful. When you're struggling with fear of going out, FOGO, start by being gentle with yourself and accept that you've been through a tough time. You may berate yourself by saying that others have suffered more loss, been more seriously affected, but your feelings, fears and concerns need to be acknowledged nonetheless. Some people have personal reasons for feeling uneasy at the prospect of going out. They may have put on weight, feel they look a mess, have nothing to wear, nothing interesting to say. What can they talk about if they arrange to meet friends; all normal topics of conversation have long gone or seem trite and trivial now. When nothing much has happened apart from box sets, family tensions and online courses the thought of starting a conversation can seem daunting. But remember that everyone's been through the same experience, they most likely have also struggled with mental health, sleep, motivation, issues with their children, partner, concerns about socially distanced relatives. Set small goals for yourself. It might be an errand, a visit to the bank, shop or service provider. Have a reason for going out. You may need a haircut, to pay a bill, to buy a particular item. When you focus on your goal it can help to minimise the fear of going out. Drive yourself there if you can. That way you're independent of public transport and can travel to suit yourself, free of timetables and other passengers. Or keep the taxi number to hand, noted clearly in your phone. Maybe arrange to meet a family member or friend. Someone who knows, understands and is supportive of you. They'll be able to distract, support and provide the right kind of encouragement if you start to feel stressed, anxious or panicky. Add in a reward. As you start to feel more positive about going out find a pleasant cafe. Many offer seating outside. Treat yourself to a coffee or light lunch. Hospitality is very stringent about enforcing the rules, so you can be reassured that table service, social distancing and rigorous hygiene standards are in place. Take a book. If you're going for a walk or getting used to going outside, extend your time outdoors by taking something to read or distract and engage you. While the weather is good it's a perfect opportunity to widen your comfort zone, work on your confidence and practice doing a little more. Many people are determined to keep some of the benefits from the past few months. Saving time by shopping online, working from home, spending more time in the garden and in nature, valuing family and regular together time; all ways to appreciate what's really important and keep in our lives once lockdown ends. Yes, we need to maintain sensible precautions. Historically few would choose to eat in a grubby restaurant, we'd seek recommendations when contracting work out. Now it's time to venture outdoors again apply that same common sense approach. We need to go out, turn fear into reasonable concern, overcome FOGO, spend money, invest in our local businesses, support our communities, but recognise that for many of us that will look a little different from now on.

WHO LOOKS AFTER YOU

Are you one of those people who everyone turns to in a crisis? You're calm, confident, together and never seem to flap under pressure. People trust that when they turn to you for answers you'll be there for them, ready to help, able to find solutions to problems, all the while providing reassurance and comfort. But what about you? Who looks after you on your tough days and gives you the comfort and support you sometimes need? - Would people be incredulous to discover that you sometimes have down days? Perhaps you come across as someone who never needs anything, as a person who doesn't have 'off' days. Do you always remain calm under pressure, stay even-tempered when things go wrong or don't go to plan, able to quietly assess what needs to happen next? There are no histrionics, just a measured assessment of what's going on and what needs to happen to put things right again. So, people understandably assume that you're fine, relaxed and coping well. - Might it be that you're a very private person and prefer for people not to see a vulnerable side to your personality, fearing that you could appear weak or unable to cope? In reality, many people are fine, even happy to see an occasional vulnerability in someone they respect. It humanises them and gives others an opportunity to reciprocate and be helpful in return. - Ask yourself if you present an, 'I'm tough, I'm coping, leave me alone', almost aggressive front at times of crisis. If you become angry, hostile or belligerent when things go wrong, pushing potential help away, others may quickly learn to leave you to sort things out alone. It's important to be gracious and respectful when people offer help. Be polite and acknowledge their efforts with a 'thank you', even if you choose to decline. - Remember, though, that doing everything yourself is not always the most efficient way to function. There are bound to be areas where you could delegate tasks that others are better equipped to do, so enabling your time to be used more effectively. Also, letting others share the load helps them feel valued, develop their confidence and skills whilst potentially allowing you to focus elsewhere and maybe even have time off for fun and recharging your batteries. - In a business scenario there are many ways that you could let others look after you. Delegating mundane tasks frees your time to be used more productively, as does letting others with greater expertise take care of the more specialised tasks like accounts, web design, PR and advertising. Doing this maximises opportunities for the best outcomes. Even hiring domestic help with cleaning, gardening, ironing is often money well spent, ensuring that your home is well looked after, feels good and leaves you with time and space to comfortably relax. - Learn to let others know that you appreciate their looking after you. Acknowledge the kindnesses; the bath run for you after a tough day at work, the drink made for you without being asked, the meal ready for you, the car washed or filled with petrol. Your being appreciative encourages others to look after you. It shows that you value their thoughtfulness and attention. Changing your approach may take a little time to filter through, but it's worth it and can gradually introduce a more balanced dynamic to the relationship. - But, ultimately looking after you has to start with you. Many of us learn in childhood to expect others to automatically take care of us, look after our health, education, give us guidance and provide structure to our lives. As we get older we need to recognise the importance of monitoring our own wellbeing, take responsibility for our exercise, nutrition, hydration levels, and healthy sleep patterns. Our mental and emotional wellbeing is also important, where we learn to regularly schedule breaks, manage stress and support our commitment to positive relationships. When you demonstrate that you're worth caring for and expect to be treated well, people will respond to your level of confidence. Being appropriately assertive, positive about yourself and your efforts, okay about saying 'no' sometimes, others will be influenced by your lead. You'll find that they'll then automatically invest more in the relationship and be happy to look after you, as they appreciate you more and more.

t’s high time we stop assuming the worst of people based on appearance alone, don’t you think? After all, appearances are incredibly deceiving and NEVER tell the whole story. Let’s discuss! woman assuming the worst of people based on appearance alone Please Stop Assuming the Worst of People Based on Appearances Alone They say, “never judge a book by its cover,” but we still do every day. That man with a rundown house? Must be lazy. That mom with kids in dirty clothes at the store? Neglectful. That teenager with a spiked green mohawk? Violent antisocial anarchist. I could go on and on. We take one look at someone or something and make a snap judgment about who they are. We tell ourselves their entire life story with one glance. It’s human nature, probably some sort of throwback to our days in caves when we literally HAD to make snap judgments based on appearances or risk getting eaten by a saber tooth tiger. The thing is, we’re not living in caves anymore, and saber-tooth tigers have been extinct for 10,000 years (I actually thought it was a lot longer ago than that, but I looked it up). At some point, “it’s human nature” stops being a good excuse for bad behavior. Make no mistake about it, assuming the worst about people based on a single glance is bad behavior. More than that, though- more than making us act ignorant- it makes us truly ignorant, in the dictionary definition of the word. Just like a glance at a book cover never really gives us the full scope of the story inside, a glance at a person’s clothing, car, home, etc. doesn’t really tell us a thing about their real story. Stop judging and try to understand instead. We can’t know a person’s full story from a glance at their cover. Let’s go back to those examples I used earlier to discuss this, starting with the man with a rundown house. Imagine that he has a broken fence, clutter on the porch, and a car up on blocks in the driveway. It’s easy to see that and think, “Wow, that guy has no pride! He must be lazy!” Now, what if I told you that the man who owns it just lost his wife to cancer? Most of their money went to medical bills, and he used what was left to give her a beautiful memorial service. Even if he had the money to fix his house, he’s too heartbroken and lost without his wife of 30 years to find the energy or will to do it. That “clutter” is some of her stuff that he’s donating to charity. The car belonged to his wife, and he gave the tires to a single mom down the street who desperately needed them. I don’t know about you, but I’d feel pretty darn awful if I made a snap judgment that he was lazy only to find out that this man has lost everything he loved in this life, is trying his best to keep going AND still helping others as much as he can. Oh, and that mom with kids in dirty clothes? She just finished working a 12-hour overnight shift, then found the energy to take her kids to the park (where they got dirty) before running errands. That teenager with the mohawk? He volunteers at a soup kitchen every week AND builds homes for Habitat for Humanity. When You Judge Another, You Do Not Define Them, You Define Yourself Author Wayne Dyer said, “When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.” It really is true. Our judgments are based entirely on our own stories- our insecurities, priorities, and experiences- not on the other person’s story. It’s about our fears, our need to keep up appearances, our desire to put forth a particular image. It’s also entirely about what we think is the “right” way to look or dress. Guess what, sunshine? Your way isn’t the only way! It’s a hard truth to hear, I know, but everyone has different priorities. For example, maybe you like to get all dressed up to go to your kids’ bus stop because it’s your one time of the day to socialize with other adults. That’s absolutely fine, and you shouldn’t change a thing. As they say, you do you! Just don’t judge the mom in frazzled hair and pajamas. Maybe she works doubles and really only gets to see her kids first thing in the morning. So, rather than spending the time primping, she chooses to spend it with them. Assuming the worst about her is more about your own insecurity, your own need to make sure that everyone sees a specific image. It has absolutely nothing to do with her. As Dee Dee Arthur said, “Judging is giving too much value on the surface and missing the value beneath.” We miss SO many opportunities to learn, grow, connect, and become better people overall when we just assume the worst of people based on appearances. "Judging is giving too much value on the surface and missing the value beneath." So, please, the next time you find yourself making a snap judgment after a glance at someone, stop. Remind yourself that you are only seeing a tiny fragment of their story. A single sentence, really. Just like you can’t get the entire plot of a book by randomly reading one sentence in the middle, you can’t know a person’s story by a single glance.

t’s high time we stop assuming the worst of people based on appearance alone, don’t you think? After all, appearances are incredibly deceiving and NEVER tell the whole story. Let’s discuss! woman assuming the worst of people based on appearance alone Please Stop Assuming the Worst of People Based on Appearances Alone They say, “never judge a book by its cover,” but we still do every day. That man with a rundown house? Must be lazy. That mom with kids in dirty clothes at the store? Neglectful. That teenager with a spiked green mohawk? Violent antisocial anarchist. I could go on and on. We take one look at someone or something and make a snap judgment about who they are. We tell ourselves their entire life story with one glance. It’s human nature, probably some sort of throwback to our days in caves when we literally HAD to make snap judgments based on appearances or risk getting eaten by a saber tooth tiger. The thing is, we’re not living in caves anymore, and saber-tooth tigers have been extinct for 10,000 years (I actually thought it was a lot longer ago than that, but I looked it up). At some point, “it’s human nature” stops being a good excuse for bad behavior. Make no mistake about it, assuming the worst about people based on a single glance is bad behavior. More than that, though- more than making us act ignorant- it makes us truly ignorant, in the dictionary definition of the word. Just like a glance at a book cover never really gives us the full scope of the story inside, a glance at a person’s clothing, car, home, etc. doesn’t really tell us a thing about their real story. Stop judging and try to understand instead. We can’t know a person’s full story from a glance at their cover. Let’s go back to those examples I used earlier to discuss this, starting with the man with a rundown house. Imagine that he has a broken fence, clutter on the porch, and a car up on blocks in the driveway. It’s easy to see that and think, “Wow, that guy has no pride! He must be lazy!” Now, what if I told you that the man who owns it just lost his wife to cancer? Most of their money went to medical bills, and he used what was left to give her a beautiful memorial service. Even if he had the money to fix his house, he’s too heartbroken and lost without his wife of 30 years to find the energy or will to do it. That “clutter” is some of her stuff that he’s donating to charity. The car belonged to his wife, and he gave the tires to a single mom down the street who desperately needed them. I don’t know about you, but I’d feel pretty darn awful if I made a snap judgment that he was lazy only to find out that this man has lost everything he loved in this life, is trying his best to keep going AND still helping others as much as he can. Oh, and that mom with kids in dirty clothes? She just finished working a 12-hour overnight shift, then found the energy to take her kids to the park (where they got dirty) before running errands. That teenager with the mohawk? He volunteers at a soup kitchen every week AND builds homes for Habitat for Humanity. When You Judge Another, You Do Not Define Them, You Define Yourself Author Wayne Dyer said, “When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.” It really is true. Our judgments are based entirely on our own stories- our insecurities, priorities, and experiences- not on the other person’s story. It’s about our fears, our need to keep up appearances, our desire to put forth a particular image. It’s also entirely about what we think is the “right” way to look or dress. Guess what, sunshine? Your way isn’t the only way! It’s a hard truth to hear, I know, but everyone has different priorities. For example, maybe you like to get all dressed up to go to your kids’ bus stop because it’s your one time of the day to socialize with other adults. That’s absolutely fine, and you shouldn’t change a thing. As they say, you do you! Just don’t judge the mom in frazzled hair and pajamas. Maybe she works doubles and really only gets to see her kids first thing in the morning. So, rather than spending the time primping, she chooses to spend it with them. Assuming the worst about her is more about your own insecurity, your own need to make sure that everyone sees a specific image. It has absolutely nothing to do with her. As Dee Dee Arthur said, “Judging is giving too much value on the surface and missing the value beneath.” We miss SO many opportunities to learn, grow, connect, and become better people overall when we just assume the worst of people based on appearances. "Judging is giving too much value on the surface and missing the value beneath." So, please, the next time you find yourself making a snap judgment after a glance at someone, stop. Remind yourself that you are only seeing a tiny fragment of their story. A single sentence, really. Just like you can’t get the entire plot of a book by randomly reading one sentence in the middle, you can’t know a person’s story by a single glance.

Please Stop Judging People, You Aren’t Walking in Their Shoes

Please Stop Judging People, You Aren’t Walking in Their Shoes 6 We humans are an incredibly judgmental species. From parenting styles to eating habits to political opinions, it seems nothing is safe from our scathing assessment. Well, I say it’s time to stop judging people, especially when we have no idea what their lives are really like. Please don’t judge people. You don’t know what it took someone to get out of bed, look and feel as presentable as possible and face the day. You never truly know the daily struggles of others. Please Stop Judging People, You Aren’t Walking in Their Shoes Why do we so often feel like we have a fundamental right to judge every single choice made by every single person we meet? It’s such a strange thing to do if you think about it. So strange, in fact, that science has devoted decades to studying how we arrive at our judgments. Countless studies exist, from how we determine a persons’ worth by their appearance to how our emotions affect those opinions. If you recall, a couple of months ago we talked about how you treat people is the only true measure of character. Sadly, our own misguided judgments play a large role in how we decide to treat people. So, if we want to become genuinely better human beings, we need to start by letting go of our intense desire to judge others. How do we manage that? We start by looking at why our snap judgments are so incredibly flawed. You didn't make good choices, you had good choices. Don’t judge others’ choices when you don’t know their options Have you seen that show, Little Fires Everywhere? Kerry Washington plays Mia, a struggling single mom. Reese Witherspoon portrays a wealthy married mom, Elena. In one scene, Elena says something snide about making good choices, or how the choices we make get us where we are in life. Mia replies, “You didn’t make good choices, you had good choices.” It’s a powerful line, and so true if you really stop to think about it. I often see people comment on how we shouldn’t help the homeless because their choices made them that way. How we shouldn’t feed the hungry because they wouldn’t be hungry if they made better choices. We shouldn’t feel sorry for abused women because they choose to stay. It goes on and on. Don’t feel sorry anyone, don’t help anyone, don’t show empathy. After all, they made bad choices. They’re not worthy of our respect and compassion, right? Wrong. So very, very wrong. That hungry family? They’re choosing between keeping a roof over their heads or food in their bellies. That homeless family? They decided to go with food instead of shelter. That woman? She’s choosing to suffer so her kids can have both. Or maybe not. Maybe they had a whole different combination of equally horrible options. Then again, maybe they had amazing choices and chose to blow them. The thing is you don’t know which is true. Nor, quite frankly, do you have a right to know. Just like you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone, no one owes you an explanation about how they got where they are in life. Isn’t it better, then, to assume the best rather than the worst? To start from a place of sympathy and empathy rather than savage judgement. The least amount of judging we can do, the better off we are. Shame, shame, shame Of course, our judgments aren’t just reserved for the most downtrodden and vulnerable members of society. Like I said earlier, everything is fair game. Mom-shaming, for instance, got so bad a few years ago that there were entire campaigns urging people to knock it off. I admit it, I used to judge moms for letting their kids sleep with them or give the phone while in a restaurant. Then I became a mom and did it too! I like to think we evolved past mom-shaming. Sadly, though, I think we just got bored and found new “shame games” to play. Today’s shame game? How well people are handling current events and isolation. If you’re upset about staying home for the foreseeable future, you’re selfish and want people to die. Okay with it? You’re supporting tyranny and don’t care about the country. Either way, you’re judged for your opinions. Hey, on the bright side, it’s election year, you’ll be judged for a whole new set of opinions in a few months! “All the whispering, glaring, pointing and judging makes them no better than whoever or whatever it is they're gossiping about.” Take yourself out of the shame game and just stop judging others While you can’t stop others from judging you, you can stop yourself from doing it to them. Remember even if you can’t control anything else, you can always control your own actions. Isn’t it time to use that control to become a better person? Stop criticizing the mom in her pajamas at the bus stop. She may struggle to even get out of bed in the morning because of pain or depression. Stop shaming the dad who never shows up to his son’s ballgames. He may be working an extra job just so his son can play sports. Stop attacking the woman buying a cake with food stamps. It may be the only gift her child gets for his birthday. In short, stop assuming that everyone has the same choices that you have. Remember that we all lead different lives with different circumstances and options. If you can do that, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a better, less judgmental person.

You Are Never Too Old to Need Your Mom

You Are Never Too Old to Need Your Mom 171 Moms play so many different roles throughout our lives. As kids, they’re our teachers, coaches, and cheerleaders. They’re our own personal chefs (even if they don’t always take special orders), doctors and nurses. As we grow up, they evolve into something else- friends, confidants, advisers. Throughout our entire lives, they play a role in our lives that no one else can ever quite fill. Read on to find out why you’re never too old to need your mom. Plus, check out some tips on staying close to her even when she lives far away. You are never too old to need your mother. Here’s Why You’re Never Too Old to Need Your Mom Flashback to your childhood and think about how often you said, “I want my mommy!” Whether we were hurt, scared, angry, or just plain sad, mom always knew how to make it better. As grownups, we don’t ask for our moms as often, at least not out loud. We’re told that we have to be independent and figure things out on our own. If we hear a grown woman asking for her mommy, we think that she’s immature. Men have it even worse! They get called “mama’s boy,” like that’s a bad thing to be! Well, let me tell you, I am an independent and capable grown woman with a husband, a house, and two kids of my own. Yet I still need my mom. Let me tell you why. Mom is the one friend you can always count on The only friend who is going to be with you in good and bad times is your mother. Think about it, even the person you consider your “very best friend in the whole wide world” sometimes has other things going on and can’t be there for you the way you need. That’s okay. Everyone has lives of their own and we can’t get mad if that life doesn’t revolve around us. For mom, though, her life DOES revolve around you. Maybe not every moment (moms deserve a life beyond their kids, especially when those kids are adults), but always at the moments you need them most. If you called up you best friend and asked her to come watch you kids for a few days because you’re sick, she’d be here in a heartbeat…if she didn’t have other obligations to take care of (like her own children). On the other hand, if you called up mom and said the same thing, well, you wouldn’t even have to ask! She’d start packing a bag the moment you said, “I’m sick.” Mom is the one friend you can always count on Your mom loves you unconditionally Many valuable people might cross your path, but the one that will always be there unconditionally is your mom. There’s a beautiful quote by Helen Rice that goes, “A mother’s love is patient and forgiving when all others are forsaking, it never fails or falters, even though the heart is breaking.” In other words, of all the loves that exists, a mother’s love is among the most intense and deep you could ever experience. Sometimes our decisions break her heart, even though we don’t mean for them to. We make choices that she doesn’t agree with, but she still loves us. We go down paths she wouldn’t choose for us, but she’s still there to help us find our way back. There’s nothing quite like knowing that no matter what you do, no matter how badly you mess something up, you’ll always have at least one person on your side. You're never too old to need your mom How to Stay Close to Your Mom Even if She Lives Far Away There’s no denying that you’re never too old to need your mom, but what do you do if you can’t always have her by your side? As much as we’d love to stay close to her (after all, there are some terrific benefits of raising your kids near their grandparents), life takes us to unexpected places where mom can’t always follow. We grow up and move away. It happens. While nothing can totally replace the wonderful feeling of having mom within close driving distance, these tips will help bridge the gap and keep you close. Schedule regular calls (or better yet, video chats). Write them down in your planner and vow to never miss them unless there’s a true emergency. Of course, you can always call her outside the scheduled times, but making a plan and sticking to it shows her that she’s a top priority in your life (and vice-versa). If you have kids, schedule separate times for them to talk to grandma. That way, she has your undivided attention during your call and your kids have hers during theirs. Share the little things with her Sure, mom wants to hear about your job promotion, the new house you bought, or her grandchild’s first word. However, she also wants to hear about the job you didn’t get, the house you almost bought, and her grandchild’s second word. You know, the things you don’t share with everyone on social media. She wants to be a part of your whole life, not just your big milestones. Show her that you’re thinking of her every day Anyone can set up a reminder to send mom a bouquet of flowers on Mother’s Day or her birthday. As beautiful as they are, roses don’t really say, “I am always thinking of you, mom!” Show her that she’s in your thoughts every day by sending her “surprises.” You don’t have to spend a fortune! Mom always appreciated the thought behind the gift more than the price tag on it, anyway. Mail her a picture that your child drew. Tag her in a funny or touching Facebook post that you know she’ll like. Even just a text saying, “I saw so and so today, and it reminded me of you” shows her that she’s never far from the front of your mind. Share a hobby with her Find something that you both love and make it “your thing.” Maybe you and mom are both fans of science fiction novels? Start a two-person book club. Love reality TV shows? Watch one together while on Facetime. Perhaps you both enjoy knitting? Share patterns, progress, and finished products with each other. If you don’t have any hobbies in common, ask her what she loves most (besides you) and learn more about it. After all, mom spent hours learning about tennis, ballet, Marvel superheroes, the difference between Cabbage Patch and Garbage Pail kids, and everything else that you were interested in as a child just so she could relate better to you. It’s totally your turn! Make her a priority All of the tips above and any other ones that you come up with all come down to one thing-making mom a priority. She doesn’t expect to be number one in your life, even though you’re number one in hers. She understands that you have your own kids now and that they come first and would expect nothing less. However, she’s more than earned her place as the most important person after your partner and kids. If you keep that in mind, you’ll have no problem staying close to her no matter how far apart you live. Remember, just like you’re never too old to need your mom, she’s never too old to stop needing to be there for you.

Respect & Love Your Parents While You Can; Not Everyone Has That Privilege

Respect & Love Your Parents While You Can; Not Everyone Has That Privilege 7 Lately, I’ve really been thinking about how important it is to respect and love your parents while you can because so many people don’t have that privilege anymore. How we need to care for them as they get older, even if they didn’t always care for us just right- so that we don’t live a life of regret later. Let’s discuss. Woman kissing senior mother on the cheek, standing near window at home Respect & Love Your Parents While You Can Earlier this week, a friend shared one of those trendy quote memes on Facebook. It said something like “love your parents because not everyone has that opportunity.” I was checking out the comments, and one conversation really stood out. I won’t share it word-for-word here because it was on a private page, but I’ll give you the gist since it inspired me to write this post. Basically, friend A (we’ll call her Sue) made a comment about how her mom makes it so hard to care for her because her beliefs are so fundamentally offensive to Sue. She said that while she’ll always love her mom, she just “can’t deal with her,” so they don’t speak. Friend B (we’ll call her Betty) replied with a heartbreaking comment. She said that she empathized with Sue because she stopped talking to her dad for the same reason: a major difference in political opinions. Then came the heartbreaking part. Betty said she’ll regret it for the rest of her life because her dad died earlier this year. She never got the chance to make things right. Never got the chance to care for her dad the way he cared for her when she was little. She’ll never have that opportunity again, just like the quote said. parents give us so many things We truly never know how much time we have left I’ve said it so many times in the past, but it bears repeating -we truly have no idea of just how long we’ll have with our parents. This last year has really proven that beyond a doubt. Way too many kids- both young and old- were forced to say goodbye to mom and dad long before they were ready (although we’re never truly ready). For those who made the most of the time with their parents, at least they’ll always have those memories to hold onto. Sadly, way too many now live like Betty, with regret over the things left unsaid, the time left unspent, the hugs left ungiven. It’s easy to respect and love our parents when everything is great between us. If you get along with them, caring for them really doesn’t take much effort. It’s not even something you think about, something you need to be reminded to do. You just do it, as naturally as breathing. What if everything isn’t great, though? Maybe, like Sue and Betty, you clash with them over politics, religion, or other major fundamental issues. Perhaps you’ve never gotten along with them in the first place. What if caring for them isn’t really something that comes naturally to you? If that’s the case…, do it anyway. I know, that sounds like such a dismissive thing to say, so let me elaborate a bit. love and respect your parents while you can Care for Your Parents Even If They Didn’t Always Care For You Last year, I shared a list of duties that we have toward our parents when they get older, and some of the comments were heartbreaking to me. A few readers pointed out that they never received care and love from their parents when they were younger, so why should they give it now that their parents are older? I want to make excuses for their parents because it’s hard for me to fathom not being there for my own children. To say, “Oh, well their generation was different,” or “maybe they did the best they could in difficult circumstances.” The truth is there’s no excuse that will bring them comfort, that will make it okay. There’s very little more painful in this world than feeling like your own mom or dad abandoned you or didn’t really love you. So how on earth can I say “care for them anyway” with a straight face? Care for your parents when they're older It has nothing to do with them and everything to do with you Here’s the thing: caring for those parents- those who never cared for you- has nothing to do with helping them and everything to do with helping yourself. For your own peace of mind, do it so that you never have to live with regret. Because even if you think you don’t give two hoots about those people who weren’t there for you, when they’re gone you may feel differently. By then, it’ll be too late. A friend of mine thought she didn’t care a shred about her father. He was never there for her a day in her childhood. In fact, he only reached out after she was an adult. She thought that right up until the day he died. Heck, she thought it for over a decade after that. Then, one day out of the blue, she suddenly did care. Of course, it was way too late by then. I’m not saying you have to forgive your parents. You should never force forgiveness. I’m not saying you have to act like the past never happened and that you’re not still angry. I’m just saying care for them. Care for them the way you wish they’d cared for you. Do it so that 20, 30, even 40 years from now, you’re not sitting there on the other side of the equation with your kids caring for you, wishing that you’d maybe made more of the time you had left with them. I hope that makes sense. Basically, if you can’t do it for them, do it for yourself. 7