Why my Mum beats Self-Help Any Day of the Week!
Today I am in Tasmania… my home state. It is my Mum’s birthday, and I have enjoyed the most delightful day celebrating with my family. They are all mad as cut snakes… so of course I feel right at home. My family make me look relatively normal.
It’s interesting… my Mum is one of the most extraordinary people I know. I have never known a woman to enjoy such a fulfilling life. And my theory is that it’s because all her focus is on making other people happy… especially us kids. I am the oldest of three girls, and Mum has devoted her whole life to our happiness. In fact one of her favourite quotes is “a mother is only ever as happy as her unhappiest child.” There were times I looked at Mum and her apparent self-sacrifice and thought “why doesn’t she do something for herself for a change, she needs to put herself first.” But over the last couple of years it has become really clear to me that she experiences more richness and fulfilment in her life than many people I know who really do put themselves first.
Mum and I on the Spanish Steps on our trip to Italy in July06
Trust me, I find this puzzling. So much of my reading in personal development tomes says “be nice to yourself… put yourself first”. Indeed I have a friend, whom I hold in very high esteem, Eric Edmeades who reminds me that “everything I know about personal development I learnt on a plane: Please fit your own oxygen mask first before assisting others.” And this makes perfect sense.
So why is it that people like my Mum have such rich lives? I am sure she actually puts herself last. I sure as heck always had an oxygen mask on before she did!
Listen… I don’t pretend to have any answers on this. Perhaps it is one of those paradoxes… But despite everything I ever read in books, there is an ever growing part of me that thinks maybe Mum has it sorted. At the risk of drawing huge sweeping conclusions, I’m sure Mother Teresa had a similar philosophy.
So as for me, I feel blessed to have the mother that I do, and to be lucky enough to share her birthday with her. In fact I’m lucky to have the father, stepfather, grandmothers… you name it – irritating habits and all. I am lucky to be here. In fact… did you know how “absurdly improbable” it is that we, as unique individuals are even alive… the maths on this is astounding… But more on this tomorrow.
Til then, thanks for checking in…
Make someone’s day!!
Love Joey x