Quote of The Day

Monday, May 15, 2006

Similarities and Differences

Mom on her 65th Birthday!
This was a challenge I saw on one of Oprah’s daily emails last week. I thought it may be interesting, so I did it.List five things you do instinctively that your mother did. Then list five things you have chosen to do differently. What do the two lists tell you about yourself and your mother?

List five things you do instinctively that your mother did.

By the age of three, mom and I had an interest in cooking. Warm hostesses, we’ve always fed people who came to our home. Mom would weekly send over meals for the widow next door. At times invite her for dinner on special occasions. When the woman died, she bequeathed a small sum of money to my surprised mom.

Both of us were very young when we started styling our own hair. Mom was a hairdresser for 42 years. I too had a flair for hair and would dye, perm and cut family and friends hair. For eighteen years, my morning ritual consisted of styling Peppers hair. Only because no matter how hard she tried, it was an admitted blunder, ending in frustration. We both enjoyed the bonding time. Graduating year she was voted most unique hair, sporting so many different colors (red, pink, purple) through high school.

Mom taught me frugality, which has been instinctively simple for me. Stretching the dollar in our house involved shopping wisely and cooking prudently. Always a garden and apple trees, summers were spent picking fallen apples, and peeling them for the freezer. We had the basics constantly available, but the majority of the purchases were made at discount prices.

This advantage garnered me the ability to save enough for a down payment on a home and pay cash for brand new appliances by the age of twenty one. The knowledge has been passed down to my daughter, who’s a natural at budgeting. As a teen, Pepper would spy an item of clothing she wanted, watch for it to plummet in price before succumbing to that purchase. We constantly look for sales.

During parts of my marriage we were somewhat extravagant. It was peppered with my ability to shop carefully though. Money flowed freely, and we could always save.

Today, as a single mom for ten years, as thrifty as I am, saving is a luxury, and impossible to do. I am proud of what I have maintained, yet there is sadness at my fiscal status to date. However I do have faith that eventually one of my ideas will creatively generate abundance.

Mom had propensity to research whatever piqued her interest. She loved knowledge television programs and often had some real sage advice. A big reader she loved learning. It’s sad that she missed the computer era; she’d have enjoyed it as much as I do!

Five things I have chosen to do differently

I’m proud that I chose to raise my daughter differently than I was. I made a conscience decision to build a confident, proud woman who could follow her own dreams. My mother and I, had too many conflicts throughout our relationship, and I was constantly judged. I vowed to break that chain of dysfunction, and discover who my child is, heart and soul. Which has afforded me an amazing successful relationship with her. I support and love Pepper unconditionally and admire the incredible woman
she is!

We talk, play and laugh together more than I ever did with my mom. Moms priorities did not foster a largely intimate relationship with her kids. I have chosen to put my daughter first over everything, including myself at times. Some may feel that’s unhealthy, but it has rewarded me a valued relationship with her. She has always been a respectful, generous, loving daughter. I have an incredible honored connection with my child. We can honestly say we know each other.

Being spiritual has afforded me the comfort of living on faith. My
mother was more fear based and a constant worrier. Unlike her, I don’t sweat the small stuff! Mom was crabby and negative where as I am better natured. Although cautious, I have a positive outlook. I pride myself on not being a nag, as it infuriated me as a child.

My mother, although wise at times, was not as philosophical or musical as I am.

Many conflicts were born from her inability to feel empathy and respect for diversity.

Humor and silliness is more innate with me than it ever was with mom. I have used these character traits to lure Pepper into a lifestyle of fun without drugs and alcohol.

What the two lists tell me about myself and my mother

The two lists verify the many similarities and equal differences. I really respect all that my mother taught me by being her authentic self. Her mistakes taught me what to adjust in my life, many skills I proceeded to carry with me. I’ve inherited her natural domesticity and her creativity. The love of reading, scrabble, cards are similarities I cherish. Honored, is the extreme independence and financial capability she honed. My personality and character are unique compared to my moms. I celebrate the differences, and have learned to embrace and appreciate that without my mother, I may not be the diverse, empathetic, caring spirit that I am.

1 comment:

Lucy said...

How observant and insightful Sher, I love your abiltiy to clearly put it all in its place. Once again, I think Pepper is so lucky ( as you are) to have you and you her. My mom is still a sore subject with me, but I love how sure you are of yourself and YOur positive difference.

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