Monday, May 02, 2016

A Picture Perfect Mother's Day


I want to thank Garnier® for inviting me to share my thoughts about what makes a picture perfect Mother's Day. I recently wrote about  (but have not yet posted--ha!) feeling beautiful as way to be present and how getting ready in the morning--make-up, hair, clothes--is a great way for me to be able to feel present. I love Garnier® Whole Blends™ that allows you to find your hair care so you can really get the treatment you need, make it beautiful and then forget all about yourself. Thanks for supporting sponsor's on TLM. I hope you enjoy today's Mother's Day post. 

Many moons ago, as a freshman in college I signed up for a beginning guitar class. Ever so slowly, as my practicing overshadowed my anxieties (My hands are too small! My fingers don't work this way!) I started to actually learn to play the guitar. I didn't have much musical training growing up, only what the public school system offered, and so to actually be able to play an instrument, let alone the guitar (which in my mind is the James Dean of instruments) was very exciting to me. When I finally got a little finger picking and about 5 or 6 three-chord-songs under my belt, I thought -- I. had. arrived. You guys, I thought I was really, really good at playing the guitar. As I continued to play over the years, I got better...and better...and better still. As I got better my perspective shifted and I realized something: Oh, I'm not that good. I'm actually very average. Or as many a dude would tell me, I was "pretty good for a girl."

I noticed a similar pattern when I worked my first big-time job after I graduated college. It took me (and my poor supervisors) about 6 months to get me up to speed on such difficult tasks like "this is what a spreadsheet looks like" and "stop typing with just your index fingers." To be fair, it was more than half their fault as they hired a Fine Arts major with a degree in painting. I mean, c'mon guys. But once I finally got my head in the game and figured out the actual job, I thought I was aaaamaaaazing. I was killing it and how did this company ever survive without me and you're all welcome thankyouverymuch. The first year we had a company meeting where they gave awards and such, I was seriously disappointed when I didn't receive an award for all my hard work and my obviously aaaamaaaazing contribution to our company. Years later, while working for the same company I actually did get that award and recognition and this time I was genuinely surprised and felt completely, 100% undeserving. As I got better and better at my job, once again I had that little shift in perspective and I finally saw my role more appropriately, which was that I was one small cog in a big machine and I was no more deserving than anyone else.

I wish there was a name for this phenomenon because what is that? How and why is it that the better and better we get at something, the more we realize our proper place in the context of that world? Really I think it's the beginning that throws us off so much. Going from "zero" knowledge/experience/ability to "a little" knowledge/experience/ability begets an inordinate boost in our confidence because wow, I can now do something I couldn't do before! And for some reason it can be really easy to let 'a little' knowledge go to our head.

In a way it is amazing. For both of the examples above--learning to play the guitar and working for an internet company--these things were so foreign to me and so far out of my wheelhouse that learning how to do them at all felt huge! There was certainly a part of me that deserved to feel proud of these accomplishments but we have to be careful--a little bit of knowledge/experience/ability can be somewhat dangerous. If not dangerous, at the very least we can end up feeling arrogant and entitled.


Which brings me to Mother's Day. I don't actually remember any details of my first official Mother's Day but what I do remember is that whatever my husband had done, it didn't feel like enough. I was sure there would be a bajillion flowers, endless chocolates, and one of those ginormous cards in the Hallmark store that no one ever actually buys. Maybe a parade in my honor. Baby PSP was not the easiest baby and clearly I deserved all the accolades and all the praise for doing this most difficult of all jobs: being a mother.

I know. My poor husband, you're all thinking right now. But chill out guys, remember this story is going to follow a pattern as stated above, and I've probably learned to be more humble about it so let's just keep going. Anyway, I don't remember exactly how I acted or what I said--I don't remember throwing a fit or anything or stomping around demanding I want a golden goose NOW daddy! but still, I felt entitled. To what exactly, I don't know... but I felt it.

But eventually I experienced that same magical shift. As I worked even harder, experienced my first threenager while also learning the special needs ropes and continued to grow and stretch in this roll of Mom, I saw things more clearly. I have no idea when this shift happened, I can't even pin point the year, but one Mother's Day I remember being woken up by my beautiful children and by my amazing husband with breakfast in bed and handmade cards, thinking, "This day is a sham! Why are we celebrating me? I am the lucky one here. They're the ones who made me a mother. They're the ones who bring joy, light and love to my life. They're the ones who even when they give me absolutely nothing, give me everything."

Every Mother's Day since then, as my kids do their best to be 'extra good' (another sham really) and as my husband makes all the meals and cleans all the dishes and as they do all these things to celebrate me, I can't help but think we've got it all backwards. I appreciate them showing their appreciation of me--don't get me wrong-- but in my heart I know that motherhood is not an accomplishment, it is a gift. I get to be a mother.


I get to do this. I am so lucky.

So my very best tip for a picture perfect Mother's day is gratitude.

Gratitude.
Gratitude. 
Gratitude.

The more gratitude in your heart, the more clearly you will see reality. Gratitude is the ultimate calibrator of life and the only way we'll get even a little close to picture perfect. 
Happy Mother's Day.


Now for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card, how will you spend your Mother's Day this year?
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93 comments:

  1. I love this post! As a first time new mom (to an 8 month old--how did that happen already?!) I was already thinking about motherhood when you were up there talking about the guitarplaying. Wham. You were waaay ahead of me.

    I don't know how we'll spend my (FIRST!) mothersday this coming weekend. But I'm pretty pumped to just spend it together. I'd be doubly pumped if the weather cooperated and we could spend it outside.

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  2. There is totally a word for that. When you learn anything, you go through four stages of competence:
    1. unconscious incompetence - not being very good at something and not knowing that you aren't good
    2. conscious incompetence - realizing how bad you are, making mistakes, learning a lot
    3. conscious competence - being competent at something but having to give it a lot of thought/effort
    4. unconscious competence - having mastered something to the point you don't really have to think about it
    I think it's fascinating how we go from thinking we're AMAZING (because relative to just beginning the skill, we are) to realizing how far we still have to go to master something.

    I'm spending mother's day showing my gratitude for my awesome mom and spending some time with her and my family.

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  3. In martial arts we have a saying...Earning your black belt is really just the beginning of your journey.

    I'm spending my mother's day...working! My husband has to work, which means that I have to work! We haven't made any concrete plans around it, but I'm sure that he'll do something nice for me. :) He always pulls through!

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  4. Love this post so much! Just love being with my family on Mother's Day -- no gifts needed or expected -- that is enough. But . . . I think my daughter is going to make me some Scotcheroos -- yum! Definite gratitude to be her Mother and for those treats!

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  5. We’ll be having a family reunion in Myrtle Beach.

    mami2jcn at gmail dot com

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  6. tweet--https://twitter.com/mami2jcn/status/727661481316261889

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  7. I will take my mom out for lunch

    elena150980 at yahoo dot com

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  8. https://twitter.com/ElenaIstomina/status/727692049584029697

    elena150980 at yahoo dot com

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  9. I will celebrate Mother’s Day this year with a picnic for all the moms.

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  10. tweet-https://twitter.com/LuLu_Brown24/status/727815421936599041

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  11. I went to a Catholic school when I was growing up, and my 4th grade teacher Sister Catherine was my favorite teacher because she was so positive and helped me with my school work and taught me so much! She spent hours on her own time teaching me arithmetic and writing. She was such an inspiration to me!
    jewelwood55(at)gmail(dot)com

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  12. tweet-https://twitter.com/JewelWood/status/727831322484310020
    jewelwood55(at)gmail(dot)com

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  13. I'm spending mother's day at the beach with my family. Can't wait!

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  14. We are taking my parents out for dinner and a spa day for me and my mom as well.
    tcarolinep at gmail dot com

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  15. tweet-https://twitter.com/tcarolinep/status/727859841444642816

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  16. I am spending my Mother's Day at home with my kids I hope they come by anyway. Nothing special just a time to be with my husband and kids! my4boysand1@gmail.com

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  17. I tweeted my4boysand1@gmail.com

    https://twitter.com/my4boysand1/status/727862607332446209

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  18. I will spend Mother's day with my family. My parents are visiting for lunch.

    kellywcu8888ATgmailDOTcom

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  19. tweet
    https://twitter.com/Kellydpa/status/727863729451376640
    kellywcu8888ATgmailDOTcom

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  20. I will be taking my Mom out for Mothers Day at her favorite restaurant.

    s2s2 at cox dot net

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  21. https://twitter.com/susan1215/status/727866969781768197

    s2s2 at cox dot net

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  22. I am going to spend Mother's Day helping my Mother-in-law build a garden.

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  23. tweet: https://twitter.com/Twenteries/status/727901152205889541

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  24. Tweet- https://twitter.com/mitadav/status/727928819332612097
    anmeet1@yahoo.com

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  25. We are spending mother's day at the beach with my family.
    anmeet1@yahoo.com

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  26. We are combining Mother's Day and Cinco de Mayo and going to our favorite mexican restaurant at a ski resort near our house! Happy Mother's Day to you!

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  27. I will be taking my mother out to her favorite restaurant for dinner, The Cheesecake Factory! yarbr012@gmail.com

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  28. https://twitter.com/yarbr012/status/728019922153000960 yarbr012@gmail.com

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  29. Going to the Food Truck Rally would be my choice.

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  30. We are having a Mother's Day brunch with my mother-in-law this year.
    eswright18 at gmail dot com

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  31. tweeted
    https://twitter.com/eswright18/status/728072382775103491
    eswright18 at gmail dot com

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  32. I'll be getting together with the family for Mother's Day.

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  33. Tweet
    https://twitter.com/clc408/status/728189402497880064

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  34. I will go to lunch with my daughter and my mother. Then we plan to spend the rest of our afternoon at the park together!

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  35. church and brunch

    dlatany at gmail dot com

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  36. https://twitter.com/sweetums82/status/728647690813353984

    dlatany at gmail dot com

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  37. I will be having lunch and a movie date with my mom, then window shopping :)

    Thanks for the chance to win!

    allisonrsdswain(at)gmail(dot)com

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  38. Tweet:

    https://twitter.com/allisonrswain/status/728648064009961472

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  39. Jessica To4:21 PM

    I am taking my mother out for lunch for Mother's Day.
    reklaw422 at Hotmail dot com

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  40. I am not sure what my hubby will be doing but I hope he remembers.

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  41. https://twitter.com/mommysweetiepie/status/728707169185488896

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  42. We'll be taking my 97 year old Aunt out for brunch. She's like a Mom and Grandma to our family.
    Thanks so much.
    rickpeggysmith(at)aol(dot)com

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  43. Tweeted: https://twitter.com/peg42/status/728746405515374592
    Thanks again
    rickpeggysmith(at)aol(dot)com

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  44. Gratitude is everything! We are having a picnic with my mom at the park! Its Tradition!

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  45. My Tweet: https://twitter.com/Michelle83237/status/728790900277567488

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  46. This year, I'm taking my mother in law and my kids to brunch. We love spending time together.

    amy [at] utry [dot] it

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  47. tweeted:

    https://twitter.com/uTry_it/status/728828991126175744
    amy [at] utry [dot] it

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  48. I will be spending mother's day with my mom and take her out to dinner. truckredford(at)gmail(dot)com

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  49. https://twitter.com/eliza_elliott/status/728975717610856448 truckredford(at)gmail(dot)com

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  50. This Mother's Day will be bittersweet for me, since this summer will be ten years since my dear mother passed away. I always miss her, but especially so on special days like her birthday and Mother's Day. I'll spend Mother's Day thinking of her and remembering all the fun we had.
    [notheranneother {at} gmail {dot} com]

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  51. Thanks for your funny and touching post. I shared it (and the Garnier giveaway) on Twitter:
    https://twitter.com/NotherAnneOther/status/729018665060937729
    [notheranneother {at} gmail {dot} com]
    Happy Mother's Day!

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  52. With my mom gone now and kids living out of town, I will probably have dinner with family members that live here in town.

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  53. Tweet
    https://twitter.com/clc408/status/729054334898610178

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  54. We're celebrated Mother's Day early and went to a flower show and out to lunch with my mother and daughter.
    maddiembrubaker (at) gmail {dot} com

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  55. Tweet link: https://twitter.com/shala_darkstone/status/729068014558056449
    maddiembrubaker (at) gmail {dot} com

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  56. My son is filling my planters with new spring flowers and my daughter will probably call me. Otherwise I'll be spending the day quietly at home.

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  57. Tweet - https://twitter.com/willitara/status/729310765803413506

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  58. I definitely am going to be a little more grateful this Mothers Day, and focus less on being entitled. Thank you for a beautiful post!!

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  59. Taking mom out to dinner at her favorite restaurant.

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  60. Tweet https://twitter.com/Lindiac/status/729449057811234816

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  61. My mantra: An Attitude of Gratitude. Being thankful for what I have. I spent my day at chorus rehearsal. I love singing.
    Thanks for the contest.
    slehan at juno dot com

    ReplyDelete
  62. https://twitter.com/slehan/status/729563636188872704
    slehan at juno dot com

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  63. We went out to church and then a buffet lunch -- yum!

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  64. I spent my Mother's Day relaxing and being pampered. jammielmorey at gmail dot com

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  65. tweeted https://twitter.com/Jammie79/status/729687989366992896 jammielmorey at gmail dot com

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  66. I will spend it surrounded by my family!

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  67. tweet--https://twitter.com/WildOrchid985/status/729716648823955463

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  68. we had a nice dinner and went to the park!
    tina19820115@gmail.com

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  69. https://twitter.com/HappyTina0115/status/729717533255847936
    tina19820115@gmail.com

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  70. I took my mom out to dinner.

    rounder9834 @yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  71. tweeted
    https://twitter.com/thomasmurphy40/status/729767949037404160

    rounder9834 @yahoo.com

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  72. Mother's Day already passed and we spent it with family and went out to brunch buffet at a hotel.
    prettyinhotpink6 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  73. Tweet: https://twitter.com/PrettyHotPink6/status/729789821892235265

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  74. i spent it at home with my family who cooked for me

    debbiebellows (at) gmail (dot) com

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  75. i posted a tweet here:

    https://twitter.com/purplepanda1966/status/729829354956410884

    debbiebellows (at) gmail (dot) com

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  76. I spent it being lazy. hahaha! I sat on the deck in the sun and under the umbrella while my partner planted flowers and power-washed our deck free of 10 years of grime. It looks amazing out there! :-D
    Angie
    14earth at gmail dot com

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  77. I tweeted here: https://twitter.com/MsTofuFairy/status/730027733758119936
    Angie
    14earth at gmail dot com

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  78. Mother's Day was spent relaxing at home.

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  79. https://twitter.com/ThatTuxedoCat/status/730082613411643394

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  80. we went to see captain america

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  81. We went out to breakfast, then went antiquing.

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  82. We went out to breakfast, then went antiquing.

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  83. tweeted
    https://twitter.com/rubylorikeet/status/730119154116612096

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  84. Homemade Maple Walnut scones! A great day.

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  85. #SweepstakesEntry- comment

    Unfortunately I didn't get to be with my mom this Mother's Day as I am 700 miles away but I sent her flowers to be delivered & a card - I know my brothers (who live in her town) spent the day with her so I'm happy about that

    KC

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  86. my #SweepstakesEntry tweet:

    https://twitter.com/thrincor/status/730134622047178753

    kacor7@hotmail.com

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  87. My son-in-law invited the whole family over to celebrate Mother's Day with a delicious meal on Saturday. On Sunday, I went to Church then spent the rest of the day at home.

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  88. Tweet! https://twitter.com/lexiquin/status/730159431607046147

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  89. I spent mother's day in Costa Rica with my inlaws.

    willgriesmer@yahoo.com

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  90. https://twitter.com/willgriesmer/status/730178929043058688

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  91. My family took me out to lunch this year.
    nuthouse(at)centurytel(dot)net

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  92. I ended up eating fast food that night

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

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  93. tweet https://twitter.com/ChelleB36/status/737788190992519168

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete