The Best Advice

A few months back, my mom texted me. “I just bought a Mac.”  I was surprised.

She had gone into the hip Apple store with its spare, shiny shelves and sleek design. It was crowded and loud and overwhelming. The products were different, flashy. The customers and employees were all young and sassy.  To her it was Mardi Gras, Carnivale and Chinese New Year all rolled into one. She took a look around and walked out. It would have been so easy to drive a few miles to another store and buy something else, something familiar. After many years on a PC at home and work, she was way out of her comfort zone. For most of us, the older we get, it’s just easier not to put our feet over the line. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Stick with what’s safe. But she didn’t. She summoned up a bit of courage and went back to that store.

My mom is not a great dispenser of life advice. Of course she never fails to share her opinion on dozens of other minute details of my daily events from what I’m wearing to the best type of vacuum cleaner to buy, but that’s the subject of another post. She doesn’t impart her wisdom in pithy phrases that I could compile into a book like Sh*t My Dad Says. Rather, she shows me by exemplifying it. The lesson from her that day: Never stop  trying new things. Step over that line, no matter where it is for you, even it’s a bit scary.

So I thought I’d celebrate this Mother’s Day by sharing some advice she’s shown me over the years.

  • Do what you say, say what you mean
  • Own up to what you don’t know
  • Don’t hold yourself to other people’s standards
  • Don’t hold other people to your standards
  • Stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves
  • Have realistic expectations
  • Appreciate other people’s talents
  • Listen
  • If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, but you think it’s a cow, it’s a cow
  • You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar
  • Be inspired
  • Be respectful of other people by being on time
  • Honesty really is easier in the end
  • Be truly happy for other people
  • Give yourself a break
  • Choose happiness
  • Know when to shut up
  • Smile easily
  • Like yourself
  • Want what you have and you’ll have what you want
  • Practice patience and kindness
  • Be independent
  • This too shall pass – that goes for the good and the bad
  • Accept what is
  • Don’t do anything that you wouldn’t be willing to tell your mother.
Happy Mother’s Day!


  1. What a lovely tribute to your mum, jacquelin. She sounds like an amazing woman, and she has certainly modelled wonderful values to you and I have to say, from reading your posts, I know that you live by them too.
    Sunshine xx


  2. You are too kind! I often see her putting these words into action and as I get older I realize how much it has sunk in and become part of my life also.
    Have a great week!


  3. My Mom has shown me similar things through her life, with the exception of being on time. My Mom is consistently and reliably (redundant?) 15 minutes late for everything.

    My take away? Arrive 15 minutes early. Perhaps my boys will show up on time. 🙂


    1. That reminds me of a colleague who is always 15 minutes late. We’ve tried to play the little trick wherein we tell her that the meeting or event starts 15 minutes earlier than it does, so that when she shows up her usual 15 minutes late, she’s actually on time. It worked once. She caught on and that was the end of that. 🙂

      Good luck getting your boys to split the difference!


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