Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tell the Truth Thursday

What is one of the most important lessons you've learned?
I spent the day with my mom in two very different scenarios, one very stressful but having nothing to do with her actions, that left me with a scorching headache and then the BALANCE of the day being very comforting and wonderful. I so much liked the latter, which actually was the bulk of the day.

We met 1/2 way between us in New Paltz, the home of my alma matter. The place where I learned how to be an adult. Where I learned how to make mistakes on my own. This is the place I learned the true meaning of LOVE (in so many aspects of the word) and yes I even met my husband there. I also learned one very big lesson, that ties my whole life together. Its called persistence which of course goes hand in hand with patience.

When I think of my mom, I marvel at how incredibly persistent she is. I know she has 30 years on me as far as practice, but she has this knack of knowing what she wants and working at getting it. This does not mean that her streets are paved in gold, or that she is self absorbed. All it means is that she knows how to strategically plan for the things she wants to achieve AND that she knows how to go after it and wait if she needs to. She is as methodical as they come at times, but she has also traveled the world despite not having much. Sometimes I think she invented a highly refined version of the of flying by the seat of one's pants so that it actually works.

Today, we sat at the beach in Minnewaska, we talked about many things, from cancer support, to positive outlooks, to grabbing life by the horns. At dinner, which was leisurely because the service was slow, she told me that she was toying with Reykjavik for New Years, simply because it sounded more exciting
than the "Same Old" here.
She has always wanted to see the Matterhorn, and next month, despite not knowing a sole
in Switzerland, she is headed there, effectively checking it off her life list.

I know that I learned the basic tenets of persistence from her. Heck, my whole childhood with an
alcoholic father was all about persevering in the face of adversity. Sometimes my mom and I
even clash over things because she has taught me so well. However, I think back to the spirit
of my time in New Paltz; when I went there for schooling, when I trained there, when my husband
and I just hung out there, and when I have introduced friends to the place and I know that it
embodies every single lesson in persistence I have ever known. As an art student, I learned how
to stick my neck out onto that chopping block and tempt that axe to hack away at it, all the while
knowing that each blow would only thicken my skin and make me try harder. I learned how to
train, first as a swimmer, then as a super competitive triathlete, and finally as a cyclist 20 years
later, all the while taking a pounding from that ridge knowing that the ridge was my serving as
my lifeline. Its sheer majestic presence forced me to want to work hard, to emulate, to conquer,
to be one with.

I also learned that the very act of LOVING anything would take that same type of finessing and
many times that meant stepping aside and letting things grow and blossom. I can recall many
times that I was not so patient and left the skeletons in the wake of my intensity. Then there were
those who still believed in me. They were essential to me learning how to dial back a bit and be
patient which strengthened my resolve. My husband included.

As I think about how wonderful it was to spend time with my mom today, I am thankful for both
the lessons that I have learned. Today, eventually, nurture and nature were in balance. To her

So why the Indigo Girls "WATERSHED"? Llisten to the lyrics...

1 comment:

The Redhead Riter said...

Thank you for participating in the Tell The Truth Thursday question.

That was beautifully written and such a great lesson! Isn't it amazing how much our mothers teach us...I hope I have done as good with my daughter.