Search for more Everyday Power
1. You’re never fully dressed without a smile
As any teenage girl can do so well, I could look bored and uninterested at any given time. More often than not, when I left the house mom would call after me, a la Annie, “you’re never fully dressed!”. It was her way of telling me to smile, which I typically scoffed off with a groan and an eye roll for good measure. Turns out, a smile really does complete you. It sets your mood and opens you to positive interactions throughout your day.
2. Check out dessert first
Mom isn’t shy about asking to see a dessert menu, and would check if they’re going to run out of anything. What I took from that into adulthood is to plan ahead for treats and indulgences. Having something special to look forward to and planning the rest of your meal – or day – knowing you’ve got creme brulee – or a massage, or vacation, or drinks, etc. – coming up, lets you indulge but keeps you from overindulging.
3. Those friends she didn’t like
It’s like a sixth sense! Even if she didn’t say it, I had those friends growing up that I could tell she wasn’t crazy about. I don’t know how, but those friends she truly liked are still friends of mine to this day! Moms can be character readers, much like dogs, so pay attention if she doesn’t trust that new guy; she may be onto something.
4. Don’t sleep the day away
Mumbling for my mom to leave me alone as she tried to pry me from my bed at 1pm was a routine weekend occurrence for some time. I didn’t think there was anything to miss out on before mid-afternoon. Boy was I wrong! Now in my 30s, I have dubbed 9am my “Power Time” because I have trained a client, worked out, walked the dog, and am on to coffee at that point, fully energized and ready to take on the day. There is a special energy in the morning hours that is yours for the taking. Whether you use that time to exercise, meditate, or simply have a few moments to enjoy your coffee in solitude, don’t let this time slip by unaware.
5. Just try a salad
I wasn’t a picky eater, but I didn’t eat a salad until mid high school and my standard Subway order was bologna, cheese and mustard. My mom, like pretty much any other mom out there, became insistent that I at least try a salad with dinner. She wore me down, and as my tastebuds changed I came to crave a good salad! This goes for any food you may have avoided as a child. Giving things a try can open a world of flavors and recipes that often become your new absolute favorite food in adulthood!
6. Unfair teachers prepare you for unfair people
Whenever I complained about a teacher – basically everyday once middle school hit – mom would remind me there will be unfair bosses and people I’d have to learn to work with for the rest of my life. While this didn’t make 15 year-old me feel better, she – once again – was totally right! Learning to brush off condescending comments and not taking things so personally is a life skill that you will use in both work and play.
7. Busy work has a point
I distinctly remember a mandatory college course with projects that had no relation to my major, and no clear purpose other than taking up time. I moped about the work being pointless and a waste of time, but my complaints were met with opposition. Mom told me this was an exercise in persistence. All I could see then, was how this project was a waste of my time, it wasn’t accomplishing anything and I wasn’t learning anything new. Now I see, that I learned to endure. I learned how to press on when things seemed pointless and this is a trait that serves you well in many areas of adult life.
8. There’s better music out there
Both parents were thankful when I outgrew the boy band craze of the 90s. They played a variety of music in the house, but as a teen I was completely immersed in all things Backstreet Boys. Eventually I found my way to genres outside of Top 40 Pop, but the bigger takeaway is not getting stuck in one genre or era of music. It’s insanely easy, nowadays, to discover artists who are nowhere near mainstream, yet doing really cool stuff! Using Pandora, Spotify or delving into a genre you don’t know anything about, expands your creative side and feeds your soul!
9. Shop for feel good clothes
I still make fun of my mom for holding an item of clothing and inevitably saying, “this has a great weight!” At 15, that meant nothing to me. Was it “in”? Did it make me look cool? Thin? Pretty? Finally, I get what she means and I’ve actually uttered those same words I scoffed at years earlier. Dressing in clothes that make you feel great is so important as an adult. You look more confident and feel better about yourself; it’s a total mood-booster!
10. A home should feel lived in
Mom always joked that I didn’t know what a vacuum cleaner was. This is, of course, a huge exaggeration, but what she meant was that she didn’t bark at people to take their shoes off, or follow them around with a dust buster. Things had their general space, but crosswords and books sat out on the table, and comfort took precedence over photo shoot ready decor and furniture. As I’d have friends come home with me from college and after, I hear the same thing: your house is so cozy! They say this in awe and it makes me feel proud! People instantly feel at home and not like they can’t touch anything. I like to think my apartment here in Chicago has that same feel. My home is thought out and tidied up, but you can always tell what I’m reading and where my favorite spot to sit is.