I’m repeating myself

I know it. I have said this before– probably a few times before. But who goes to look at what I said a year or two or three ago?

It’s about appreciation.

We all learn to appreciate good health just about the time that our noses are running and coughing has become an Olympic sport.

We appreciate good weather when it’s pouring rain and we have errands to do.

We appreciate home cooking whe we’ve eaten out and the spices were not to our liking.

We appreciate those we love when they are far away.

Appreciation is what most people want from their spouses and family members. We all like hearing “thank you” and “I love you” and “I’m happy to see you.” We all like knowing that others value us. And yet, it seems that many people forget to let those they love know how much they are appreciated.

My mother was the kind of person who had so many issues of her own that she could not appreciate the people who were closest to her. For her, famiy members were only worthwhile in that they were available to meet her needs. If we didn’t meet her needs, we were useless. Sometimes her need was to show off. “Look how pretty/smart my daughter is!” and then we would be appreciated for a moment. Shows of affection were only given on camp visiting day– a hug and a kiss. No, scratch that, a kiss and then some motion of her fingers on my face either trying to wipe a blemish away or flick off a loose eyelash. I was never OK. I always needed some fixing up. Praise? No. Not even when I accomplished something noteworthy.

Did I grow up OK? I think I made it through. I needed to do a lot in terms of “being my own mother”– transforming her negative messages to me into healthier messages about trying and working hard and accepting even second best after a serious effort.

But our kids shouldn’t have to just “make it through” nor should our marriage. Appreciation costs us very little. It means we have to open our eyes and see what is in front of us and to take note of the kindness, the goodness, the sweetness, the devotion of the people around us and to let them know that we appreciate them.

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Comments

  1. Aviva Ernst says

    Shalom and a belated chag samach:

    Far be it from me to disagree but I go back and reread your blog many times.

    You are often thought of in this house. Many things we discussed are remembered and used. Your a special lady. Even though your mother was not as warmhearted as you wished, she did pass on many of her positive midos to you and your siblings.

    Aviva

  2. Sandy Gruenberg says

    I remember your mom well and she was a trip for you! Yet, how wonderful that you overcame that and went on to develop so nicely and take care of yourself in such a positive way. Maybe we all need to learn to do that no matter what our parents do or don’t do. Kol hakavod to you!

  3. your thoughts about your mother resonated with me and gave me hope to mother myself and give a better childhood to my kids.
    Thanks

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