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"5 Wise Lessons: Advice from Mum on Navigating Life and Relationships"

Recalling advice from my 91 year old Mum when I was growing up

Mum was always giving out nuggets of her wisdom to help me navigate my way through life. Many have stuck with me and I am sharing five for this week's list.

Treat others as you would want to be treated yourself and empathy 

My mother's relatives were known for their kindness and compassion, and she has a deep sense of empathy. Once she stopped the car as she had spotted an elderly woman having difficulty trimming her hedge with small shears. Mum promised to return to help her, she went home to collect her garden tools and took care of the hedge. The elderly lady, who was almost blind, offered my mother a piece of furniture , as she couldn't pay her. Of course Mum declined the offer, she was simply glad to help.

Mum loves poetry and created this poem to demonstrate what empathy was to me .

She would recite it to me when she felt it fitting to the situation .

When our friends upset us,

As they often do ,

Remember no one is perfect,

And that includes you !

You don’t need lots of clothes, buy classics and look after them

At 15, Mum started work in the dress department buying office of John Lewis where she had some very well dressed colleagues.  She noted that one of the girls was always immaculately "turned out" and even though she didn't have an extensive or expensive wardrobe. Her observations lead Mum to follow her example, to buy clothes with careful consideration and to take good care of them .

My Parents would nag at me not sit around in my 'good clothes' when I arrived home from work. To brush off and hang up my clothes and to remove any stains with a damp cloth .

Then to polish my shoes ready for work the next day and keep up with repairs .

Shoppping with Mum was at times a painstaking experience , every item would be assessed throughly .

Does it fit well ? What is the fabric content ? Is it washable ? How will it wear ? Taking into account factors such as creasing and pilling as well as seating and baggy knees .To earn a place in her wardrobe a garment had to work hard.

Smile and the world smiles with you

My mother naturally has a cheerful attitude and would attempt to pass on that positivity to me during my moody teenage years.

Whenever I was feeling low, she would share a little song with me to lift my spirits and motivate me to move forward.

"When you're Smiling"

Oh when you smilin', when you smilin'

The whole world smiles with you

Yes when you laughin', when you laughin'

Yes the sun come shinin' through

But when you cryin' you bring on the rain

So stop your sighin' baby and be happy again

To maintain a youthful appearance

Remove your makeup before going to bed and be sure to extend your skincare routine to your neck.

Mum attended an evening class on skincare, and introduced me to the merits of a cleansing, toning, and moisturising regimen at a young age. I stopped using toner in my twenties but continued to follow the other recommendations.

I had no advice given to me on sunscreen, and sadly I feel for the baby oil trick to get a quick suntan. I ended up with fried skin and now have pigmentation to remind me of the experience .

Rejection & The Power of Positive Thinking

My Mum found inspiration in Norman Vincent Peale's book, "The Power of Positive Thinking," which helped her guide me through job rejections in my teenage years. Selling over 15 million copies, the book almost never got published due to numerous rejections. Peale's wife rescued it from their waste paper bin and it was published in 1952. The book continues to sell thousands of copies weekly.

She also shared stories about the Beatles being rejected by four record companies and Margaret Thatcher, (Prime Minister at the time I was job hunting) being turned down by ICI.

Fact-checking Mum's wisdom revealed a sinister message - "This woman is headstrong, obstinate and dangerously self-opinionated." ICI personnel department assessment, rejecting job application from the then Margaret Roberts in 1948.

The Beatles are the best-selling music act of all time.


At 91, Mum continues to offer advice, although now it mainly consists of reminding me not to interfere. She is fiercely independent and firmly believes in being the one to assist others, rather than the other way around. May she continue to reign and advise for a long time.

Thank you for stopping by and reading the blog - I really do appreciate you taking the time to visit and read these posts.

Hope to see you next week for another list .

Until next week

Cheerio x



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