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The Speech Continued: ‘T’ means Take the High Road

T: Take the high road

SO MUCH EASIER SAID THAN DONE! But I promise you, that through your challenge, if you take the high road you will never regret it. Life is too short to be lived with regrets. I advocate taking the high road. Every single time.

You’ll never regret choosing to be gracious, classy, or generous of spirit. You’ll never regret rising above detractors or any others who might seek to destroy you.

Bruce R. McConkie once said, “Let the little dogs bark at the passing caravan.”

Do it!

Do your best. Do all you can do. And then let the rest go.

Live your life and be happy…regardless of what others choose to say or do.

Working Mom Lesson #1: Let It Slide

“Sliding headfirst is the safest way to get to the next base, I think, and the fastest. You don’t lose your momentum, and there’s one more important reason I slide headfirst, it gets my picture in the paper.” (Pete Rose)

I’m talking about a different kind of slide: letting things go. (But don’t count on getting your picture in the paper for this!)

There are only so many hours in a day and I think all mothers, especially those that work full-time outside the home, could stay busy 24 hours a day if they had the energy or the ability to stay awake and work on their “to do” lists for that long! But not only would it be unhealthy, it would be impossible to do for very long. So let things go.

Let yourself let some things go…and don’t sweat it.

I’ve realized my children aren’t going to be scarred forever if there’s dust on the piano today, or this year (if we’re being honest.) And that our true friends will still like us (and won’t even comment, actually) if they walk by the open door of the laundry room and it’s piled up. Some things truly can wait for the weekend, or for an extra week (or more!) until you can get to them.

The only thing that can’t and doesn’t wait is…time. Put people ahead of tasks to be accomplished or work to be done and if you do that, you’ll have no regrets— and that’s the best way to live life, in my opinion: with no regrets.

Chat with your children and let other things go, if that’s how limited your time is. (That’s why sometimes I go a week, or a month, between blog posts! There’s just not enough time to do everything all of the time.) Finish up the rest of the dinner dishes in the morning if you have to. (I confess, I’m guilty of this on occasion. I just keep telling myself my children and my future children-in-law will be the better for my imperfections! I’ll never be the intimidating, “perfect” mother or mother-in-law; my children and in-laws won’t be able to do anything but look at me and feel better about themselves! Lol.)

As a new mother, some of the best advice I got came from a friend my own age, in my own situation and I believe it applies to mothers, especially working mothers as well. I’ve always tried to live by it. Even now, especially in the unexpected life. She said, “Make your list of things to do each day and give yourself credit, count the whole day as a success, if you accomplish just ONE thing on it!” As a working mother, words to live by, for sure!

Take your child to the park? Check. Your day was a success!

Make the bed, drive carpool, drop off at daycare, remember lunch money for children, commute, work for 8 hours, straighten a mess, cook dinner, do the dishes, fold a load of laundry, read to a child, pet the dog, go for a short walk or sit on the porch and watch your kids play, read for five minutes? Check. A SUPER SUCCESSFUL DAY! (Don’t let yourself even THINK about everything else that didn’t get done.)

And some days, if you just get out of bed and carry on? Check. That day’s a success too!

Be liberal with the credit you give yourself and your recognition of your day’s “accomplishments.” It’s actually simple to be successful, especially in my new world.

“If you want to be successful, it’s just this simple. Know what you are doing. Love what you are doing. And believe in what you are doing.” (Will Rogers)


It’s funny how things turn out.

On March 18, 2009, when I discovered my husband had been running a Ponzi scheme and would be heading to prison, in that moment I thought every possibility and dream for a bright future for my children and I had been shattered. Of course, I continued to press forward and talk positively about our opportunities for the sake of my children, but deep inside sometimes I wondered how my children and I were ever going to overcome the monumental challenges we were facing.

We moved from Colorado to Utah and began a new life. There were some dark moments and hard days, especially in the beginning. Some of us seemed to struggle more than others with the adjustment. But there were also many tender mercies, small miracles and blessings. And eventually, we all realized we liked our new home and our new life. We are happy in our unexpected life. VERY happy.

This was reinforced last week. I went with my oldest to his end-of-season high school track team banquet. We enjoyed time together just the two of us. Aside from our late night chats and drives, I couldn’t remember the last time it was just he and I alone in the daylight. Note to self: spend time with oldest more often when we’re both more coherent and awake! lol. Not only was it absolutely enjoyable to be with him, it was fun for me, as his mother, to put faces to the names and stories I’ve heard the past few months.

Then came the awards portion of the evening. As it was his first track season, and his first attempt at learning the hurdles, he wasn’t expecting any awards. In fact, every time I’d tried to go to a track meet this season he had discouraged me from watching, told me he wasn’t doing very well and that this was his season to learn and I should watch him run next year. So I almost fell off my chair when my son was awarded a varsity letter in track! And then he got an All-Region Academic Excellence Award too!

As we were pulling out of the parking lot afterward, I had to ask why he’d insisted he was performing so poorly in track all season. He said, “I did. I didn’t break one school record–that was my goal!”

I said, “So you aimed for the stars and only hit the moon and THAT is why you didn’t think you did very well? THAT is why you wouldn’t let your mother watch you race?”

And as we drove home I had to shake my head at the turn of events in our life the past year. Every single aspect of our new life is going so much better than I ever expected it would. I told my son what a great experience the track banquet was, and what a great opportunity it was for him to participate on his school’s track team. He agreed. I said, “You have created a great new life here. I am so thankful and so proud of your attitude and all you’ve accomplished.”

He replied, “Yes, it has been amazing. I am so happy here. The only thing I regret is…”

Here is where I started to die inside–gut reaction of a worried mother. I braced myself to hear the disappointment and prepared myself to instantly put a positive spin on whatever his challenge was.

Instead, he finished by saying, “The only thing I regret is…that I didn’t get to go to all four years of high school here. Next year is going to be AWESOME!”

Whoa. Last summer, and even at the start of last school year, I never imagined he’d ever feel that way or that I’d ever hear him say that! I realized we have come full circle.

“There must be a positive and negative in everything in the universe in order to complete a circuit or circle, without which there would be no activity, no motion.” (John McDonald)

Equation for the unexpected life: positive + negative = progress (and eventual peace and joy!)

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