Honor Thy Mother and Father (and Yourself)


My parents are two of the most intelligent, independent, self-sufficient, and hard-working people I know, and they sacrificed a great deal to provide my two older sisters and me with a good home and an excellent education.  They have been married for 50 years and created a comfortable life for themselves that they finally are allowing themselves to enjoy at this time in their lives.  For holidays and birthdays, when asked what they would like, they both always respond that they do not need anything, which proves to be a challenge for my sisters and me.  Last night, I stumbled across something that I simply had to get them for no reason other than I knew that they would like it, and today, I gave my mom the surprise for her and my dad.

My mom and dad are not ones to ask for help or to accept help readily, and they especially are not inclined to accept gifts without putting up a fuss.  That said, when I saw that one of their favorite political pundits would be coming to town this spring, I immediately knew that I had to get them tickets for the show.  I knew that they would not do this for themselves and would be surprised by this gesture, and when I handed the tickets to my mom this afternoon, I was proven right on both counts.  She was pleasantly surprised, as she did not know that this person would be speaking here, and she thanked me, then insisted that she would pay me for the tickets.   I refused her offer and explained that I wanted to do this for her and dad just because I love and appreciate them and want them to enjoy a nice evening.  For someone who gives so much to others, my mom has a lot to learn about being the recipient of random acts of kindness.  I may need to do things like this more often to help her get used to it!

In addition to honoring my parents, I also honored myself today in the form of keeping my word to myself.  It sometimes is easier for me to make and keep a promise to another person than it is to make and keep a promise to myself, but I have come to realize that I am only as good as my word and that I owe myself the same amount of respect and commitment that I would give another person when making a promise to them.  So, despite temptations in the form of a warm, cozy bed and Girl Scout cookies, I kept my promise to myself to work out this morning before work and to forego sweets for the Lenten season.  It never ceases to amaze me how persistent and cunning excuses to myself can be, and it took every ounce of determination, motivation, and will power not to trade in my healthy commitments for those excuses and lies I was entertaining.

Since recommitting myself to my 2013 goals and dreams nearly three weeks ago, I have gotten in the habit of honoring the promises I make to myself, and I have come to value them enough that I do not want to break them and disappoint myself.  It is an unfamiliar, yet welcome, feeling to begin to love myself enough that I want what is best for me physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, just as much as I want the best in all four of those areas for my loved ones.  It has taken me a long time to arrive at this point in my life where the self-loathing is being replaced by self-love and self-respect and to come to the understanding that I really do matter as much as those I love, admire, and respect the most.  Now that I am here, I am determined not to go back from whence I came, as there is nothing there for me any longer.  I am right where I need to be at this very moment, and I know where I want to go.

Just one thing each day  . . .

For more of my musings, please, visit “That’s Another Story” at www.kristijojedlicki.wordpress.com .


Categories: Just One Thing Each Day

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