One of the best things about a thru hike is that you have so much time to think and to think deeply. Hikers also talk a lot about the feeling that you have people hiking in spirit with you and I’ve been spending a lot of time hiking with Mom. As you all know, she is a big supporter of this hike and it’s been so encouraging to get all of her comments on the blog.
My Mom has taught me some important lessons along the way and always had my back. I am especially thankful for four key approaches to life that I use just about every day and wanted to share those with you.
Find a Way – growing up I watched my Mom accomplish some amazing things against some pretty stiff headwinds. She raised two boys in a constantly changing and complicated military environment. She completed her degrees and blew the curve while driving hours each way to school. She worked with abused and neglected children and cared for those with severe eating disorders. She instilled a work ethic that relies on grit instead of pedigree. She found a way and those lessons have helped me push through some doors that weren’t exactly open yet.
Make, Buy and Appreciate Art – some of my earliest memories are from museums. Mom exposed me to a wide range of art forms early and often and encouraged me to find my what type of art I was passionate about. She made beautiful drawings, paintings and sculptures and I did the same. She taught me to support artists by buying original work and displaying them proudly.
Stay Positive – my Mom is positive in the face of adversity. I can’t remember a time when she hasn’t responded to a challenge with a positive attitude and a practical approach. She got this honestly from her mother and it has gotten her through some tough spots.
Manners First – Mom was raised with great manners by terrific parents and she honed her skills as a polished military spouse. She taught me that the best way to show your love and appreciation for friends and family is to entertain them well and make them feel comfortable and welcome.
I can’t imagine better lessons to live by and am so thankful for her in my life. I wish I could be with Mom today but she will be walking with me for sure on the AT. Happy Mother’s Day Mom.