May 05, 2010

Lessons from My Mother

Today's post is not completely beauty related.

Mother's Day is around the corner and while I was initially toying with the idea of asking Mum to review one of her favourite products or drawing up a list of nice things to get for your Mum, I realised that it wouldn't really ring true seeing how my own mother is the last person who would approve of me buying stuff for her or of enabling others to buy stuff.

"Why bother?" My Cancerian mother will automatically ask.

Note: Cancerians are noted for being homebodies, practical and have a habit of feeding (nearly) anything which moves.

So this is my gift to my mother. A tribute of the most important things she has taught (or tried to teach) me over the years.

1. Have a GTH account.
Chances are, you would have never heard of this at any bank because this particular account doesn't exist outside of our family lexicon. My mother advocates having, what she calls, a "Go To H*ll" (GTH) account.

"A what?" you squawk with an incredulous face.

The idea is to open a basic savings account at a bank you are never going to use and then deposit a sum of money in the account every month. It can be a set percentage of your income or a predetermined sum of money, it doesn't matter. All that matters is that you put in some money every month and NOT TOUCH IT (hence the GTH prefix). This is different from your normal savings which you can dip into when you are short on money. This money is for your old age and when some dire situation arises e.g. you are close to dying and need a life-giving operation, or your house burns down and the banks refuse to give you a loan for a new house down payment.

You get the gist.

2. Invest in Good Things
My mother often laments my and big sister's expensive taste. We point out that it is her fault for instilling us with values which put quality, instead of quantity, first.

Always go for good food i.e. food that is fresh and nutritious. It's okay to pay a bit more for health.

It's nice to have a wide variety of clothes but if they don't last, you might as well save up to buy something really nice. When you buy clothes, look at the cut, drape and material. If the cloth creases easily, forget it. Does the cloth fall and drape the right way? Is it of the right heaviness? Is that skirt cut to sit properly on your waist?

Always invest in good shoes and bags. Good shoe leather takes you a long way and takes care of your feet and back. At the same time, a great bag can last you a lifetime. The same goes for furniture.

(That said, she enjoys using the cheap NYX lippie I bought for her just as much as her favourite Chanel lipstick.)

3. Don't Touch Your Face Too Much
Need I say more? Mum used to nag me all the time for popping my pimples (Nexcare, where were you during my teenage years?) and 10 years later, I have to bow my head and shamefacedly admit it:

"Yes, Mum, you were right."

4. Be Good
By "good", I mean the whole package. Be honest, don't be malicious and be guided by your conscience. If you are sure that what you are doing is right, stick to your guns. If you really have to, it's okay to compromise a little as long as you aren't doing anything criminal. As long as you can meet your mother's eyes at the end of the day and honestly say that everything is alright, thing usually turn out for the best.

Or as my late grandfather (Mum's father) used to say: Go ahead and do anything you wish just as long as it isn't something which will embarass the family name.

5. Count Your Blessings and have Faith in the Future
Be grateful for everything you have now, even when things don't seem to be going well. Everything really does work out for the best. My parents went through a lot of setbacks over the years but somehow, things fell into place.

Happy Mother's Day this Sunday to all So Loverly readers and their mothers! Mum and I are planning to spend the morning at our favourite street market

What will you and your mother be doing? ;)


rinnah said...

Lovely (no, not trying to be punny) post Eli!

And Happy Mother's Day to your mom, who sounds awesome. :)

Connie De Alwis said...

awesome post, Eli! My mom's a Cancerian too so I can pretty much spot a few similarities in character.
I'll be working on Mother's Day itself so my mom and I will have to celebrate on another day.

xin said...

very well written! and oh dear! my mom is a cancerian too!!! and ^5 to our mums!

Khymm said...

thanks for sharing what your mom taught you. =) nice post!

Tine said...

Good one, Eli! LOL at the GTH account. Your mum's spot on :P

Askmewhats said...

Thanks for this post, I totally agree on this "Be grateful for everything you have now, even when things don't seem to be going well. Everything really does work out for the best".....I am experiencing so much stuffs lately and at the end of the day, it made me stronger! I am one hell of a survivor!

april said...

My mum advocates point 1 too. She just didn't call it a GTH account hahaha. And she happens to be cancerian as well!

I'm going to take mum out for high tea!

Eli said...

Rinnah: Thanks! My mum is awesome. =P Sis and I got our odd sense of humour from her.

Connie, Xin and April: High 5 for all Cancer mums! Now, if only they would stop stuffing food down our necks...

Khymm: Thanks. I hope you have a great Mother's Day with your mum.

Tine: I told mum that I wrote about her and she immediately asked if I wrote about the GTH account. She's a fan of female independence and financial security.

Nikki: Aww, I am sorry to hear that you are going through a tough time. I hope you and hubs have the strength and grace to carry it through.

Petra said...

Mum never said anything about hubba hubba. Which may be a good thing.

shuxian said...

Your mum is a wonderful person. <3