Twenty Challenges From My Mother

I could go on forever about the power-struggles, the good, the bad and the worst in a mother-daughter relationship but I won’t. Being here in uni has made me realise that as much as we may be loathe to admit it, our mothers sometimes do really know best. A few nights ago I received an e-mail from my mother which read:

‘I wish I realised thirty years ago that the things I was hung up on would have very little significance in my life today. I would have concentrated on making every minute count! I would have cared a lot less about what others thought of me and I would have made sure I laughed as much as possible because as you get older there is less and less to laugh about. The way you behave has much more of an impact than the way you look. Though no one can dispute that looking good makes you feel good; if you feel good you look much better.’

She also told me that it was important to be able to look back and laugh out loud even if it’s because I messed up royally. Advice which she concluded with these words from the legendary Maya Angelou: “I believe that the most important single thing, beyond discipline and creativity is daring to dare.”

Attached to the message was this list of twenty challenges which I thought I would share along with this message because I think a lot of students can forget the importance of truly being happy, especially inside ‘The Bubble’! clearly, a propensity to inspirational lists is hereditary:

Twenty things to keep you happy!!!!

1- Banish negative thoughts the minute they start to cloud your mind.
2- Stretch breathe and focus your mind.
3- If you start a negative conversation only allow yourself to talk for five minutes max then move on. Better still, don’t have a negative conversation.
4- Run every morning to clear your head. Just think of how to breath for the first 10 mins.
5- Do yoga every evening before you go to bed.
6- Be nice to someone else at least twice a day. Even those you don’t really care for…unless they have done something to harm you.
7- Smile at a stranger every day.
8- Keep fresh flowers in your room even if you can only afford cheap ones.
9- Spend some time making yourself look nice every day even if it’s just scrubbing your face clean and smoothing your hair back. If you don’t think you are worth it, you can’t expect anyone else to.
10- Find something to do that will make a difference to someone else because it will make a difference to you in the long run.
11- Turn off your phone at least one day per month and do absolutely nothing but watching tv or read a book with a glass of wine in your PJs if you wish.
12- Decide on the hours you are going to spend studying for the day. Try to stick to it, do this and no more.
13- Watch, read or listen to the news daily.
14- Buy a Sunday paper find somewhere nice to sit and read it.
15- Find an interest that will help with your course. Join one of the groups or societies before you leave Cambridge.
16- Go out on a date just for fun. Nobody is perfect but they might turn out to be interesting.
17- Don’t look for reasons to be critical.
18- Don’t hold back from having fun.
19- Get messy and go with the flow. No one really cares and most of them won’t be around in five years’ time anyway.
20- Remember misery loves company! The only people with time on their hands to sit around criticising others haven’t really got a lot going on in their life any way, otherwise they would be too busy having fun!!!!

.Credits to Mumma Cirque.

Posting this today was particularly important to me because it’s the birthday of one of the wisest women I have ever encountered and probably will ever encounter. A strong advocate of laughter and living whilst you’re living whom I was lucky enough to call GranGran and who is ‘still having a laugh’ beyond the grave.

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