As evident in my Your Monday Motivation blog post this week, legacy has been heavy on my mind and heart lately.
….maybe it’s because Mother’s Day is coming up this Sunday and that is always a super reflective time for me. You see, like most moms, I take the whole mom gig pretty seriously and being in this new season of life with only one of my 5 kids at home with me and the rest of my adult kids scattered between two other states, I am learning to love my kids in a whole new way.
To be intentionally thoughtful, considerate and kind
but also bold and really ridiculous in the ways I show my love.
You see…. when I was 27 years old, I became a mom to five kids ages 4, 6, 8,10 and 12. I’m now 40 years old and my youngest, then 4 years old, is now 18 and about to graduate high school.
Back in the day, I wasn’t in their lives to be there for baby showers, or to pick out names, or to change any diapers… but I HAVE been there for…
scary doctor’s appointments, scraped knees, failed exams, recess play times, girl scout troops, rugby games, first break-ups, award ceremonies, choir concerts, adoption, basic training graduations, pet deaths, a wedding, proms, first jobs, and a million more moments that have happened and that I will be apart of in years to come.
I am an unlikely mama. I am imperfect and I am a little crazy… but I love my kids so much and its been hard and frustrating and beautiful and amazing to learn how to relate to them in a whole new way now that they are adults. I’m missing them terribly as we near another Mother’s Day so I will choose to focus on loving them well and deeply whether they happen to be near or far.
I have struggled time and time again with being frustrated that my adult kids don’t call me more or reach out or make family a bigger priority. Sound familiar? I let myself get caught up in my feelings and I sometimes forget that they have their own busy lives that they are working so hard to navigate well. While I can’t control what they do or don’t do, I can make sure that I am intentional about being thoughtful, considerate and kind in every way I choose to show them love. We ALL win when I let go of my expectations and just focus on loving well.
Here are 25 habits for building your daily legacy through your relationships while being intentionally thoughtful, considerate and kind:
- Put yourself in other people’s shoes.
- Recognize your own imperfections—and embrace them!
- Try to make people feel comfortable in awkward situations.
- If someone looks great, tell them! Why not?
- Think first and speak second (and avoid plenty of foot-in-the-mouth situations because of this).
- Perform small acts of kindness, just because you can, not because you feel you should.
- Avoid judging others.
- Try to keep things positive, even (or especially) in difficult situations.
- Be a good listener.
- Share what you have, even if it’s not much.
- If someone is sad, try to cheer them up.
- Smile at everyone.
- Try to leave people better than you found them—not the opposite!
- Put other people first.
- Be patient with other people, even if they’re frustrated.
- Remember birthdays and special occasions.
- Don’t interrupt or talk over people.
- Do favors for people without expecting anything in return.
- Make a point to include everyone in the conversation.
- Apologize when you mess up.
- Be on time for things.
- Anticipate other people’s needs and wants.
- Ask people about themselves.
- Consider the “bigger picture” beyond yourself and your own lives.
- Don’t wait for someone to reach out to you… you do the reaching.
Wouldn’t our world be amazing if each of us even started doing a few of these items on a regular basis? Whether its relating well to your family or to strangers (or both!), let’s begin today to love well and deeply by making these habits a priority and in the process we will be changing lives (including our own) by building legacy one beautiful day at a time.
Now… go on out there and love your people ridiculously!