“Behind all your stories is always your mother’s story. Because hers is where yours begin.”
― Mitch Albom, For One More Day
My mother recently pointed out that she’d had two kids by my age. While I don’t have any plans to push any out in the near future, this lovely list of lessons from a mother to a daughter (read it here) inspired me to put together my own list of lessons learnt for any future female progeny.
1. If you can’t figure out why someone is doing what they are – look at what they’ve done in the past.
2. Learn to play a team sport.
3. Wear nice shoes and take care of your feet.
4. You don’t have to be a great cook but you need to be able to: (a) fend for yourself in the kitchen if there’s not takeout available, (b) feed the ones you love once in a while, and (c) have a signature dish that you do amazingly well.
5. If you can help, do it.
6. Sunscreen is for everyone.
7. If s/he is telling you someone else’s secrets then be sure they’ll tell yours to someone else.
8. Marriage is not the solution. You are.
9. Find a shade of lipstick that works for you and wear it when in doubt.
10. Travel. A lot. Often.
11. Carbohydrates, gluten, men, women and/or math are not the enemy.
12. If you take their money they’ll take your freedom.
13. Don’t stop dreaming but nobody promised you a rose garden.
14. Make mistakes, everyone does. Just be honest about them.
15. There’s nothing wrong with liking nice things but try to save atleast a little of your salary every month.
16. If he left someone for you, he will leave you for someone else.
17. There are some things we do for money and some things we do for love – know which is which and that both are valuable.
18. You should be able to wear/say/do what you want but the world is unfair. Make the most of what you’ve got. You’re better off than most.
19. Value old things. Half your story is where you came from.
20. Pick your addictions, friends and fights well.
21. Cleanse, exfoliate, condition, moisturize. That’s pretty much all of it. Don’t let beauty magazines tell you there’s more.
22. Don’t change for a man and don’t expect a man to change for you.
23. You need to be able to pay for your existence by 24.
24. Massages, bath products, great food, books and live performances are always worth it.
25. Diet pills, fairness products and cheap shoes are not.
26. Don’t believe everything you read.
27. Don’t believe everything you hear.
28. Don’t believe everything you see.
29. You don’t have to pick a signature scent.
31. Call me if you’re in trouble. Any trouble.
32. Worry about the environment.
33. You have every right to pick your job, husband, religion, politics and wardrobe. Just remember all choices come with consequences.
34. Move abroad, if you like, it’s probably a better life but I’d like if you made a difference here.
35. Don’t worry about making people angry.
36. Life is only ever going to get busier. Learn to make lists.
37. Hobbies are necessary.
39. Sometimes the smartest thing to do is get out.
40. When you feel overwhelmed, walk away, drink a glass of water and wash your face.
41. Your surroundings reflect who you are and who you want to be.
42. Keep a journal.
43. The curative properties of a hot bath are greater than those of alcohol.
44. If you have an option, choose handmade.
45. Do not sideline your friends for a relationship. This has never worked out for anyone.
46. Know the difference between how you look in crepe, chiffon, georgette and silk.
47. You don’t have to get along with your gossipy aunt, busybody cousin or chauvinistic uncle but you have to be polite to them.
48. Mentor someone.
49. Donate. Many in our country have very little.
50. There is a middle ground between what your heart says and what your mother says. Look for it.
51. Be kind to those who work for you, children and animals.
52. Learn how to tie a sari.
53. Your boss will lie to you. It’s part of the job description.
54. Everyone needs a good dentist, tailor, gynecologist, dry cleaner, financial advisor, dermatologist and mentor.
55. Firsts are overrated. This first love/job/apartment drama is a scam – some people only get it right in their 35th try and there’s nothing wrong with that.
56. “This is how things have always been,” “this is not our culture,” “what will people say,” are not valid arguments.
57. Don’t put up with anyone who makes you feel bad about yourself.
58. This too shall pass.
59. Be ambitious.
60. Call your friends home often.
About 15 – 20 bites
Recipe adapted from Oh She Glows
What you’ll need:
Handful of strawberries
½ cup of chocolate (melted)
¼ cup of chopped almonds/ walnuts/ shredded coconut (whatever you have on hand)
1. Chop up the bananas and strawberries into the same number of pieces and make little skewers of strawberries and bananas.
2. Put together an assembly line to avoid getting melted chocolate and nuts all over the place with the bowl of chocolate first and then the bowl of chopped nuts.
3. Dip the skewer first in the chocolate and then quickly coat the melted chocolate with the nuts/coconut.
4. Sit the skewers in cupcake liners and stick them in the fridge for a minimum of 15 minutes.