This week, my mom celebrates her 85th birthday. In the last few weeks, as my sisters and I get ready for her big day, I’ve been realizing how much I love her, but I sometimes forget to take those moments to say so and really appreciate her. Isn’t it strange, how easy it is to forget to express your love to those closest to you?
So in honor of her, today, I’d like to share with you three things she taught me that changed my life. Here they are – The Top 3 Life Lessons from Gunvor Satra:
1. Let the spirit of adventure guide you.
Growing up, we didn’t have a lot of money, but my mom found a way to show us the world. She loves to travel, and anywhere on the globe was fair game. Once, we were actually debating between Turkey, the Baltic countries, and Peru. Most people don’t look at such a wide range of place at one time, but from her, I learned that anything is possible, and anywhere is worth seeing and learning about. (We ended up in Turkey that time. She went to Peru the next year without me.)
Once, in Egypt, she wanted to get to this little town, but we couldn’t find any transportation to get there. “If the locals can get there, so can we,” she said, and sure enough, we found this open air bus, full of goats and chickens and locals. We made it to the town, where of course she made friends, despite the fact that she didn’t speak the language.
Across any barrier, she could connect with people. And she’d go around the world to do it.
2. Movement helps you experience life more fully.
My mom is no a gym rat. I think she belonged to a gym maybe six months total in her whole life. But she loves being active. Most of my memories are of us hiking, swimming, skiing, tennis, exploring outside – and it was a huge bonding time for me and my sisters. It’s a family tradition that every Christmas, we go out and do something outside. Sometimes it’s cross country skiing; sometimes it’s digging people out of snow drifts.
By encouraging us to move – “get up! Time to go outdoors!” – my mom taught me that movement is key to really experiencing life. You don’t get that on a couch. You get it by physically, actively engaging with your body and your environment.
I don’t know if she ever meant me to create a business out of it, but, oh well. Too late now!
3. There’s always another way.
With my mom, there’s always just one more possibility. (This makes decision-making VERY difficult, especially in a family of people who can’t make decisions.)
If you’re feeling stuck, or something’s not quite right, always knew there are least ten ways around it. Maybe this is where my love of Perspectives comes from.
What better feelings are there than love and gratitude? They open your heart and make you notice the goodness in people. The more you look for it, the more there is. And it’s contagious, because then you start seeing it everywhere, in all the people in your life who’ve impacted you for the better.
So today, in honor of Gunvor Satra, I invite you to open your heart to all the love that’s around you. Feel free to share below who it is for you, and why. And then take it out with you into the world, and shine.
Thank you, Mom, and happy birthday. I love you.
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