Lessons from my Mother

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My mother was a fabulous and extremely talented woman who shaped me into the woman I am today -- one that is clean, always organized, appreciative, and has a passion for giving back. Here are a few of the lessons I have learned from her that might help you better understand why I am the way I am:

Clorox Queen

My Mother’s nickname was “Clorox Queen”... need I say more?

Upon arriving at our vacation destination each winter, the rest of the family was told to go explore before we were allowed to unpack our things... Mom would then wipe out each drawer with her favorite liquid: Clorox bleach. It wasn’t until after this ritual had been performed would we be allowed to even think on putting our things away. That’s where it all started.

Looking back, I truly appreciate what my mother quietly did. What may have seemed like an eccentricity at the time has since sunk-in. And now that I am grown (and a Sunkin), I see this  procedure of purity seeping into so many things I do.

Now, when traveling with my family, I get to do the wiping out of the drawers of the hotel or rental home before our belongings go into them. Sometimes, however, if I don’t get around to doing this, I will at least line the drawers with hand towels or washcloths. (Tip: You can always ask housekeeping for extra!)

Do it Once, and Do it Right!

My Mom always said, “Why put things away twice?”, and she had an excellent point there. If you put an item where it belongs the first time, you can avoid things accumulating out of place and creating a bigger chore of tidying. Do it once, and do it right!

This rule can be applied to any task and any room of the house, but it really holds true in the kitchen! I especially like to apply it when cooking... If you clean as you go, there will hardly be a mess by the time dinner is ready!

Enjoy the Process

Another great lesson that I learned from my mom was to ‘enjoy the process’ – to simply have fun doing each thing. Even if a task wasn’t necessarily enjoyable, she would make the best of it. She was even known to sing “A Spoonful of Sugar” on many occasions while coaxing me do some work. Looking back, I’m sorry to say that my sister and I discouraged her singing (Sorry, Mom), but I now know how she must’ve felt – I hate when my girls put the kibosh on my at-home karaoke!

Give Back

My mother was very active in supporting new or small charities. Once she could see that one was up and running, or had gained substantial support, she would find a new one that needed attention and focus her energy there. Now, although it is not a small or new issue by any means, my hope for 2018 is to focus on how I can positively affect the homeless epidemic in Los Angeles. Even if it is only has a small impact, I will do what I can. Currently, I like to buy Subway sandwich gift cards and give them away almost daily, but I would like to do much more…I will keep you all updated on that front!


Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously

One of most important lessons I gleaned from my mother’s example, was to not take oneself too seriously. There is just too much opportunity out there to be worried about failing. This is something I try to remind myself of regularly. We all make mistakes, but without them, we wouldn’t learn and move forward. My mother taught me to try new things, go new places, meet new people. As challenging as this can be sometimes, it is imperative to keep on trying, experimenting and failing. A great example of this is whenever I would bomb a joke, Mom would say, “At least you keep trying!”

Thanks a lot, Mom!


Kenzie GallagherComment