Before you cross the street, take my hand. Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.- John Lennon, “Beautiful Boy, Darling Boy”
Think for a moment about your childhood and all of the small, sometimes unnoticed, maybe even embarrassing gestures your parents performed for you. You probably hated it when your mom kissed you on the playground in front of your friends, for instance. As adults, however, when we find ourselves in a stressful, sometimes unfair workaday world, we long for those reassuring acts of kindness, reminding us that someone loves us no matter what we do or what anyone else thinks of us. Here are fifteen little acts of love parents perform for their children that we miss as adults.
1. Checking for monsters
They lurked in your closet. They skulked under the bed. They went bump in the night and sent you running to your parents’ room, and it didn’t matter how many times a night Mom or Dad had to pick you up, carry you back to your room, and switch on the lights to show you that everything was safe. No matter how grown up you are now, you probably wish every now and then when you hear a noise outside your apartment that you had a parent to reassure you. Of course, you could always do what I recently did and FaceTime your dad for a virtual monster check, but I’ve been told that grown women in their 30s don’t usually do this. Who knew?
2. Giving you piggyback rides
I always used to think that if I sat on my dad’s shoulders I could touch the clouds, and I never worried about falling. Dad’s operate on some kind of superhero code of conduct; they’d never drop a girl, especially their daughter. As an adult, I sometimes find myself longing for those days if for no other reason than that they represent a time when I naively believed my parents could protect me from everything.Advertising
3. Making your school lunch
Whenever I’ve had to wake up early to prepare my lunch for work because I forgot to do it the night before like a responsible adult, I’ve really appreciated all those times my mom did it for me growing up. Not to mention the hearts she drew in my peanut butter sandwiches. Mine just don’t taste the same.
4. Letting you lick the spatula while baking
Okay, you can do this one on your own (not that I’m guilty of this, or anything), but face it, it felt so much more like a treat when Mom or Dad let you lick chocolate chip cookie dough from the spoon. Like hearts in peanut butter sandwiches, cookie dough tastes sweeter when it’s offered in love.
5. Taking care of you when you were sick
You probably heard people warn you that the first time you’d really miss your mom while away at college would be the first time you were sick. Your roommates didn’t have a problem finding miracle cures for your hangover, but nothing soothes a scratchy throat and fever like Mom’s chicken noodle soup.
6. Reading you bedtime stories
As fun as it is to curl up with a good book and a cup of coffee on a rainy Saturday, sometimes it’s not half as fun as listening to Mom or Dad read your favorite story for the tenth, or twentieth, or thirtieth time. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie remains my all-time favorite. Whether they read slowly and paused to let you stare at the pictures or gave their best Oscar-winning performances of all of the character voices, nothing matches the simple pleasure of escaping into the fictional worlds they brought to life for you.Advertising
7. Kissing your injuries
Whether it was a skinned knee, a scraped elbow, or a cut finger, there was nothing a kiss from Mom and a Mickey Mouse band aid couldn’t heal. You can’t really expect your roommate or partner to perform this loving gesture, and in any case they don’t make adult-sized Mickey Mouse band aids. I’ve looked. (Don’t judge).
8. Displaying your Kindergarten artwork for all to see
That finger-painting of the family dog wasn’t exactly a Rembrandt or Picasso. It didn’t even look like a dog as much as an abstract brown and white-speckled blob that might have resembled a living creature if you tilted your head slightly to the left. It didn’t matter though; it went on the fridge, or on Dad’s desk at work. Some parents might argue that celebrating everything your children do gives them a participation trophy mentality—the idea that they should be rewarded just for showing up. However, the truth is that it showed you that what you did mattered to them and made you feel special in a way that as adults we rarely do, especially when the work we do often goes unrecognized.
9. Redecorating your room every time you developed a new obsession
SpongeBob, Power puff Girls, Batman, Pokémon—you name it, they put up with it because they knew how important it was for you to be able to express yourself, growing through your regularly reconstructed identity. Now they have to keep up with your selfies and Facebook status updates, which change much more frequently than the SpongeBob wallpaper and are sprinkled with acronyms they don’t understand.
10. Asking you how your day was
If you talk to your parents regularly, they probably do ask you how your day was, but they can’t follow you around and pester you for an answer the way they did when you were a teenager. As much as you hated it then, you miss it now, especially if you live alone. This was your parents’ way of emphasizing the importance of communication and expressing to you that they cared about what went on in your life, and it’s one of those things we don’t miss until it’s gone.Advertising
11. Making you clean your room
Maybe on the surface this doesn’t sound like an act of love, but it is, and your parents can’t technically “make” you do anything as an adult. Sometimes I luxuriate in the liberty of not having to do my chores when I can’t be bothered. The truth forces me to admit, however, that more often than not I find myself frantically tidying the apartment at the last minute when I’m expecting houseguests, and by tidying up, I naturally mean shoving everything into the closet out of sight of said houseguests. “making” you do anything you didn’t want to do, from Saturday morning chores to homework, was your parents’ way of teaching you the value of responsibility and how to appreciate the sense of accomplishment at having fulfilled that responsibility.
12. Playing “airplane” with your spoon at the dinner table to get you to eat your vegetables
Did your parents ever make that “zoom” noise while coming at you with a spoon-full of broccoli? You have to give them credit for the ingenuity because they weren’t making you laugh for your own amusement; they had only a split-second to shove the spoon into your mouth while it was open, and as a result, you got your daily serving of necessary vitamins and minerals. You might not “miss” this in the same way you miss Mom’s chocolate chip cookies, but it’s hard not to feel a little twinge of nostalgia at the ridiculous antics she was willing to stoop to in order to get you to clean your plate.
13. Pushing you on the swings
Remember those lazy summer Saturday afternoons you spent picnicking at the park and playing on the swings, convinced that if you swung just a little higher you’d become airborne like a superhero? In those moments, there was nothing equal to the simple pleasure of feeling Mom or Dad’s hands at your back, responding to your insistent exclamations of “Higher! Higher!” with another push no matter how tired their arms became. Life was so much simpler when they propelled you forward and gave you a boost to get to where you wanted to go, but hopefully the memory can serve as a lasting reminder that they’re always behind you in everything you do.
14. Writing sick notes
We all have days when we wish our moms could write a note to get us out of that duller than ditchwater business meeting, but as adults we have to invent our own elaborately constructed plots to play hooky from work. True, you have the autonomy as an adult to decide whether or not to use up your vacation day nursing a tequila hangover, but somehow staying home and binge-watching House of Cards would feel a lot better with written parental endorsement.Advertising
15. Picking you up when you fell
This last one sums up everything it means to be a parent: supporting you in everything you do, whether learning to ride a bike or getting into your dream college. It also means encouraging you when you fall short of the mark, which everyone does from time to time because nobody is perfect. There’s nothing quite as comforting as being scooped up in a protective hug after falling from your bike, knowing that however badly it hurt, the pain would go away eventually and you’d find the strength to give it another try. Maybe your parents no longer pick you up and dust you off, but if you’re lucky, they’ve never stopped giving you the support and encouragement we all need to forge ahead in life.
Featured photo credit: Father and Daughter via pixabay.com
Last Updated on March 25, 2020
How to Crush Your Lack of Motivation and Always Stay Motivated
How many times have you not achieved your goals and let yourself down due to your lack of motivation? When you’re not wallowing in sadness and self-pity, you are too busy procrastinating till you can’t anymore and before you know it, you are part of vicious cycle of anxiety and stress.
Whether it’s losing weight or bringing your business to fruition – motivation is essential for growth and success in every sphere of our lives.
That said, it is not easy staying motivated. In order to constantly stay motivated, you need to take ownership of your life and consciously make efforts in that direction.
Well, it’s never too late to take matters in your hands and change the course of your life. Here are 11 effective ways to crush your lack of motivation and always stay motivated:
1. Write Your Goals
The power of writing goals down has always been underestimated. Why write when you can remember, right? Wrong.
Our thoughts are all over the place and the first step to achieve your goals is to organize your thoughts. So, write your goals down, however big or small they might be. Make them as specific as possible and assign deadlines to each of them.
As you write them down and revisit them regularly, they get further drilled in your head, taking you closer to your goals. Doing this small exercise helps you to remain focused, motivated and lets you track your progress with ease.
Start today – take to your laptop or a diary and get down to writing what you wish to achieve in life.
2. Beat Procrastination
Your lack of motivation and procrastination go hand in hand. Every time you procrastinate, your motivation levels take a greater hit. The only way to bring an end to this loop is to stop procrastinating.
Next time you find yourself putting off something for ‘later’, stop and assess the reasons behind it. Get to the root of the cause and eliminate it in order to overcome this poor habit of procrastinating which is sabotaging your life and mental health.
Take a look at this guide and learn how to beat procrastination:
When you finally overcome procrastination, you will realize the positive impact it has on your mood and motivation levels.
3. Celebrate Small Wins
In the quest to achieve the bigger goals in life, we often forget to celebrate the smaller wins along the way. An achievement is an achievement – be it big or small, it deserves to be acknowledged and celebrated.
Finished a project on time? Reward yourself. Managed to run on the treadmill for a good one hour? Pat yourself on the back. Found time to meditate? Celebrate it.
It is these small achievements that reinstate that we are on the right path and take us one step closer to the bigger goals.
So, get into the habit of recognizing and appreciating small wins. You will be surprised to see how this practice helps you stay motivated.
4. Practice Gratitude
It’s easier to whine about what we don’t have rather than counting our blessings. Isn’t it?
Making gratefulness a part of your life is a very important step to retain high motivational levels. It revitalizes our spirits and renews our enthusiasm for life.
So, how do you practice gratitude? For starters, keep a gratitude journal to jot down what you are grateful for, express your gratitude to people you love and spread positivity wherever you go. If you need some inspiration to be thankful for, here it is:
By doing so, you begin to focus more on what you have rather than what you don’t and that is a great start to stay motivated.
5. Be Optimistic
Life is not always hunky dory. There will be bad days when things aren’t going in your favor, when you feel lost and all you want to do is give up.
At such times, instead of letting negativity take over your life, adopt an optimistic approach to life. Quit overthinking, ask the right questions and focus on finding solutions.
Yes, there will be hurdles along the way but if you hang on to positive affirmations and hopes, the journey will be a lot smoother. So, with every passing day, sow the seeds of positivity and you are sure to build a positive environment around you.
6. Don’t Dwell on the Past
A lot of times, our lack of motivation stems from the habit of dwelling on the past. This gives rise to fear and regrets, preventing us from making progress in the present day.
Dwelling on the past is nothing but a waste of time. Understand that the past is long gone, and you cannot do anything to change that.
What you can do is make your present day worthwhile. Instead of looking back and having regrets, learn from your mistakes, forgive yourself and move on.
So, the next time you find your mind wandering off to the past, be determined to change the way you think and consciously concentrate on living in the present. This guide can help you:
7. Face your Fears
You can never find motivation where there is fear. Identify the fear that is pulling you back and tackle it.
If you don’t face your fear head on, you cannot expect to conquer it and renew your motivation.
Ask yourself: What is stopping you? What are you scared of?
Once you accept your fear, you can work on an action plan and think of solutions to overcome it. This article will give you some effective tips on conquering your fears:
Seek external help if required but don’t choose to turn a blind eye over your fears – it will only aggravate matters.
8. Visualize your Success
You must have heard the famous quote, ‘see it to believe it’. That is exactly what visualization is about.
One of the most effective self-motivation techniques, visualizing the process to your desired outcome helps you move in a positive direction and achieve your goal.
Close your eyes and focus all your energies on the minutest of details that will take you where you want to reach. Doing this exercise everyday inspires you to keep going and not lose hope. The vision of attaining success will drive you to do better while instilling belief and confidence.
9. Find Inspiration
Can’t seem to find inspiration inwards? Don’t panic. There are plenty of external sources to gain inspiration from.
Everyone is wired differently. For instance, a self-help book might work for your friend, but it might do nothing to move you. So, find what inspires you and turn to it when you are in desperate need for motivation.
Finding inspiration externally fills you with hope and sometimes that is all you need.
10. Enjoy Downtime
You are clearly exhausted with all the running you’re doing in life. So much, that you don’t even have time to stop and think what’s causing you so much unhappiness. All you know is that you are lacking motivation and everyday seems to have become a struggle.
Now, that’s certainly not how you should live the rest of your life.
You need to schedule downtime for yourself, relax and give your mind and body some rest. Take a vacation, indulge in hobbies, meet some friends, put your hair down and stop with all the overthinking. It is important to do things that make you happy in order to think clearly and stay motivated.
11. Meditate Regularly
Meditation lets you take control of your mind. It improves focus and concentration while helping you relax.
Whenever you have had a tough day or find your thoughts going places, the best way to calm yourself down is by closing your eyes and meditating. It helps you to remove all the unnecessary frills in life and keeps you on the right track.
Include meditation in your daily schedule and you are sure to see an improvement in your productivity and motivation.
The Bottom Line
Practicing these simple exercises isn’t the tough part, what’s tough is religiously doing them every day.
However, don’t expect to get rid of your lack of motivation overnight. There will still be days when you will be low on energy but by making these conscious efforts to stay motivated, you are sure to see a vast change in your perspective and your response to bad days.
So, start today and be committed to making a positive change in your life.
More Tips About Staying Motivated
- How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up
- What Motivates You And How to Always Stay Motivated
- 9 Types of Motivation That Make It Possible to Reach Your Dreams
- How to Find Motivation When You’re Totally Burnt Out
Featured photo credit: Sonnie Hiles via unsplash.com