Saturday 10 May 2008

Message from your Mother

Note to new readers: Message from your Mother is a series of letters written by Lilly to her daughter which are based sometimes 'too closely' on their most recent phone calls. The letters are often written in the kind of irrational way that seems to come naturally to most mothers when it comes to the lives of their children. Whether the letters are funny or serious, you will always find a 'message'.


I was thinking about what you said about certain people who seem to unwittingly take advantage of others without blinking an eye. You are so right. It's indeed an artform for some but they can only get away with it if we let them. Listen to your gut instincts about people always (mothers excluded as we have rights under the Geneva Convention Section 1A part 2c). Your instincts are never wrong. Never second guess anything (except when it comes to choosing colours, blue isn't quite as green as you think it is).

You could be an easy target if you are not careful. In fact, your sister is exactly the same. (Note to reader: I have bi racial children, he he, one is Australian and one is Scottish - they come with different accents. I will do a post on that one day). You have always had this beautiful, caring and open spirit (and no, you were not adopted). I am not sure where it came from but you just came into the world with resilience and the ability to bounce through life. I am thinking it had something to do with your rocky entrance into the world.

You have always had such great empathy for people particularly those you felt were hardly done by, or unable to help themselves. Do you remember when you were 8 and the teacher said you were either going to be lawyer or a union official as you were always sticking up for other children in the class. Kind of interesting given your career choice, right?

And yes, you are incredibly generous and open and it sometimes worries me. But it's just you. It's part of who you are. You could write a book already about all your adventures. You have this pulling power where people just want to tell you their life stories within a few minutes of meeting you. Funny that. You really care; about everyone.

Sometimes, it results in extraordinary things. Remember the runaway you had stay with us? It was just a bit of a shame that her parents didn't quite know where she was as I found out later. Or, what about that young guy from Jordan you somehow got talking to on the bus and who you invited to live with us because he was homeless. I admit I had some issues over this, mainly because within five minutes of walking through the front door, he was calling me 'Mum'. But we checked his story out and he really did need a lot of help too. We took the chance despite the fallout. There are many such stories like this and that was all before you were 16.

But I guess whether we like it or not people will take advantage of others. You included. Often it will happen when you least see it coming. And it's too late. I guess I have had to learn the hard way about the need to draw lines. It's kind of tough to realise that evil exists in the shape of regular people. Not everyone views life the way we do. Not everyone has the same values or was born with morality or empathy chips. Some people just do not care. Period.

The more secure you are with your boundaries, the less power other people will have to affect you. Drawing lines around us enables us to resist pushy people, rude people, aggressive people, people who would take advantage of us and people who would use us unwisely and unwell (you know the kind I mean).

OK, thats enough of my motherspeak, I think you should join me on the road to healthy hedonism. People do not believe me when I tell them I am trying to be the perfect Hedonist. I am now practicing everyday. Pleasure is good. Eden was fun. Excess may be bad but self deprivation is just stupid. Despite the rantings of religious extremists, health fanatics and jaded psychologists, it's ok to have some fun. With boundaries and balance that is.

I have a few affirmations for you when you get the urge to go to they gym twice in the one day or work a 10 hour day. Just repeat after me -

I am worth all the good things that life has to offer (but not at anyone else's expense)
My Life is far bigger than my job
Big or small, my bank account does not define me
I have no interest in suffering or self denial
My energy is valuable and not to be wasted
I am my own Santa Claus
Life is short, so I must dress well
If I feel it then it must be right
Reality is highly overrated
Sobriety is always an option

On second thoughts sobriety is a good thing during the week.

Lots of Love

Your Mother

PS Readers - just because its Mother's Day tomorrow, here is a picture of the recipient of my Message from your Mother letters and me (and a relative in the background - this was a couple of years ago so we need a new mother daughter photo before we get too much older! Somehow her hair is way darker and mine is way blonder now - we are total opposites in many ways and live in different parts of the country but she is aways my inspiration and definitely my best friend!).


  1. hi,nice blog.....................congratulatios

  2. You both look beautiful. It sounds like your daughter has a heart of gold. My daughter is like your daughter. I sometimes worry about her, though, because she's very trusting of people who often take advantage of her kindness and goodness. By the way, I think you gave your daughter some very sensible advice. Perhaps I should give the same advice.

  3. Duarte - thanks for stopping by - come back any time.

    Tashabud - I learnt through a very bad experience how people who sound nice and look nice and who are highly regarded in society can actually be the total opposite behind closed doors. We teach our children stranger danger and they look out for the 'bad guys'. But the truth is, most of the evil people who will take advantage of the 'good hearts' in this world are in sheep's clothing. Your daughter sounds a gorgeous being, its tough to stand by sometimes. We each learn the lessons that we are meant to in this life, as hard as it is. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Lilly, it sounds like you had lots of "adventures" raising that one! And I bet they are all wonderful memories now, as these things tend to transcend from challenges to good memories the older we get. It is so good that you gave her the freedom she needed to find herself as she was growing up. So many parents would have forbidden her from inviting people into their home, perhaps with good reason, but it sounds like her upbringing allowed her to develop into a very caring and compassionate soul. And goodness knows there are far too few of those types today. Good on you, if I may borrow one of your cool Aussie expressions.

    And great picture of you both, you both look so happy. I hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day tomorrow (today, already for you)and do something special for yourself. Take care.

  5. Matt - It's still Saturday afternoon here. What do you mean getting older...he he. I told you the 40s are the new 30s. I think my daughter and I both had the adventures at the same time somehow. She grew up and matured and it took me a bit longer to do the same. I have to say I think you are born a certain type of person somehow. Life is a learning journey full of ups and downs and I guess when we accept that, our life becomes a little happier as a result. We have to search out and surround ourselves with good, decent people and quickly identify and stay away from the other kind if you can. That picture was a happy time for us - my parents wedding anniversary. Thanks for dropping by, I always appreciate your comments. You have also given me an idea - a post on Aussie expressions - you don't even notice the funny things we say until you are overseas and people look at you strangely. Fair dinkum!

  6. Good grief, you're right. I guess I am getting a little sleep-deprived. It's almost two a.m. here now, so I'll blame my Mother's Day mistake on that. lol My mother got her flowers and card today (she lives in California) so I don't know what's going on anymore. I'm going to bed. Oh, and I think it would be a great idea for you to do that post on Aussie expressions. I am still mourning my hero, Steve Irwin. I never missed an episode and I loved the expressions he used. He was truly loved worldwide.

    G'Nite, ha-ha


Thanks for your comments.