Day 67: No Gifts Required

Day 67 of the Nowhere To Be Project marked Mother’s Day. I spent it with one of my children, my husband, my brother-in-law along with his daughter, and my 87 year old mother-in-law. We enjoyed a lovely lunch and hours of conversation focused on days gone by. My mother-in-law has lived an amazing life filled with love, travel, adventure and loss. We love hearing the stories of her life and learn something new about her each time we visit. As we were leaving, she teared up as she thanked us for her best Mother’s Day yet. Her joy was not the result of a gift. It didn’t come from the meal either. It blossomed from the rare time of togetherness that we shared as a family. As a mother myself, I knew exactly what she was feeling. I always tell my kids that I do not need or want presents from them. I just want to be with them. I love nothing more than to see their perfect faces, hear their stories and hug them with the fierceness that only other mothers seem to find normal. I know that I could never possibly get my fill of them and certainly won’t stop trying. Happy Mother’s Day!

Day 4: Humble and Kind

One of my favorite aspects of travel is the ability to learn from other cultures. Today I was enlightened on the Hawaiian principle of Ha’aha’a (pronounced hah-ah-hah-ah). Basically, this cultural tenet encourages people to serve others while avoiding all accolades and self-promotion. I learned about Ha’aha’a at a traditional lu’au. The concept is rooted in the responsibilities of the tribal chief. In ancient Hawaiian culture, the chief held an obligation to serve his people with complete dedication and humility, shunning all praise and avoiding any feelings of pride.

As a mother, wife and former educator, I found this ideal so completely relatable. I nurtured my children, husband and even my students with everything I had. I strived to build them up and tried to help them soar without any vested interest. Their accomplishments have given me such joy that I never felt the need to seek nor acknowledge my own. It has been said by many that we benefit much more from giving than from receiving and I wholeheartedly agree. It can be so incredibly tough to feel that everything you do each day is solely for others and that your needs are completely cast aside. Yet the feelings generated by watching those you love achieve their dreams is far more satisfying than any individual achievement could ever be. Just imagine how different our world would be if everyone practiced a bit of ha’aha’a each day. Why not start today? #alwaysbehumbleandkind