As I was growing up my parents, teachers and peers did their best to mold me and make me into the model citizen I am today. Someone who would benefit or add positively in some way to the human race without a hint of sarcasm. The goal was not to be a menace to society or to act like a total moron. I appreciate their efforts more than you know. But during the teaching of these life lessons I was nothing but annoyed.
Lesson #1~ Sit Up Straight
How many times did I hear, “Quit slouching”, “Stand up straight”, or “Sit up straight”? Way too many I’ll tell you that. I must have had some really poor posture. I remember in 1st grade having to sit on the floor “Indian style” for what seemed an eternity for story time. My teacher, Mrs. Kleeber took longer to tell the stupid story because she would have to continue to remind me of my hunchback.
Mrs. Kleeber: And Johnny Appleseed roamed across the country……Lori, please sit up straight….and Johnny Appleseed roamed across the country with his bag of apple seeds….Lori, quit slouching…..
Me: thinking……easy for you to say as you sit in a chair with a back
Mrs. Kleeber: he roamed across the country with his bag of apple seeds planting them as he roamed….Lori, sit up….Thank you Johnny Appleseed for sitting up straight, I mean… thank you Johnny Appleseed for planting all those apple trees.
Imagine the looks I received from fellow classmates. It was like..Dang girl just sit up straight already!
Half way through the 1st grade Mrs. Kleeber awarded me with a good posture certificate. (For sitting through an entire story time straight up!) Thanks to her incessant, “Quit slouching” I am not a hunchback today, dragging my arms on the ground like an ape.
Lesson #2 ~Don’t Dilly Dally
Don’t dilly dally is aka “Hurry Up!” I guess I might have a bit of a procrastination element in my genes. I blame my mother who says she works better under pressure. I remember her stating that fact many times. Why not put off what can be done today until…. next week? The problem I have found with this line of motivation is:
Next week comes way too soon and then all I hear is “Hurry Up!” And I am not as confident as my mom that I work better under pressure. So, I have learned that it is best not to dilly dally, get the job done, then chill.
Except when it comes to walking places with my husband. For some reason Alan runs where ever he goes. Ok, not actually runs but he power walks. It doesn’t matter if it’s to get in line to buy tickets to an almost sold out event or just getting from the car into the grocery store. The man runs. I do not. And it frustrates him that I do not hurry up or pick up my pace.
I guess I still need to work on dilly dallying.
Lesson #3 ~ If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all!
I learned this lesson very young. I have 3 siblings and we used to tattle and pick on each other constantly. Then my dear mother began to preach this sentiment into our young ears….”If what you’re saying isn’t nice,
shut up be quiet.” It was hard having to think about what you were going to say and if it was nice or not. What constitutes nice anyways? Isn’t, “Those are my toys I got as a nice Christmas present, please get your hands off them”, acceptable?
As an adult I really appreciate my mom instilling this lesson into my everyday life. I do try very hard to think and say positive things about people. There is enough negativity floating around out there without me adding my two cents. Sadly I am not perfect and if I see an idiot acting idiotic, well…what constitutes nice anyways?
Lesson #4 ~Be a good listener, get the bullets out of your ears!
This is another lesson that I remember being instructed upon at a very early age. When my mother would ask me if I heard what she said and my reply was, “No”, then she would state, “Get the bullets out of your ears!”
Who puts bullets in their ears anyways? Hey… I don’t want to hear that important thing you have to tell me so I am going to put these bullets in my ears. I wonder where that saying came from, the war? I tried to search it out and it doesn’t even come up on Google. Maybe my mom made up the saying….she’s clever like that.
Thank you mom for helping me to be a good listener and not walking around with 12 gauge shotgun shells sticking out of my ears.
Lesson #5 ~Clean your room
And yet another lesson if learned early makes life so much easier, keeping your messes cleaned up. I heard, “Go clean your room”, more than I heard “Sit up straight.” And I am a better person for heeding those marching orders. Keeping your room clean teaches responsibility and allows for order in chaos.
It was not fun learning this lesson. If my room was a mess it was inevitable I would lose some important item, then I would make the mistake of asking, “Hey mom have you seen my important thing I can’t find?” And she would quickly reply, “It’s probably in that mess of a room, go clean it up and I’m sure you’ll find that important lost thing.”
Many times I tried to cheat. Hiding stuff under the bed, cramming the closet so full you could barely close the doors. But I always got caught and paid the consequences. In the end I learned to be a little OCD about a clean house. Yes, OCD can be taught!
So thanks to the collaborative efforts of my parents, teachers and peers I am not a hunchbacked, knuckle dragging ape, crawling around at a snail’s pace with bullets sticking out of my ears, spouting mean hateful things while looking for my lost car keys.