Tag Archives: Mother’s Day

In Honor of Mother’s Day, One of My Happiest Memories of My Mother.

Today is Mother’s Day in the United States and Canada.

Some people think it’s ridiculous to celebrate holidays like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day – that these are just commercial holidays forced on us by clever marketers. But I think it’s nice to be prompted to think lovingly about your mother and your father, and the mothers and fathers in your life.

The other day, I was contemplating (as I often do) an observation made by my spiritual master, St. Therese of Lisieux, in her extraordinary memoir, The Story of a Soul.

While writing about being blamed for things and scolded for little transgressions in her convent, she noted, “I noticed this: when one performs her duty, never excusing herself, no one knows it; on the contrary, imperfections appear immediately.”

So true, right? You do something perfectly and reliably, nobody notices. You make a mistake, everyone complains.

This is particularly true of parenthood, which involves a myriad of tasks, small but pesky and relentless, that need to be done without fail. “I packed lunch for four years,” a friend told me, “and all I hear about – to this day – is that time in first grade when I forgot to put in my son’s dessert.”

It’s true that parents don’t get a gold star for everything they do right, but often, just hear about it when they mess up. But it’s also true that, as my mother once told me, “The things that go wrong often make the best memories.” Here’s an example.

Of the countless times in my childhood when my mother drove carpool, or picked me up to go to an orthodontist’s appointment, or wherever, I have only the haziest recollections. All I remember is the time when she was very late picking me up. But this is an important memory.

It was a very snowy day when I was in grade school — fourth grade, I think — and my mother was late. She’s completely reliable, so I was anxious about the fact that she wasn’t there, and I was embarrassed about being left over when all the other kids had gone home, and I was worried about what would happen if she didn’t show up. She didn’t come, and she didn’t come, and finally I was sent to wait in the library, in the main building of the school, until someone came to get me.

It got later and later. I could feel the building emptying out. Still no sign of my mother. The snow was getting heavier. I was getting more and more anxious.

Finally, I saw my mother coming up the steps to the library, and I had to fight back the urge to burst into tears from sheer relief. I was so happy to see her! She was staggering under the weight of my sister, who was probably four or five years old, both of them covered with snow, and she was slipping around on the unshoveled walkway as she battled her way to the door.

And I thought to myself, Nothing can ever stop my mother from coming for me.

I remember that her car had become stuck on a patch of ice, but I have no recollection of what happened next. Did my father come to get us, did the school receptionist give us a ride? I’ve never asked my mother about that afternoon, so perhaps my memory isn’t even accurate. But that’s how I remember it.

And that’s how I think about my mother.

Need an Idea for a Gift for a Mother in Your Life?

Next Sunday, May 14, is Mother’s Day in the United States and Canada.

If you’re looking for a thoughtful gift for a mother in your life, may I self-promotingly suggest one of my (bestselling) books about happiness?

The Happiness Project was a #1 New York Times bestseller, was on the bestseller list for two years, and has been translated into more than thirty languages. In the book, I describe the year I spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, the current scientific studies, and the lessons from popular culture about how to be happier. I examined areas like energy, work, play, mindfulness, money, attitude, and eternity.

If you’d like to read an excerpt, to see if you think the book would be a good gift, read here.

Happier at Home was also a New York Times bestseller. I did a second, deeper happiness project — this time focused on being happier at home. Because if I’m not happy at home, it’s hard to be happy.

So, starting in September (the new January), I dedicated a school year — from September through May — to concentrate on the factors that matter for home, such as possessions, marriage, time, parenthood, body, neighborhood.

If you’d like to read an excerpt, read here.

I love all my books equally, but my sister Elizabeth says that Happier at Home is her favorite of all my books.

Or perhaps a mother in your life is interested in changing her habits? Nothing is a bigger source of happiness than good habits! If so, I suggest my latest book, Better Than Before.

If you’d like to read an excerpt, read here.

Or for something completely different, for a mother who likes to color, there’s my coloring book: The Happiness Project Mini Posters: A Coloring Book with 20 Hand-lettered Quotes to Pull Out and Frame.

You could also buy the coloring book in advance and ask your kids to color in a quotation appropriate to the occasion — such as “The days are long, but the years are short” — to give to their mother as their gift. Kids love to give handmade gifts, and mothers sure love to receive them.

I know some people think that days like “Mother’s Day” and “Father’s Day” are artificial and forced, but for myself, I find it helpful to have reminders to think about the important people in my life.

How about you? Do you embrace these holidays — or resist them?

Need a Good Gift for Mother’s Day? Guess What I’ll Suggest.

Next Sunday, May 10, is Mother’s Day in the United States and Canada.

If you’re looking for a thoughtful gift for a mother in your life, may I suggest my new (bestselling) book, Better Than Before?

I’ve heard from a lot of people who are giving the book as a gift. I offer free, signed bookplates, to make books more special, but because I’m traveling on my book tour, I’m not sure I could get those back to you in time for Mother’s Day. But I’ll try, or if you’re willing to wait a few extra days, you can request bookplates here, and I’ll get them to you as quickly as possible. (U.S. and Canada only, sorry–mailing costs.)

If you’d like to read an excerpt, to see if you think the book would be a good gift, read here.

If you’re considering giving the audio-book, listen to a clip here.

I love all my books equally, but a surprising number of people have told me that of all my books, Better Than Before is their favorite.

I know some people think that days like “Mother’s Day” are artificial and forced, but for myself, I find it helpful to have reminders to think about the important people in my life.

Do You Want a Personalized, Signed, Free Bookplate for a Mother’s Day Gift?

I know that many people give Happier at Home and The Happiness Project as Mother’s Day gifts. A trend that I very much appreciate.

If you’d like to make your gift more special and personalized, sign up here, and I’ll send you a bookplate that’s personalized for the recipient and signed by me. Think how happy you’ll be to cross some gift-giving tasks off your list! Feel free to ask for as many as you like, but U.S. and Canada only — so sorry about that.

I can be a little slow, so to make sure that neither of us has to worry about whether you’ll receive the bookplates by Mother’s Day on May 11, request as soon as possible.

If you’re not able to envision what I’m talking about, look here.

If you’re wondering whether Happier at Home would make a good gift for the mother(s) in your life, I will self-promotingly say that it was a New York Times bestseller, and you can…

— read a sample chapter on the subject of “time”

— watch the one-minute book trailer, “Ten ways to be happier at home” (guess which suggestion proved controversial?)

— listen to a sample of the audiobook

— request the one-page book club discussion guide

— read the Behind-the-Scenes extra (I had a great time writing this)

If you’re wondering if The Happiness Project would make a good gift, I can’t resist mentioning: #1 New York Times bestseller, and a bestseller for more than two years. That’s right, TWO.

—  order your copy

check out the gallery of foreign covers; so interesting to see what different countries put on the cover

watch the one-minute book video

listen to a sample of the audiobook

HAHbookplateHere’s what a bookplate looks like, if you’re not sure.

Obviously, I’m happy to sign and personalize a bookplate for you–it doesn’t have to be a gift! Request as many as you want — within reason. Although I’m flattered when people request 100, I can’t send that many. Again, I’m very sorry that because of mailing issues, this is limited to U.S. and Canada.

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