J: Our mom was a career mom. She made it her job to be the best mom she knew how to be. She shopped wisely, cooked sensibly, maintained a clean house and was ALWAYS, ALWAYS teaching us kids how to live. She truly taught by example. She was abstemious in all of her habits- we never saw her yell, over eat or drink too much. We could set a clock by where she would be on any given day. Monday was wash day, Tuesday ironing day. Monday was meatloaf, Tuesday chicken. She ingrained in us the importance of establishing good, healthy habits as a way of grounding ourselves. These habits, for her, were her touchstone. When she was anxious, or angry, she would drag out the iron and release all of her tension on our dad's hankies.
Even now, as AD takes its toll, our mom's habits sustain her. As E mentioned yesterday, she loves to fidget with things. But her fidgeting is always regarding something that she thinks needs to be accomplished to keep the home running as it should. Whether folding that sweatshirt and putting it away (in the oven) or weeding all the flowers (by pulling all the blooms off), she is getting work done. That's what a mom should do.
I think of her often, as I lace up my running shoes or throw on my bathing suit each day. My healthy habit of daily exercise is definitely one I learned from her. And when I come home from exercise, my stress relieved and my outlook on the day improved, I am so grateful that I had a career mom who was always teaching.