Having fun, changing my focus

A good sport; My 84 year old mother, trying on the high heels

I was visiting my mother the other day and she needed to go to the mall to return a lawn chair. She didn’t seem to have the slip but assured me,  “It is easy to do returns at Target. They are very nice.” My mother returns a lot of stuff. She gets bored, shops, and then decides later that she doesn’t really want the chair, coat, jacket, shoes…or any number of other things that caught her eye as she wandered the mall, so she returns them. I joked with her that the major department stores are going to start putting her picture up at their cash registers with a warning, “If this woman comes through the line, ask her if she really wants the items in her cart. If she hesitates, then encourage her to put them back.” She laughed at this as we made our way, with the lawn chair, to Target’s customer service.

A while back, I would have given my mother a lecture about her “personal return policy”; told her how wrong I thought it was to shop like this, how much extra work she was making for the stores, asked her  to”examine” her life. It wouldn’t have changed her shopping habits, but it would have made our trips, to return her purchases, grim.

After we returned the chair, we stopped by T.J Maxx’s shoe dept. I dared her to try on this pair of very tall, snake skin? shoes. She took me up on it! I tried to get a better photo but she was laughing and saying, “Hurry ….my calves are cramping up!” You wouldn’t believe the number of women who came by and told her how good these shoes looked on her (which made her laugh all the more). She always replied, “My daughter is going to put me up on her, what do you call it?…her blog!”

We can always choose to perceive things differently. You can focus on what’s wrong in your life, or you can focus on what’s right“. Marianne Williamson

For this weekend, how about taking one thing in your life that feels “wrong” and making it your intention to find the good in it. …see how it changes when your focus is different.

a better look at the shoes!

39 thoughts on “Having fun, changing my focus”

  1. Oh, Mary, what a story! I am so glad you and your mom “went out to play”. 🙂 What fun memories you created… bet your mom will be talking about those shoes for a long time.

    Have a joyful weekend, everyone…

    1. Thank you Kelly (and to make it even better, she didn’t buy them so we won’t be returning them on our next trip!)

  2. Good Morning Mary, another great post! i could have written it. My 91 year old mother has returned more items than i can count! and we also joke a lot about it but selfishly it was just one more thing i had to add to my “to do with mom” list. i’m thinking that one day i may just miss those return trips!

    Thank you again for using my artwork to emphasize your posts. I am grateful that you use them in the spirit for which they were created…to inspire.

    Have a wonderful Easter with your family!

    1. Thank you Carolyn….It is a pleasure to put your artwork up …it is inspiring and beautiful to behold

  3. Mary your mom looks great in those shoes!! I love them…Thank you for remoinding me to have fun with my own mom. Have a blessed and joyous Easter!

  4. Sexy Mama! She looks great in those shoes! She should have bought them, if only to sit on your new gorgeous couch and look good.

    Great post, Mary. Puts me in the right frame of mind to enjoy my day with my 94 year old mom. She’s hot, too!

    Have a smile of a weekend, everyone!

    1. I am going to read all these comments to my mother Suzanne…she will be smiling all weekend (I won’t read her the post though!)

  5. I loved your blog today Mary…and the photos of your adorable Mom…who looks great in jeans by the way…and sure doesnt look her age! The shoes were a riot and such a fun thing for both of you to do. Enjoying the fun side of life that day and it sounds like the people in the store were enjoying it too

  6. Your Mom is way cool! Look how good she looks in her jeans…right length and cut… She’s 80-what you say? No way!!! :o)

  7. I love it! Your mom is awesome to try those shoes on. I have to agree they actually look very stylish on her. She could’ve tipped over!

  8. “In her Easter Bonnet, with all the frills upon it…”! I was certain you were going to say your Mom bought the shoes for Easter! How fun! I don’t think I would be able to walk in them! I’d have to ‘hold on’ too! Your Mom looks terrific! Indeed a good sport! Happy Easter and Passover to everyone!

  9. Okay…so as much as high heel shoes (sky-high is more like it) are so popular and SO uncomfortable, those pumps (hah! bet they don’t call them that any more) look fantastic on your mom’s sexy long legs in jeans. What a wonderful adventure for you and your mom. And thanks for sharing the reminder that it’s how we look at things…our attitudes about them…. that counts. Happy Easter…here’s to wonderful, new beginnings.

  10. Fun post. Your Mom looks great. I thought you were going to do a switch, and that the bottom picture with the sexy feet & shoes was YOU. But both pix are of your Mom; 84! She had to live that long for you to learn how to have Fun with her!! I don’t mean that as an insult, just a thought regarding what you said about how you used to handle shopping days with your mother.

    And for my weekend, I am not sure if my daughter-in-law is coming afterall. She’s a college level Poetry Professor. We spoke the other day and she said that she only has a week off, that staying in Brooklyn, giving herself the time for herself and her writing might be what is better for her right now. We left it open-ended. After reading your post this morning, Mary, I’ve decided to look for what’s right about this situation this weekend. Happy Easter, Happy Spring.

  11. Mary, what a wonderful ‘exchange’ of words and conversation. Thank you for sharing your mother, your thoughts and the picture of her feet in those glamorous shoes. She must have brightened everyone’s day by being so game as to take your dare. And again, your comment about handling situations with people differently is timely for me as I try to sort out a better approach to a prickly family member. A sense of humour, being less righteous…I was raised to be a ‘good little girl’…..”Smile”, I was told, when walking with my mother. I looked to her eventually for my every action for affirmation because I had learned by then that she would be monitoring everything I said and did. I didn’t know how to be me for many, many years and gradually as I grew up, had a somewhat acrimonious though not rebellious relationship with her. I, too, found a sense of humour worked to keep our relationship going in later life. It’s finding the right words at the right time that is most important in our lives and relationships.

    Enjoy this long week-end ahead.
    SandyP in Canada

    1. ” I, too, found a sense of humour worked to keep our relationship going in later life.”

      Sandy P., your words above are literally vibrating with truth for so many of us. Humor can be a huge key in dealing with ‘Mom’ relationships that may be a bit rocky. One gets past the rebellion part and finds that joking around the situation can lighten the load quite a bit. Add to this an attempt to view things more positively and it can all shake down to a more amiable atmosphere.

      Thanks for the reminder!

  12. My mother used to “double dip” — shopping trip + return trip — a lot. I finally figured out that it was, in large part, coming from the need for company. Hence the endless errands, trips to the drugstore, the need to find “just the right shade” of blue fabric, etc. Once I realized I was simply satisfying her need to know that I would come if she called (or better yet, even if she didn’t call), the frustration of the shopping itself (which I do not enjoy in the least) faded away. It became irrelevant to the true mission.

  13. Hi Mary,
    I just wanted to say how encouraged I am by your words EVERY day! I started reading you a year ago when I was re-reading one of Jon Katz’s entries and saw that he posted your site. Your words soothe me, whether it be on family, children, Moms, money or any other topic. I find myself re-reading you and the wonderful quotes over and over because they put such a different spin on the negative. I am a teacher and as of late have been bombarded with so much negativity (including others teachers and I must admit myself at times) and my goal for the past few months has been to put a different spin on my work. I still am lucky enough after 29 years of teaching to walk into my classroom and smile, love where I am and know that teaching has never been a job. I really do love most all aspects of the teaching world. I’m trying to reframe my thinking in the face of politicians, bosses and even other teachers and it has been so hard. The word “clarity” keeps coming up in many of my conversations with other teachers and in my life. I look forward to reading you and want to thank you for your wonderful, though-provoking words –

  14. Oh, I’ve so enjoyed your posts this week Mary! And the comments from this wonderful family of friends is a gift in itself. I find that sometimes, I just can’t think of anything to add, as my thoughts and feelings are mirrored so often in what is already shared here. Just know that I treasure each of you and especially you Mary for bringing us together. A blessed Passover and Easter weekend to all. Mary, your Mom looks pretty snazzy in those shoes! Here’s to having fun!

  15. Last month I made one of my trips up to WA state to spend 4 days with my ‘sorta’ Gramma–no blood but she’s known me since I was 6 months old. She’s 97, mostly deaf, and still lives alone! Not a whole lot of family near her & we fall into the same lovely pattern as soon as she sees me, with lots of precious memories revisited & unconditional love. She dearly loved my parents (gone by the time I was 13) as she and my mom raised kids & she’s the source of memories noone else on the planet shares. That doesn’t mean she can’t exhaust me in an afternoon!

    We went to a mega Walmart and she got in one of the scooters, zipping ahead of me around this crowded aisle and that. When we get to something she wants, here I am down on my knees hollaring up to her such as “The SANTIAM white beans?!” Maybe ya had to be there, but while it gave me the solid giggles, I know I’ll miss helping her tremendously when that opportunity passes. Enjoy your families, group!!

  16. I like them……I have always loved heels but never wear them because I am 5’10” in stocking feet and I would be extremely uncomfortable being any taller.

  17. Had a fun morning coloring eggs with my nine year old grandson Jacob – so checking in late. I loved reading all the comments and seeing the names of so many that feel like old friends already, – the subject of Moms surely has evoked a clucking from the flock!! We seem to be a hale and hearty bunch too, with quite a few mothers in their 80’s and 90’s. Didn’t Art Linkletter always say “Laughter is the Best Medicine?” Having fun in the shoe aisle was a gift to yourselves and everyone around you Mary. I think your Mom is in for an Easter Surprise with all the wonderful comments from her “Mary’s Girls!” A blessed weekend to all.

  18. Kathi Williams, I didn’t get to read your post from yesterday until today. I am glad you shared with us your concerns and fears. I think you will find wonderful support here as you did already yesterday in the loving responses that were offered. Suzanne and Kathye, you really touched me with what you shared personally with Kathi – they are words of wisdom because you have lived them and worked hard to own them. I am inspired by this wonderful network of friends.

  19. Thanks for that reminder to change the focus…It is so easy to do once we think of it! And those shoes certainly are fun! Your mom really does look great.

  20. Mary’s Mom: You ROCK!!
    Looks like she kicked off her ‘sensible’ sandals (definitely my kinda shoes) to try on those sexy snake skins. Where’s a whistlin’ construction worker when you need him??! I’m also glad she was holding tight to the shoe shelf; I’d have been on my tush if I dared to stand!
    Happy P-Easter (Passover & Easter) to one and all.

  21. Happy Easter! To Kathi Williams, I laughed out loud cause I can picture you yelling about the beans to your hard of hearing mother!
    Great story about your Mom Mary.You’re making wonderful memories with her. She’s lucky to have such a pistol for a daughter! I really loved her cool hippie sandals.She seems to be a young eighty-four.
    I don’t have many pleasant Mom memories (she’s been gone for six yrs. now.) But you awakened a pleasant one in me. When we both lived in the same town she would ask me to go clothes shopping with her to help her choose outfits and be her “go to” girl taking back to the racks and bringing her new things to try on,so she could just stay in the fitting room. This was a rare and close time for us. Sometimes it’s hard to retrieve the sweet memories from the blur and bitterness of the past. Thanks for this Mary. I’m welling up with tears.
    Have a lovely Spring weekend, Cindy

  22. Reading this has made me remember the Sunday evening visits to my Mum. My sister and I used to visit at the same time – to share the visit and to see each other too. My Mum loved her holidays and just before each holiday, just as we were leaving she would say”Hey girls come and help me choose what to take with me”. Our husbands would sit back down and my sister and I would make cross faces as we followed Mum upstairs for a fashion show. She would take out each piece that she wanted to take and tell us when she planned to wear it ……………. Oh how I wish for another opportunity to share her holiday wardrobe. Thank you for making me remember those times with a smile and a tear.

  23. Good Morning Mary,
    You are such an inspiration to me & my “ray of sunshine” every day.
    Have a wonderful Easter week end.
    Keep up your great posts & happy attitude. 🙂
    Love from Denise in Greene, NY

  24. What fun…gotta love those shoes…wonder what would happen
    if she clicked them three times?… thank you for sharing
    these precious mother/daughter moments…enjoy…

  25. Just discovered your blog. Your Mom looks fantastic in those shoes! My Mom has been gone for 10+ years and I miss her every day especially on holidays. So wonderful to read of people appreciating mothers, grandmothers, and mother figures. I may have to try a pair of tall, snake skin shoes. LOL

  26. Love the shoes Mary ~ your Mom is a good sport! Next time you speak with her, please give her my best…love, Marian

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