“People of our time are losing the power of celebration. Instead of celebrating we seek to be amused or entertained. Celebration is an active state, an act of expressing reverence or appreciation. To be entertained is a passive state–it is to receive pleasure afforded by an amusing act or a spectacle…. Celebration is a confrontation, giving attention to the transcendent meaning of one’s actions.”
~ Abraham Joshua Heschel
When I was a young girl, a wise maiden aunt – my Great-Aunt Gwendolyn, told me how important it was to do nice things for oneself.
Although in poor health, and often taking meals on a tray at her bedside, this elderly woman still regularly made an effort to enjoy a more formal meal, although she was the only one dining. Once a week the table would be set with the good china, she would dress for dinner, and then she would dine on her own.
‘Why?’ I asked her. ‘Why would you go to so much trouble?’
‘Wouldn’t you do that if a special friend were coming?’ she said. ‘Don’t you make an effort for others?’
‘Of course,’ I said.
‘Well,’ the old lady said, looking down her long aquiline nose and fixing me with her steely gaze, ‘why should you be any less worthy of such treatment?’
Aunt Gwen’s long since passed, but her advice is especially valuable today – Mother’s Day.
Mothers are usually hallmarked for their sacrifice to others; their children, their parents and grandparents, their communities. They often don’t take time for themselves.
Mother’s Day is also a difficult day for the many people who come from fractured or dysfunctional families, who have lost parents or children, or who have never been able to become parents themselves.
While many people will be gathering for a meal with their loved ones today, or being served breakfast in bed by their children, there is also a group of people for whom that can’t be possible.
For those of you who identify with that group, I want you to know that it is entirely possible to celebrate or commemorate Mother’s Day without parents or children being present. You don’t have to be a mother. You don’t even need to be a woman. Mother’s Day can become a gift you give yourself.
Today is a day where you can acknowledge your mothers, grandmothers and the women of your line.
Today is a day where you can acknowledge those people who have played a mothering role in your life – in mine that includes my husband, my dog Nurse Bert, and various friends and neighbours who have done everything from soup-making and care-taking me when I am ill, to tough-love talks and gentle guidance.
Finally, today is a day where you can acknowledge your own mothering journey – for the role you play in mothering others. For the role you play in mothering yourself.
Me? Right now I’m alone in the city with Harry the Cafe Dog. For my own personal Mother’s Day celebration I have set the table with my favourite rose-patterned china, a candle and some fresh flowers.
I’ve designed myself a simple and delicious lunch menu: Warm Salad of Baby Vegetables with Crispy Bacon, Pistachios and Feta Cheese, followed by Baked Persimmon with Honey Cream and gluten-free Almond Bread . (Of course there shall be extra bacon for Harry.) To finish I’ll enjoy a pot of good tea, and a square or two of rich dark chocolate while I curl up on the couch with a good book.
I know Aunt Gwen will approve, and I’m sure she’ll be smiling down upon me, or sitting at one of the empty chairs at my table.
Wherever you are today, and whatever you’re doing, I’m sending you love and warm wishes. Be kind to yourself today, and always. Nicole <3 xx
19 thoughts on “Celebrating Yourself On Mother’s Day”
Thank you for the many ways you celebrate the soul, the heart–this Essence that you see in everything around you. This appreciation for the feast of life is the banquet I love to pull a chair up to when I sit at your table. Hugs for the many ways you mother yourself. The love from these ripple over to me, to us, with infinite tenderness and joy. Happy Mama’s Day all week. :o)
Your writing is beautiful! You know how to touch people’s hearts. Thanks Nicole
sweet…and lovely words of how some cope with Mothers day…I often think of those who have different situations…on this day…Nice of you to relate this message…
Thanks for a lovely post. Hope your day was peaceful yet happy doing things you like to do. Big hugs xxxx
My own Mother passed away just before Christmas , and my dear mum in law 6 weeks after her.My own Mum was difficult to live with, opinionated and I suspect was not really cherished by her own Mum.She was always angry about her sibling, her much older half sister, and her younger brother the golden boy.On the plus side, she always made sure we where dressed , fed and cared for.She would have preferred me to be a boy, but you get what you get.I really don’t like Mothers day ( do have 4 splendid adult children and very blessed)Not only do I feel badly about my relationship or lack of with my Mother, its kind of ground in by all this commercial faux celebration.So very glad to see you post a celebration of self! I shall go out into the garden and celebrate Our Mother Earth.
Happy Mother’s Day to you Nicole ….I love the post . It is not Mother’s Day here in the UK but we are spending a weekend with our son . It has almost been twelve months since we lived apart and we get on so much better now that we have own lives . I am so glad we still have a place in our hearts for each other .
Happy Mother’s Day Nicole! Blessings and love xx
A special hello for mothers day to all the mothers – but just as importantly I would like to thank all those in my life, who by their kindness and generosity that have chosen to nurture me when I have not even been their biological daughter, – that doctor, that teacher, that friend. Some of these people do not have children for various reasons – but they have shared with me their most precious gift – their love. The richness they have bestowed upon me, has inspired me to try to do the same for others – and yes Nicole – I would include you amongst these special people.
Happy Mother’s Day
Happy Mothering Day, Nicole.
Your celebration sounds excellent.
You deserve every morsel.
I bought myself a crown of roses at the Farmers market today. I hesitated before doing so, thinking it superfluous, then shook that thought away and said “I deserve this!” My 2 year-old son fell asleep in the car shortly afterwards and we just happened to be parked outside of a cafe across the street from the market. There was a table with a single chair empty, not 15 feet from our car. I purchased a cold beer and sat at that table, people watched, and made light conversation with a young women. At times I could smell the scent of roses wafting from my head. It was a nice treat.
Lovely post Nicole…BIG sisterly motherly hugs to YOU too…XO
Hugs right back, sweet Satisha. What a love-filled day I am having xoxo
Love to you Mother Earthling….xxx
And to you, lovely mumma Sal xoxo
Happy Mother’s Day Nicole. A beautiful post.
Happy Mother’s Day to you too, Sara. Thinking of you today with your ancestors and your mountains and rivers to bless you <3 xoxo
Have a delicious meal ,feel better,and please post how to make a baked persimmon. Thank you for the nice suggestions on how to treat yourself. I have been lax lately as I am caregiving for my dying husband. I have not done for myself for many months and do believe that I will make a special wonderful space for me and for my love tomorrow . Love and best wishes for you Nicole Alpoha
Patty, I promise to post that persimmon recipe. It makes me so glad of heart to know that you will take a little time for yourself, in the midst of all this caregiving, to give some care and nurture to yourself too. May your day with your love be a magical one – the kind that makes for the a little sparkle in your heart in the days to come when you think back on that time. All my love, Nicole xoxo