How I Learned To Stop Whining And Love My Mom

How I Learned To Stop Whining And Love My Mom

Or: that time a cartoon made me mature




I could hear her, and I had been dreading this day for weeks. It was December 1st, it was 9 p.m., and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" was just starting.

"Please God", I silently prayed from my bed in the back of the house, "if You're listening, please let her just give up. Let her change the channel and just forget the whole thing."


Well played, mom.

As a child, there was nothing I enjoyed more than watching Christmas movies with my mom. Then those inevitable teenage years hit and she suddenly became the last person I wanted to spend time with. After all, cartoons were for children, and I was a man. I would do anything I could to get out of that once-adored, now-despised tradition, but nothing ever seemed to do the trick.

I shuffled into the living room, determined not to enjoy myself. Being the mature, rational teenager I was, I gave my mom the evil eye, sat down, and started tweeting about "how much i h8 spending time with my mom" or whatever it was I was tweeting back in high school.

"Boy, don't you give me that look. This is your last year at home and you're watching this movie with me."

Always the rebel, I rolled my eyes and did my best to look at anything but the screen. I even tried sneaking back to my room, and I was halfway down the hall when my mom noticed and threatened to take away my car keys. I had no choice. I was watching this movie.

So I sat down, once again determined to make the worst of this half hour.

Then it happened. My mom started making her usual colorful commentary about the show. I turned and looked at her, wondering when my mom, the same woman I had been avoiding for the last few years, developed a sense of humor. She gave me a big grin then turned back to the TV to snort and mention how Cindy Lou Who's "ass should've been in bed instead of wandering around the house at midnight."

I actually started laughing.

Then it clicked, a combination of the finality of it all, of my life at home with my parents and the epiphany that this wasn't about cartoons or Christmas. It was about making memories with somebody who won't be around forever. Looking back, it's easy to laugh about how immature I was and how melodramatic kids are, but that honestly was a turning point for me. After those 30 minutes had flown by, I didn't even try to protest when Frosty the Snowman had started. I was laughing too hard to try to make a break for it, anyway.

I guess you could say my heart grew three sizes that day.

Now I'm in college, and while my family and I still watch those Christmas classics, it will never be the same as those days when I was living at home. And though I sometimes regret that I came to this realization later than I could and should have, I'm just happy that I did it before I had left home for good.

Now when my mom calls me in the days before break to talk about my coming home, and she mentions that she recorded everything for us to watch, I don't roll my eyes, I don't dread it, I just smile and thank the Lord that I'm not a teenager anymore I have another year to make memories with my loved ones.

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To The Senior Graduating High School In A Month

"What feels like the end, is often the beginning."

It wasn’t too long ago that I was in your shoes. Just a little over a year ago, I was the senior that had a month left. One month left in the hometown that I grew up in. One month left with the friends that I didn’t want to leave. One month left in the place that I had called “my school” for the past four years. You are probably thinking the same things I thought whenever it came down to only 30 days left. You’re probably scared, nervous, worried, or anxious. Maybe you’re like me and are dying to get out of high school, ready to start a new chapter. Or maybe you aren’t so ready yet. Maybe you’re wishing for a little more time.

As scary as it is, this month you have left will fly by. You’ll blink and you’ll be standing in your cap and gown, waiting for your name to be called to receive your diploma. You’ll look back on your last four years at your school and wonder why time went by so fast. It’ll be bittersweet. However, trust me when I say that you have so much to look forward to. You are about to begin taking the steps to build your future. You are going to grow and learn so much more than any high school class could teach you. You are going to meet amazing people and accomplish amazing things. So, as scared as you might be, I encourage you to take that first step out of your comfort zone and face this world head on. Chase your dreams and work towards your goals. You are smart. You are brave. You are capable of achieving amazing things. All your life, the lessons you have learned have prepared you for this point in your life. You are more than ready.

There are times when you will feel alone, scared, or confused. There are times when it won’t always be easy. But those are the times when you will shine the most because I know you will work through whatever problems you may face. Don’t think of the bad times as a terrible thing. Use them all as learning experiences. As author Joshua Marine once said, “Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”

You might think that this is the end. However, it’s not. This is only the beginning. Trust me when I say that the adventures and opportunities you are about to face are nothing compared to high school. Whether you are going to college, going to work, or something else, this is the beginning of your journey called life. It will be exciting, it will be terrifying, but it will all be worth it.

So, as you walk out of your high school for the very last time, I encourage you to take a deep breath. Relax. You’ll always have the memories to look back on from high school. But your time is now, it begins today. Embrace it.

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Warm Weather Is Finally Here And That Means Seasonal Depression Can Go Fly A Kite

Like seriously, get out of here.


Any form of depression flippin' sucks. Like something major. Mental health is wicked important and sometimes crazy hard to maintain. The cold weather of winter does absolutely nothing to help either and ends up making it a lot harder to stay motivated, want to get out of bed and to ever go outside to be productive and active. Vitamin D is so detrimental to the health of our bodies. The sunshine lets us soak that up, but it's almost impossible to do when it's sub-zero for four months straight (ok, a bit of an exaggeration, but not really).

Seasonal depression brings out the worst moods during the long winter months and drags us down. What we can do is to busy ourselves and push ourselves to be the happiest we can be with enjoyable activities. Make sure you do fun things that will help you avoid being stir crazy. It's a vital time of self-care and making sure you are physically and emotionally healthy.

Once the icy force field of the winter breaks, spring flourishes and so do we. The heavyweight that was hanging on our shoulders is lifted off. We instantly feel lighter. It's an amazing feeling and so relieving. Getting through the winter in one piece feels so successful.

So, have fun now. Enjoy the fresh air and let the sunshine kiss your skin. Embrace your happy and positive thoughts. Cherish not having to wear a jacket and the fact that you need air conditioning in your car instead of heat. Roll the windows down and blast the music. Make your days include some form of outside activities and exercise. Celebrate every single aspect of the spring and summer because when winter rolls around again, you will want memories to keep you going so that when you have to do it all over again, it will go smoothly.

So, goodbye seasonal depression, we won't miss you.

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