One of our hopes behind the 7dayring has always been that it would empower you to seize the day. Carpe diem. Live fully. I think that somewhere along the line, this phrase became a commercialized saying that lost much of its breadth of meaning. When I think, “seize the day,” I think of sunny beach days. I think of running from the waves in slow motion, of tossing heads back in laughter. I think of windswept hair, toothy grins, and fulfilled dreams.

But how do you seize the day on a day that bears feelings of grief, or anger, or frustration?

Mother’s Day is a difficult day for many, maybe just as many as for whom it is a joyous occasion. Whether you have the most wonderful relationship with your mom, or the most strained, whether you live a 15-hour plane ride or a 15-minute drive apart, whether you’ve known your mom your whole life or just for a part of it, my hope behind this short blog post is that it would expand the meaning and expectations of Mother's Day, and even in that, to expand the meaning of “seize the day".

For the first three years of my undergrad degree, talking to my mom looked like this:

I lived in Vancouver; she lived in Beijing. The time difference was irksome, the Internet was spotty, and the frustration was palpable. Like many international university students, I went from seeing my family everyday to maybe seeing them once a year if plane tickets weren’t bank-breaking.

The number of times I got to actually talk to my mom was meager. In those years, our relationship was mostly comprised of hurried texts sent during a 10-minute break from class, received during the middle of the night. Whenever Mother’s Day would roll around, I would feel frustrated by my inability to celebrate my mom the “right” way – breakfast in bed, a spa day, cooking dinner for the family.

I can’t begin to imagine the sorrow that Mother’s Day brings for those who have lost their mothers. I can’t begin to grasp the hurt and the anger that Mother’s Day brings for those whose mothers have been unkind. And I can only begin to understand the weight of the expectations that Mother’s Day brings for everyone – expectations of sunny beach days, of heads tossed back in laughter, expectations of breakfast on trays, of toothy grins and warm relationships.

These expectations – they’re not for you.

I’d like to think that the beauty of “seize the day” comes from its breadth of meaning. It’s impossible to spend everyday laughing, frolicking in the sand, and dreaming big. Sometimes, seizing the day looks a little bit quieter. Writing a letter to the mom you never met – that’s seizing the day. Getting out of bed the day after everything fell apart – that’s seizing the day. Forgiving mom for the ways she has hurt you – that’s seizing the day.

This Mother’s Day, when I think, “seize the day,” I want to think of sunny beach days. I want to think of trembling hands, of sorrowful smiles. I want to think of breakfast in Styrofoam containers, of unanswered phone calls, and of moments of quiet courage.

We’re rooting for ya. Don’t be afraid to create your own expectations for how to best celebrate mom/grandma/aunt/sister/friend for how they’ve had a part in raising you.

So how are you going to seize the day this Mother’s Day?

 

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ALLISON YANG

Content Marketing Coordinator at the7dayringproject

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