Momservation: The greatest gift you can give anyone is your belief in them.
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I never doubted I could be the first female president.
I have my parents to thank for that. I was home-grown on a healthy diet of love, support, validation, and encouragement to believe I could accomplish whatever I set my heart and determination to.
I have since decided I would leave being the Leader of the Free World to the next qualified female candidate, Hilary Clinton. I also decided to relinquish being the first female NFL player, Olympic gold medalist, and most brilliant Think Tank member to people operating with more qualifications than their parents’ unwavering belief in them.
It’s quite a platform my parents have built for me—this sturdy, safe place to find the courage to leap for your dreams. Lofty ambitions and big ideas never seem out of reach when you’ve been elevated to believe in your potential.
You would think these great contractors knew how to build this platform to success from their own experiences—specifically, my mom.
Just the opposite.
My mom, Jan, grew up in a two-room shack in the swamps of Mississippi with parents who regularly belittled her with, “Who the hell do you think you are?” if she ever tried to speak up for herself. No love. No support. A good day was not getting a beating.
Thank God she broke the cycle of verbal and physical abuse to believe in herself that she could do better by her own children.
But as Jan built her children up, she spent all her self-esteem construction budget on them leaving little for herself.
Now, as she’s getting ready to retire, my mom has her own dreams and ambitions she’s finally ready to reach for. But the leap feels scary from her shaky, ushored platform; the achievement gap too far.
Enter Girl Who Believes She Can Do Anything.
What will I use these super powers for today? To build my mom her own sturdy platform to leap from.
Jan is an artist. A talented watercolor artist who can paint amazing replicas of any photograph (among many other amazing talents: gravy maker supreme, instant friend maker, crossword puzzle slayer). She is only starting to believe in her own talent after I encouraged her to enter her paintings in competitions where she won top prizes. I also, of course, have her beautiful pictures hanging all over my house with great pride and enjoyment. I have set up a website for her: Jan Shively Watercolors. We have visited places around Sacramento who might hang her artwork for sale. And to our delight we found one.
This weekend Jan is debuting her watercolor paintings for sale at an arts and crafts fair at my friend Mary Ellen Grant’s Flower Farm Nursery and Gifts in Loomis. Whether or not she sells a painting in this lovely bucolic setting in the breathtaking fall foothills is not the victory.
What is priceless is my mom standing upon her platform we have built together and believing this: Jan is an amazing watercolor artist and people value and enjoy her work.
I have no doubt my mom can make a nice retirement living selling her paintings. Now it’s time for her to leap from her four-legged platform of love, support, validation, and encouragement to believe it herself.
Come see us Sunday, November 22 from 10am-4pm at Flower Farm Nursery and Gifts on 9280 Horseshoe Bar Rd. We’ll be selling dreams.