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  • Tracy Hooper

Happy 90th Birthday!

Recently, the six Bagli kids, my brothers and sisters and I and our families celebrated our mother, Barbara's 90th birthday! We call her Ma Mère.

When we were young, Ma Mère modeled how to treat everyone as if they are the most important person in the room. She taught us how to start a conversation and keep it going by asking the other person about themselves. She continues to model honesty, resilience, adaptability, curiosity, elegance, fairness, and fun!

To honor Ma Mère’s 90th trip around the sun, I’d like to share some of her words of wisdom. My siblings & I call these Ma Mère-isms!

#1Is it moving you forward?” Ask yourself that simple reflective question. If that job or relationship isn't moving you forward, reevaluate. Be honest with yourself and trust your instincts.

#2 "It's hard to see ourselves.” Although Zoom feels like a mirror that follows us around all day long, it's hard to fully see ourselves. Be open to feedback from people you trust and who have your best interest at heart. Feedback is a gift that can help us grow. #3: “Education lifts you up and out.” If you want to grow and expand the possibilities of your life, be a constant learner. Sign up for that professional certificate or start that graduate program. Mom went back to college at age 42, taking 1 or 2 classes at a time. When someone said, "Barbara at this rate, you won't graduate until you're 48.” She said, “I'll be 48 anyway. Why not be 48 with my degree!"

#4 "This thought is 30 seconds old.” Instead of using a Disclaimer such as, “Correct me if I’m wrong” or “This is just my 2-cents,” Ma Mère says, “This thought is 30-second old.” She knows her thought is not fully formed, but she is confident enough to say it anyway and see where it lands.

And #5 "Spend time with people 10 years younger than you. It helps keep you young and current.” (I’ll add this Ma Mère. Also spend time with people who are older than you!) Our perspectives are expanded when we include people of different generations in our personal and professional circles.

In The U.S this month, we’re starting the Thanksgiving season. But no matter where you live, consider thanking people in your world: parents, grandparents, mentors, colleagues, and those good friends who have offered sound advice, helped shape your career, or influenced your life.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody. I’m thankful for you, for watching.

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