3 Lessons My Mom Taught Me – PART TWO

Last week I shared some lessons that my mom taught me and how I apply them to my experience as a book blogger. I told you I’d share the final 3 this week so that’s just what I’m going to do.

Last week’s lessons were:

– The World Doesn’t Always Just Revolve Around You
– If Your Friends Jumped Off A Bridge Would You?
– Say Please and Thank You!

“Life Just Isn’t Fair”
This one was probably the most irritating out of all the things my mom would say. Sometimes I would just want to complain about something  like “it’s not fair that all my friends can wear makeup” or “it’s not fair that I have spend all day cleaning my room” but she’d always follow it up with a serious or sometimes sarcastic “life just isn’t fair, now is it?” or “well, life’s not always fair.” But it’s true..life just sometimes IS NOT FAIR and no matter how much you complain about it it isn’t going to make it more fair. As many of you know, my mom passed away from brain cancer in 2006 and “life isn’t fair” felt like my mantra around then. But really..life IS never fair..it’s not. It made me realize how much I say “but that isn’t fair”…about things that don’t matter and things that DO matter. And the thing I’ve learned, it’s true..life isn’t fair for a lot of people and in fact it could be much worse. But dwelling on what’s fair never helps me. It’s always about being grateful.
How I apply it: Blogging life is never “fair”..it’s not. It’s easy to say it’s not fair that so and so gets so many books for review and you don’t, that people have more followers than you in a short time, that people get more recognition than you. etc. etc. It feels like it’s not fair when you work so hard. I won’t argue that. But, bitching about it never helps. I’ve tried to be THANKFUL for what readers I have, what books I do get for a review and of everything that has happened to me as a blogger. And most of all, I try to remember the BIG PICTURE of when I say “but that’s not fair”..neither is the fact that people are oppressed by their leaders or that good people get sick and die or that people don’t even KNOW how to read. All those unfair things seem a whole lot more important than someone getting a book that I didn’t. It’s a hard pill to swallow on certain days but I do. I find a good friend to bitch about it with and then get over it..because y’all…LIFE ISN’T FAIR.
“Honesty is the best policy”
My mom harped about honesty and telling the truth. I was always scared to tell her the truth for fear of consequences but I realized I always got into more trouble when I didn’t. I know this one seems “cliche” and easier said than done but it’s so true. Honesty goes a LONG way. It’s about being honest in your dealings with people, in the way you act and being honest to yourself, honest about your feelings and being open to having honest conversations about important things. Being dishonest doesn’t help the blogging community. The best part about this is that we are REAL LIVE READERS who talk about our books. We can give others who like to read something that professional reviews in publications can’t. We shouldn’t ever give in to letting our opinions be swayed because publishers are giving us books for review. That’s what will kill the book blogging world if nobody can trust a word we say.
How I Apply It: I tell the truth. If I don’t like a book, I say that and I explain WHY it wasn’t for me. I may offer up a recommendation about who I would think like this book. I don’t act maliciously but I’m not going to pretend I like something and lie to my readers. People read your blog for a reason…to hear what you think about books and such….not to hear you spew out what you think publishers and authors want to hear. How can they trust a recommendation if you lie?
“You Aren’t The Only One Living In This House”

I’d always get this one because of too-loud music or making too much noise while others were sleeping or by hogging the television or just generally acting as though the space in our house was just mine alone. It kind of goes along with “the world doesn’t just revolve around you” but I take this a little bit differently. As book bloggers, we share this “space” with a lot of other people — authors, publishers, readers who aren’t bloggers, librarians, bloggers who read different genres than we do etc. etc. We are not the sole pulse of this world of readers.
How I Apply It: Really this is more just being cognizant of this fact in everything I do as a blogger — an overarching idea. Book bloggers are not the only people who promote books or who read books or go to conventions about books. Remembering that we share this wonderful space is key to working together towards a common goal of promoting reading and literacy!
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About Jamie

Jamie is a 30 year old married lady who is in denial that she’s actually that old. When she’s not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, listening to music with oversized headphones and having adventures with her husband and dog.


  1. Jen (Makeshift Bookmark) says:

    I smiled while reading this entire post, because these are things that you and I have talked about before (AT LENGTH!) And by the way, tu mama? Smart lady. It's easy to forget that we seriously aren't the only ones in the house. It's easy, like you said in your previous Lessons post, to get caught up in the notion of MY BLOG, when there are countless others out there.

    The best thing we can do is climb atop the highest figurative book mountain and proclaim our love for the ones we adore, in hopes that not only other bloggers, but our blog readers will feel the same way. Then they'll tell another person, and they'll tell someone, and so forth.

    But I think it's totally okay to have a couple people to bitch about the unfairness 😉

  2. April (BooksandWine) says:

    Oh Jamie. Stop being so wonderful. After reading this post I am literally counting down until Saturday because I cannot wait to see you again. I love these lessons.

    My parents used to say life isn't fair to me all the time, and yes, that sucks, but I still want life to be fair, ya know. Like, it literally drives me insane to see these people get package after package with shitty stats who don't put in the hard work. Sigh. You know my feelings on this. And I'm starting to TRY harder at appreciating what I have and doing what I do. Ya know?

    Anyways, I love this post and you and all of our blogging friends. <3

  3. I adore your posts.. I know that sounds corny, but I do. Oh, and I'm so not kissing ass because I get to meet you Saturday. Using the "honesty policy" right here, in the flesh.

    I love listening to you talk about your mom. My little girl will be 4 this summer, and my main goal in life is to be there for her 100 percent as she's growing up. I hope that I will have the same possitive influence in her life as your mom does in yours. It tells alot, especially since you haven't had your mom for a long time.. her essence truly poors out of every post you make.. she must have been a real special lady. All of your readers can see that. 🙂

  4. Jenni Elyse says:

    Fantastic again. Loved these just as much as I loved the ones from last week. Your mom was a smart woman. 🙂

  5. Again, I've got to tell you – your mom is one smart lady. She left you with some awesome advice, and I'm absolutely loving how you're applying it to the book blogging world! I have to say, I agree with every single thing you've said in this post (just as I did with the previous one). Well done 🙂

  6. lisa [the nerd] says:

    To me, Life Isn't Fair = DEAL WITH IT. I completely concur and often have to tell myself DEAL WITH IT when I get all jealous or whiny about what OTHERS are doing or OTHERS are getting. It's dumb. I know it is, but I can't help it!

    Agreed – having a good friend to bitch about it with totally makes a difference. 🙂

  7. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase says:

    I'm so sorry to hear about your mom, but I'm glad she passed on these words of wisdom to you! All of her advice was great and I love how you have applied it to your life and to blogging!
    And while I totally agree with "Honesty is the best policy," I feel like being kind is slightly above that. Like you said, be honest with each other and with your reviews, but be kind with your honesty. If your honest opinion is going to hurt someone, don't say it to them. But in the blogging business, you can't worry about hurting an author if you don't like their book – but you can be cognizant of the way you express how you felt about it. (Of course, you said all this as well.) Great post, once again!

  8. I'm one of those readers who doesn't blog and I really agree with what you're saying in this post. It's too bad other bloggers don't take a broader view of who their readers are. Great post!

  9. Asheley (@BookwormAsheley) says:

    It's SO OBVIOUS even before reading these life lesson posts that you've taken what your mom taught you and absorbed it into yourself. Because you practice what your mom preached.

    And I love that about you SO MUCH. I really do. I'm saying that outside of blogging, because it applies outside of blogging and carries over into blogging.

    Her impact is blatantly obvious, and I've never even talked to you in person or laid eyes on your real face.

    I adore these posts and I hope you keep them up. You are wonderful and I am so thankful x 10,000 that I know you even if it is through a computer screen. One day I will meet you for real! And we'll eat guacamole and dance! And you can be wise to my face. 😉

  10. I love these Lessons! I agree with you and maybe I should apply your mom’s lessons to my blog as well.

    I’m sorry to hear your mom passed away. My mom passed away in 2008 from liver failure. my mantura at that point was to move forward – because that’s what she would have wanted.


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