How I Finally Took My Mother’s Advice (Kind Of)

(I published this on Linked In, but I thought it worth a share here, too.)

When I was in fourth grade, I came home from school, and found my mother in the kitchen.

“I’m going to be a writer when I grow up,” I announced.

My mother stopped whatever she was doing and turned to me. She got down to my level.

“Why don’t you go to pharmacy school, and you can write in your spare time?” she asked.

This idea was completely anathema to my plan to becoming a famous writer. It was like we were speaking two different languages.

Last week, I published a post on polypharmacy. It made me think of my mother and that long ago conversation, and then chuckle.

My mom is now enjoying her retirement. She was a pharmacist who, after years of working at the independent pharmacy she and my father started, branded herself a consultant, and started her own business. Her specialty was going into long-term care homes and reviewing patient charts to look for exactly what I had blogged about.

My mom reported possible dangerous drug interactions to the long-term care home nurses and physicians. She flagged patients who were probably taking too many medications, or taking medications they didn’t need to be taking any longer. She was working on polypharmacy and deprescibing long before such terms existed.

I went on to get my journalism degree at Duquesne University, which was my parents’ alma mater (it’s where they met). Being a journalist was invaluable to my current career as a marketer.

Also key to my success are my pharmacist parents, who encouraged each of their children to cultivate their strengths and their passions, which is how they ended up with a doctor (dermatologist), a chiropractor, and a writer.

I now work in the healthcare field, and no doubt many conversations with my parents, plus working a couple of summers as a delivery driver for their pharmacy, helped land me here. I still have that novel I’d like to see published, but writing about topics that I can also chat with my parents about when they visit is rewarding as well.

Thanks, Mom, for always cheering for me, and recognizing my passion was writing, and not organic chemistry!

What’s some advice your parents gave you that you ended up taking, if in a round-about way?

(I have told a version of this story before, with other good advice from my mom.)

One thought on “How I Finally Took My Mother’s Advice (Kind Of)

  1. I do really like your post. Thanks for putting your time and effort to write about moms and their advice. My mom suggested me to be a doctor and also taught me how to cook. I didn’t end up being a doctor but i learned cooking pretty well.

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