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chasing answers newsletter #54
Happy Mother's Day!
“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” - Abraham Lincoln
Happy Sunday and Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there who celebrate!
If you are a mom, I hope your family does something special for you today. And if you have a mom, I hope you make time to see her, call her, or connect with her in some way.
Even a simple phone call can mean the world.
What is a mother?
That’s like asking, “What is life?”
There is no right answer, and even if you thought you knew the answer, I bet you would have a hard time capturing it in a couple of sentences or a simple paragraph.
I asked both Google and chatGPT to describe what a mother is, and these were the most common adjectives that came up.
A Good Listener
These are all wonderful traits for a mother (or anyone) to have, but there is one word I expected to see that didn’t pop up at all. And if I had to choose only one word to describe my Mom, it’s the one I would use.
Dictionary.com defines selfless as - “having little or no concern for oneself, especially with regard to fame, position, money, etc.”
Merriam-webster defines it more simply - “having no concern for self.”
But my favorite definition comes from the Cambridge Dictionary - “caring more about other people’s needs and interests than about your own.”
That’s my Mom.
My Mom became a mother shortly after her 20th birthday. And it wasn’t exactly planned, if you know what I mean. But every day since, she has spent her life making sure the needs of those around her, especially her children, have been met without so much as a second thought about her own.
I don’t know what it’s like to become a parent at twenty years old, but I know what it was like at thirty-eight, and despite being thrilled at the idea of becoming a dad, I was scared to death.
At twenty, I’m sure my Mom was afraid, anxious, and uncertain. She must have had dreams and aspirations that were altered or entirely vanquished by the fact that she was a new mother.
But, if she did, I’ve yet to hear of them.
It’s always been about the rest of us. Her family. Her pride and joy. Our needs have always been placed squarely in front of her own. If we were happy, she was happy.
Growing up, I assumed this was the norm. It wasn’t until I became a teenager and began high school, and then went on to college that it became evident to me just how fortunate I was.
Not all mothers stand firmly in the corners of their children, putting the hopes and dreams of those children before their own wants and desires, preparing them for the future while also giving them a past worth remembering and holding on to.
Having one who does is a cheat code to life everyone should enjoy. If I could gift everyone in the world one thing, it would be to experience a childhood with this incredible advantage.
When someone does this sort of thing for you, there is no way to ever pay them back. When they sacrifice a part of their youth so you can get the most out of yours, all you can do is say “Thank You" and do your best to pay it forward.
And that is precisely what I am doing.
My Mom may not realize it, but she is still helping me achieve my goals on a daily basis.
Nothing is more important to me than being the best parent I can possibly be. And there is no better way to achieve a goal than to emulate those who have already done it.
I often wonder if I can measure up to my expectations of being a parent. The bar is set high. It feels unattainable. But it pushes me every day to be better.
I know what being the best parent possible looks like. I just have to execute. And having this example to follow may be my Mom’s best gift to me of all.
I hope you all have a great week!
As always, I would love to hear from you.
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