“Look, Ma—Successful Adult!” Nothing makes mothers happier than to know that they’ve raised fulfilled, healthy, successful, and self-aware kids. On Mother’s Day, let your mom know exactly what she did to turn you into the adult you are today and how her influence still shapes your life.
• First and foremost, thank you for always telling me how proud you were of me and pointing out all of the ways in which I was (and am!) special. Because of you, I know how important it is to love yourself.
• Thank you for insisting that I always be on time. I may have dragged my feet a lot as a kid, but now I know that punctuality shows respect for other people.
• Thank you for showing me how to conduct a civil disagreement with others. While I don’t enjoy confrontation, I am comfortable sharing and defending my views.
• Thank you for being a stickler about completing chores. I may never love to vacuum and do laundry, but I know how to keep myself and my house clean.
• Thank you for teaching me that people do judge a book by its cover. I may not always be a walking fashion plate, but I do take pride in my appearance. And I know to iron my shirt and pants before important occasions!
• Thank you for forcing me to eat asparagus and Brussels sprouts when all I wanted was chicken fingers and potato chips. Now I’m a healthy eater who loves the produce aisle!
• Thank you for encouraging me to keep trying and practicing after I was cut from the soccer team. You taught me how to be determined and resilient, and that persistence usually pays off. (I made the team the following year!)
• Thank you for teaching me how to be polite and courteous to everyone I meet. I have gotten to know so many interesting people because I simply smiled and said hello!
• Thank you for reading bedtime stories to me for years. You introduced me to so many new ideas, and you helped to make me a creative and imaginative person.
• Thank you for drilling me on my spelling words before my quiz each week. You taught me how valuable it is to put your best effort into whatever job you happen to be doing. You were right when you told me that careful preparation usually helps you to get results you can be proud of!
Todd Patkin, author of Finding Happiness: One Man’s Quest to Beat Depression and Anxiety and—Finally—Let the Sunshine In, Twelve Weeks to Finding Happiness: Boot Camp for Building Happier People, and The Sunny Days Secret: A Guide for Finding Happiness(coming 2014), grew up in Needham, Massachusetts. After graduating from Tufts University, he joined the family business and spent the next eighteen years helping to grow it to new heights. After it was purchased by Advance Auto Parts in 2005, he was free to focus on his main passions: philanthropy and giving back to the community, spending time with family and friends, and helping more people learn how to be happy. Todd lives with his wonderful wife, Yadira, their amazing son, Josh, and two great dogs, Tucker and Hunter.