Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Years ago, after undergoing chemotherapy for colon cancer, she ended up in a nursing home, where many thought she might stay. But she worked hard and moved to an assisted-living home and then back to her own house, where she resumed a life of independence. I would never count her out. Who knows what she might be able to accomplish?

It's fascinating to recognize that, even now, my mother is still growing and changing. It reminds me that we are all works in progress, that no one is perfect and that the point of being human is often to be vulnerable, open and understanding of others.

As I've grown older, with two children on my own, I've begun to realize that change begins with me. As I attempt to be patient and understanding with my children, I can only do this if I am patient and understanding with myself. If I hold myself to impossible standards, then I will also hold them to impossible standards.

I'm attempting to find the balance between impossible standards and no standards, and beginning to realize that there is no set answer; that every person is different, as is every time and season of life.

As my mother has reminded me this week, at the perfect time, right before Mother's Day and the madness of May, it's about the journey and experience of life. This week, as we celebrate mothers and Mother's Day, remember that the journey and experience of life is always changing, always new, and mothers change, too.

Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a speaker, syndicated columnist, socialpreneur, and author of "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own," and co-author of “The 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours”.