Monday, June 20, 2011

Defining Success

I am sure most of you, like me, have wondered if where you are or what you have achieved in life has been deemed "successful". I think it is so easy to get caught up on that word instead of looking at the fruits of your life.

For instance, last week I got back into running. I was semi-watching what I was eating. Instead of feeling successful about getting back into, I was hard on myself that I had not been "perfect". It made me wonder why I associate "perfect" with success. They should not go hand in hand, should they?

In February I started substitute teaching as well as working part time in a temp position to help out my good friend while she had 2 ladies on maternity leave. While I was making extra money and being productive, I truly felt like a colossal failure as a wife and mother, since I wasn't managing the house as well as I did when I was home all day. I didn't make the connection that I was not home as much. My life was crazy busy. Instead, I felt like a total failure because the house wasn't as clean as I know Matt and I like. Instead of focusing on the fact we still had hot meals on the table for dinner and didn't eat out, I focused on the fact the meals I was serving were simple. Sometimes it was "fend for yourself" for dinner, which they all love, but I felt horrible about it. Basically, the expectation I had for me was to manage everything just as I had been, only adding a few more balls to juggle. No big deal, right?

When school got out 2 weeks ago I vowed to get my life back in control. I am getting some things done around here, but I am not where I envisioned myself being at this point. The office is still not organized. The pantry looks like it exploded, STILL. I am exercising, but not an insane amount, which makes me feel successful. I am trying to focus on what I have done and how I plan to get everything else done, in time. This is a very hard process for me. I wish I could have a little more of Matt's attitude. He doesn't stress about it, and figures it will all get done eventually.

I had an ah-ha moment this weekend. We were having a bbq with our neighbors on our street. I had someone come up and tell me how unbelievably kind and good mannered Jake is. How he is always willing to help out the little kids when they need it. That is when I realized my success should truly be measured by who we are, what kind of kids we are raising, and how we show love to people. I am not there yet, which isn't a failure. Shouldn't success be taking the steps to change things for the better? This was my first step.

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