Sometimes I just ache for a New York City kind of success. Like the opening scenes of Mad Men. 1960’s office in the city, house in the country, corner office, expensive suits and skinny, sexy cigarettes everywhere I look. [PSA: I do not actually want to smoke, nor do I want to be surrounded by it.] I want to command my field.
I love the idea of living the single life in such a fast, expensive city. I love the idea of dressing so that an image of success is projected from any way you could view me.
Sometimes I wish I had taken a business or money driven route. Combined with singledom, I’d have such a luxurious life! I’d own all my own money. I’d depend on no one and no one would depend on me. You know what that means for my money? It’s all disposable. Every penny can be spent on whatever catches my eye. Even if most of those pennies go toward rent, or retirement, I make those choices based on me and me alone.
Another green bit of grass is my childhood dream of riding horses at a higher level. How can I help bu think about the fun of riding to the top of that field too? I’ve had a taste of that success. I know what ribbons & accolades feel like. I had options in that field. An acceptance and scholarship money to a prestigious equestrian school. A place held for me in any of their equestrian programs and/or any of their intercollegiate teams. I had a horse with potential and spectacular bloodlines. I had a natural inclination for the sport. Success there is easy to dream about, and was close enough to seem so real.
But one of those dreams is based on an avenue I never wanted to visit and the other is based on entirely on the past. Neither is related to present reality for me.
Success as a mother is so hard to define. I know what I want for my kids. but even if they turn out fine I might have failed in my goals for my own behavior and actions. Even if I do everything right they may not live the lives I dream for them. They may not be the people I’m trying to teach them to be. [This is where the whole ‘personal responsibility’ line gets me going. Sometimes, a lot of times, correct actions just don’t match up to correct consequences. they just don’t. That’s life.]
Even if I could define ‘success’ for my carer as a mother, is that the kind of life that keeps me entertained while I’m waiting for sleep to come?
I suppose the other two dreams offer me this: I would know when I’ve ‘arrived’. I would be able to define success and know when I’ve gotten there. But motherhood doesn’t afford me that. It’s not that clear cut. And instead of being riled up by that challenge, I’m just flustered by it.
Not that I don’t love being a mother. I do. I’m just not used to being uncertain with my accomplishments. I want to know in what percentile I rank. I want to know how I measure up and how often (and how well) I’m completing my task. There is no monetary reward for motherhood to tell me how much my time is worth. There are no ribbons to put on the wall or videotape for me to review and critique.
But there is my daughter’s sweet, small voice saying, “Okay, mom.” when I ask her to get off the table and sit in her chair. Surely that’s equal to a blue ribbon.