Monday, May 30, 2011

What's successful?

I have to admit...I'm not totally a fan of this week's GBE2 topic of SUCCESS. 
For the most part, I don't really see myself as a very 'successful' person.

I realize that we all have our own personal definitions of what it means to be successful.  For some of us, that would be the attainment of a high status job or the accumulation of wealth. 

Using that definition....I'm a total loser.  I'm grateful that, in these tough economic times, I even have a job.  But it's a bottom of the ladder position and it doesn't even come close to paying my expenses.  I utterly loathe the company that I work for and most days I fantasize about the day that I finish school, find a job and escape their employment as fast as I can!

But on the bright side, I get paid to sleep for six out of the ten hours of my shift.  So....I guess I'm a success at snagging the easiest job ever!

I thought I was a success at school.  My father drilled into me at a very young age that anything less than perfect grades was unacceptable and even though my adult self believes this is bullshit...the little girl inside....the one who lived to bring home that straight-A report card to keep her daddy's approval....is pretty crushed that I've traded in my 4.0 for a 3.76.

I KNOW I'm a successful parent.  My children are (reasonably) well mannered.  They are smart and independent with great senses of humor.  They are thoughtful and have even been known to be helpful on occasion without being asked.  They're tolerant of others differences and the older kids have all donated their time or allowances to charity--on their own!  They are far from perfect...but I figure Jeffrey and I are doing something right with them :)

When I was a teenager, my grandmother told me that it didn't matter what I made of my life as long as I was a good person.  If I was a good person...she would be proud of me no matter what. 

I try to keep that in mind.  I try to live by it.  But societal definitions of success often creep in and I'm reminded of how 'unsuccessful' I actually am.

I'm not perfect.

Far from it, actually.

But I am a fortunate person.

I have family and friends that love me....and most days I'm happy with the person that I've become.  I have a roof over my head and a car parked outside.  There's food in my fridge, a lap-top in my lap, and more eyeshadow in my bedroom than any girl rightfully needs.

I might not always make the best decisions...but I'm never intentionally mean.  I try to admit when I'm wrong (that is SO hard for me!) and I try to learn something from every experience--good or bad.

I'm a good person.

Grandma would be proud of me.

I guess I'm more successful than I thought!

21 comments:

  1. Those are good qualities to feel successful about.

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  2. I think Grandma had a valid point. Wouldn't the world be a nicer place if we all tried a little more to be 'good' and a lot less to have material success? Thought-provoking post :)

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  3. Progress not perfection!

    -Kate
    www.kateescapenj.blogspot.com

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  4. Sounds like you are doing well to me and that you are for the most part content and that to me is the definition of "Success!"

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  5. You remind me a lot of myself several years ago, minus the children. Other people's high expectations of my success, people that I loved too much to disappoint, always stayed with me and the pressure was unbearable most of the time. Having nice things can be nice but definitely does not define success. When it comes down to it, the necessities are important and from the sound of it, you have that and more. If I had the choice between only expensive things and lots of money or love, a roof over my head and a full tummy for myself and my loved ones, I would choose the latter hands down!

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  6. You and you alone should define success for yourself. And being a parent isn't the easiest job in the world...so it sounds like you are a success!! (Hey and a 3.76 is awesome...a great big pat on the back for that one...so don't be so hard on yourself!!)

    Great post, Cheers!! Jenn.

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  7. Screw 'societal definitions.' Your grandma would absolutely be proud--you are AMAZING! :O)

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  8. I'm really enjoying reading all of these GBE blogs about success. You sound like a success to me.

    Theresa
    writingcreatively.org

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  9. I second what Bethie said~ You are amazing.
    There is not one other person who is just as wonderful as you are at being you, mom to your kids, and wife to your husband. You have love, you have life and your Grandma would be proud of you. So eff everyone else and their narrow mindedness.
    One day I was talking with my Pop (my mom's dad) about how I loved working at the laundromat, but I felt like my mom thought it was beneath me & I had let her down by not working in a school as an aid, or pre~k teacher. Pop says to me, "Are you happy?"
    "Yes, Pop."
    "Your money still spends the same, right?"
    "I guess so. "
    "Then what's the problem?"
    I then asked myself, "Did MY mother actually come from this man?"
    So often we lose sight of ourselves, and who we want to be, to try to please our parents.
    It's a hard thing to get past, but it can be overcome.
    Love and hugs to you *UMAH*

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  10. Thank you everyone for the great comments!! It really means a lot to me :)

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  11. Awesome post! I agree with Beth, screw "societal definitions." :D

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  12. Sounds like you are a success in my book. You certainly wrote a successful blog about yourself. I loved it. Well done!!

    Kathy
    http://www.thetruckerswife.com/

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  13. Success is in the eye of the beholder. It sounds like you have definitely been successful.

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  14. You ARE a success, and don't underestimate the importance of being a good parent. Life is tough, and I think you are being too hard on yourself because your dad pushed you to be a perfectionist with the grades. Make your goals realistic.

    Joyce
    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com/2011/05/acrostic-success_31.html

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  15. You are absolutely successful! This is beautiful.

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  16. I think Grandma was spot on! Great post.

    ~Alison

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  17. Yes you are very successful...
    I like what you wrote..

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  18. Ahhh.. you ARE far more successful than you belive. FAR FAR more! =)

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  19. You're doing wonderful by the sounds of it. :-)

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  20. Talya L. BoernerMay 6, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    We weren't allowed to get anything less than As in my family either... I just found your blog via GBE2. Now I'm a follower:)

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