Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Definition Please: Success

Lots of people talk about success, but what exactly do they mean?

My husband and I have recently been talking about this subject, quite a bit. (We're a good mix. When I'm down, he's up and vice versa.) Right now, he's having a hard time with work and feeling like he's not really getting any where. A few weeks ago, I felt the same way about my writing. The advice he gave me was to figure out what success means to me.

For him, success is being able to pay all the bills. And provide for the family. And still have free time to spend with us.  I don't have a job as a stay at home mom, so I don't really have a tangible measure of success like my husband does. I've been talking to lots of different people about what they think success is and I'm surprised how each person has a unique idea. Success always seems to be catered to the individual situation.

So, for me, right now, trying to be a wife, mom, and writer, I want to find my personal definition of success. I have some pretty lofty goals and some high personal expectations, and frankly, I disappoint myself a little too frequently because of it. What I consider a success has been a little elusive, and therefore, I am always left thinking I could have done better. So, here we go.

If I can spend some quality time with each of my family members during the day without resorting to the TV for entertaining or diverting, it's a success. (No limits or specific expectations of what quality time is or how long it has to be.)

If I get the house clean at least once during the day, it's a success. (Even if the house doesn't stay clean after I have finished.)

If the dirty dishes don't fill the sink and run out onto the cabinet before I get to them, it's a success.

If I can open up my WIP and get even a few hundred words a day, it's a success.

Anything beyond these things is gravy. Or maybe icing. I'm much more a sweet tooth. If I persistently seek success in these simple things, the forever elusive big things will surely happen.

What defines success for you?


Shannon O'Donnell said...

If I can keep up with the crazy schedules of my husband and 3 kids

If I can keep up with lesson plans and grading for my high school Eng. class

If I can keep up with the housework

If I can find some time - any time - for writing


Elana Johnson said...

Definitely go with icing. I do work outside the home, but it's not our main source of income.

I blogged about this last week, but here's another one. If I can laugh every single day, then it's a success.