Monday, February 16, 2009

Deep Thoughts for a Monday Morning

Last week someone posed this question to me and I have been thinking about it ever since...

What is your greatest accomplishment?

Having not run a marathon, given birth to children or passed the New York State bar exam - instantly I felt like my life toils were silly, inconsequential and by no means accomplishments. The question made me cry. How foolish sounding - but I felt lackluster and pointless.

Am I being too hard on myself? Maybe. But, it has definitely made re-think my life plan.

So, I ask you dear reader and friend -

What is your greatest accomplishment?
Do you feel like it's yet to come?
Is it a collection of small things or one large event, moment, happening?

If you normally do not comment, please reconsider the usual lurk and weigh in on what may be my deepest post ever. Thank you very much.

We will return to your regularly scheduled retail fueled, News Readin' Husband coverage and general observations after this break from our local sponsors - Deep Thoughts and Red Wine.

Mrs. News Readin'


Legallyblondemel said...

I'm sorry the question made you in turn question yourself, although that self-reflection thing is admittedly useful.

This is a tough one for me to answer as well. Probably some of the stuff I'm most pleased about are the things I did despite having to overcome a lack of natural ability/inherent laziness (not exaggerating here) - surviving law school, passing a couple of Bar exams - versus the achievements I've made doing things that came much more naturally to me and/or that I loved doing.

I dunno - in the end, life is more than impressive resume points (cue the Forrest Gump music), so I try not to spend too much time attempting to quantify. At the same time, I don't want to coast through & realize I haven't done something useful with myself. Hmm.

GrannySmithGreen said...

Oh, honey! That is one good post! I'm so VERY proud of you for just pouring it all out there. You are strong and bold--my kind of gal!

I do think "success" or "accomplishments" are in reality just a sum of the small parts of life. Even something as simple as: did I treat that annoying clerk with respect? did I show love and compassion when it wasn't warranted, etc...

This is such a huge, deep topic. I could go on and on. I've had the babies--and yes, I do consider that a great accomplishment. It's not the fact that I'm a mother though. It's the fact that I've been given a job--and now I have to learn to do it well. If I can "do it well", then I've got the sense of accomplishment. Babies, the Bar, or marriage--it doesn't matter.

I'm convinced, it's the small things--even a blog post!

News Readin' Wife said...

Oh, LBM - I can always count on you to offer up a nicely written and thoughtful comment. Thank you.

It sounds like you have much to call an accomplishment, even it is on the resume.

I'm just grappling with the age old, "what am I really doing with my life?" Scary, scary stuff.

I guess I thought I would be more settled and centered at 31. *sigh*

a. said...

I hate this question and yes, it really makes one think “what have I done with my life and where am I going?” Unfortunately it comes up a lot these days. This is one of the reasons I was so hesitant to join Facebook - the name says it all – in a nutshell, you are face to face with your life as it compares to others. I feared that looking at all my peers who seem to have it all...fulfilling lives with lovely families, great looking homes, fantastic vacations, etc…would make me feel like less of a person. A good 95%+ of the people I went to either high school or college with have husbands/wives and several children.

I joined anyway, knowing that at 37 years old I have traveled, lived/worked in the Big Apple (and survived), went back to school, successfully switched careers, and did not settle for the wrong partner but waited all these years for the right one. So I should feel pretty darn proud of myself as I have accomplished a lot but am not finished yet! I’ve always maintained that I am a “late bloomer” which seems to go hand in hand with everything else in my life but I’ve learned to embrace it rather than fight it. When everyone else got married at 25, I guess I just wasn’t ready. When everyone else had 2+ kids in their late 20s + early 30’s, I was living in NYC living life to it’s fullest and I don’t regret it. So I think it’s all about living life on your own time not on everyone else’s.

Ok I am rambling but I think you get my drift.

PaperCourt said...

I think lots of little things that define who I am...moving to Milwaukee for a job without knowing a soul, then moving to Seattle and leaving my boyfriend (now husband) behind in Milwaukee, raising babies and giving up my career to do so....

I could go on and on. I'm not sure these things would be considered "accomplishments" in everyone's mind but they make me ME.

thepreppyprincess said...

Wow Miss News, this has provoked some outstanding responses, what a great topic, I'm just sorry it left you feeling sad. You deserve major kudos for having the courage to share your thoughts and prod some of the rest of us to ponder the same question.

Our greatest accomplishments thus far took place when we were engaged in the same business your husband is, as that provided the greatest opportunity to influence others for good. We were blessed in being able to use the medium to raise money, lots of it in some cases. And we learned it is almost always those with the least who give the most.

We were also able to collect things for people who needed help - 7 semi trucks full of water during the midwest floods in 1993 for example, or things "as small" as booties for the rescue dogs during the OKC bombing in 1995, that kind of stuff.

But we both want to do more, and kind of think that stuff was easy in a way, given our positions and the circumstances at the time. I'm not negating the importance of it or anything, but it's a different time now.

That's why we donate 5% of our gross sales to either Dogs for the Deaf or the Fisher House fund, it just seems like the right thing to do. And we both believe we should be doing more, and plan to do more in the future. The how of that is still TBA, but I guess the greatest accomplishments are still ahead.

Sorry to babble on, and thanks again for such a cool topic!

Kiki said...

I have been lurking (that word weirds me out) for some time now...I think your writing is so witty and thought provoking, you always have something really interesting going on and I look forward to checking in...tonight though your post has drawn me out of hiding and forced me to reevaluate the age old question of 'what do I want to be when I grow up?'. At 39 I surely thought that I would be somewhere else, be someone else and have some things that are currently our of reach.

Recently I have let go of the pain that not having children has caused me, made arrangements to go back to school to complete my degree and decided to make the best of where I live. Its sunny, warm and right on the ocean...what can be bad about that???

I know this question can make us reevaluate everything about our lives, I think having a plan is what gives us hope that we can be more, do more and have our heart's desire. No one should be without hope.

Best to you today, and thank you for drawing me out of lurkdom.

mamacita said...

I've had this open all day because I couldn't decide what to say. I've been feeling this way exactly. I read this quote yesterday that hit the nail on the head:

“We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all we need to make us happy is something to be enthusiastic about.” --Charles Kingsley

We just need to find our enthusiasm again. [BTW, you should definitely be reading The Happiness Project.]

The Mrs. said...

I think for each stage of your life you have major accomplishments. Maybe you don't even realize it. Making it through my parents divorce in high school, holding major roles in my sorority in college, moving to LA to do stand up and act after college, marrying hubby and having Landon, selling my first script...I think they are all accomplishments in their own right.

Monograms and Mayhem said...

I love this post MNR! First thing that came to mind was that my greatest accomplishments are my life's work in progress. Deep. I know. It's my children. At 6 & 4 years old, I'm teaching them manners & disipline. In their tween/teens, I hope to teach them to be a good friend, work & study hard and be independant. In college, I hope they'll use what I taught them growing up and make smart decisions while I'm not around. And after graduation, when they get their first job... I think that's when I will feel most accomplished. Don't get me wrong, they may need therapy as adults because of me, but that doesn't mean I didn't love them...It's all about survival right now. They'll forgive me, hell, I'll pay for it. :)

The Lawyer's Wife said...

OOH, good question ...

I can not decide ...

I would say have my children and having them really miss me when I am gone. Little Lawyer says he missed our talks. I will tell you that ranks up there.

But I could also say 1993 when I packed up my apartment, quit my job and moved to Atlanta knowing no one and making a life for myself. It makes me proud of me!

Once again, great question!

Jess said...

I've only been lurking for about 24+ hours... was led to your blog by another.

But honestly, as corny as it sounds, being a good daughter to my mother, a wonderful girlfriend to my boyfriend, an amazingly patient mother-like figure for my boyfriend's two kids are three of my biggest accomplishments. I have to say I love you to all of my friends and family after I leave them or I will be afraid that something will happen to me and they won't know how much they mean to me.

Another accomplishment I guess would be becoming a board member for my hometown Boys and Girls Club and kicking butt at it. I'm not only my mother's daughter but my father's daughter and that is one combination!

Normally I think that the question you posed would have me questioning myself but funny thing, I gave up negativity (being negative, saying negative things, thinking negative thoughts, etc). So I had to rethink what I was going to type.

I hope your reflection takes a 180 and you begin to think of yourself as a wonderful woman!

The Doctor's Wife said...

Seriously...I think I let it be known at the HS that I think this is a MAYJURLY jackass question. First of all, I KNOW you personally and I find you to be not only hilarious, but terribly introspective and thought provoking. I'm not sure I spelled that correctly, but whatever.
Secondly, you are not the sum of your parts. You have so much more to give and do. Why do you have to quantify it? Ridiculous. How many times have you up and moved for Mr. NR? I know you think that's not a personal accomplishment..that it's for him, but really? It is for you, too. When you can do something to benefit the man you love then it should fulfill you as well. I think it's silly to assume that there's a golden ticket waiting for each of us that will indicate when we have reached that "MAYJUR" accomplishment. Ugh. WHATEVER. Just live your life the way you think it was meant to be lived. Are you happy? Then quit worrying about what other people tell you you should be doing to make yourself happy. F*ck em'.
You know I love you.