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Friday, January 13, 2017

Measuring Success

According to Dictionary.com, success is defined as follows:
1. The favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; the accomplishment of one's goals.   
2. The attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like.   
Lately, I would have to say that I don't feel very successful. I've had many goals, but very little have been carried into completion. I seem to create goals that end up discarded along the way. Dreams get placed on the shelf. I know I've talked about this before. It seems to be a life-long thing at this point.
I'm by no means wealthy. Not even in the 'comfortable life' sense. I live paycheck to paycheck with a little thrown into savings for those inevitable vehicle repairs that I seem to have more often than I would like. My position in life is the same now that it has been all my life - middle class to poor. Though I suppose I have finally moved into a white collar job. I have no distinguishing honors. I know a little about a lot of things, but nothing to specialize in.
My life goals:
Finish college (Quit when I got married and pregnant)
Become an ASL Interpreter (Have to finish college to get this)
Buy a house (Would have this year, if my ex-husband didn't pull me down with his tax evasion)
Become a writer on the side (Finally accepted that I'm not as good a writer as I thought)
Create my own business (Takes money to make money and I don't have it)
So how do I know if I am successful? If I compare myself by the definitions, I'm not. I haven't obtained any of my goals, wealth, honors, position, etc.. I barely keep my family afloat, and that's just surviving - not living. If I compare myself to other women, I'm nowhere near as successful as I should be. I'm not on the same level as some of the "white trash" types I've met over the past few years, but I'm also not doing well in keeping my kids on the right track in some areas. My kids aren't honor students. Okay maybe my 4 year old daughter will be, but her brothers aren't. I no longer own my vehicles, but make payments. I live in the crappiest apartment I have ever been stuck in. Even the first one I was in, next door to drug dealers and hookers, was better health-wise than this one. I spend more time at work every day, than I do at home. My kids see me maybe 3 hours during the week, everyday. During the weekend, I'm busy running errands, cleaning the house, or trying to catch up on projects (sometimes this includes side work). All for what? The mediocre life of getting by?
No where do I see the shining story of rising above and making a difference. More recently, I have felt like a failure at the job. I've worked hard to assist my supervisor and it seems our efforts are for nothing. And it has shown me how little I know. I now get annoyed by being called a unicorn when before I felt honored. For those of you who don't know the meaning, see the video below. Maybe its because I've been out of school for so long and that's where my success seemed better. Maybe its because I just had a baby and I still feel like a fat cow. But throw everything together and I don't see where "successful" is in the description of me.
So I pose a question to Mom's out there. How is success measured for us?


  1. Success is not in monetary things, or found in comparison to others. Life is a journey, frought with highs, but often lows. Success as a mama is in the little things, the moment of play you get with your little ones. The moments of snuggling together and watching a movie, teaching them some thing new, involving the children in the chores or helping cook. Our worth as mothers is raising the next generation, it is not as glamorous as it seems, but totally worth the full effort it requires. There are 4 little ones that look up to you in awe because you make every thing better, your kiss heals hurts, you set boundaries,as well as maintain them, you are their greatest defender, and the only one who is and will always be their mom. Your worth is beyond measure, not only to them but to us as well.

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  3. Life happens. No other way to put it but that. I had wanted to be a nurse. 10 children later, still saying I will do it when kids grown and gone. But in between, life happened and I am enjoying what I have. For example, last night a daughter hollars from her bedroom for me to come. Well I don't answer hollars. So she came into the living room and informed me there was a large spider in her room. So I went to look (knowing I don't do spiders). Yep, spider. So I walk away. She goes and gets a brother. Next thing I hear is what sounds like 10 little girls screaming. Then they both walk out and she is caring a dust pan mumbling how she has to wash her bedding (and by that she ment me). So I giggle inside at the silly things that happen here. But in the light, it is my life and I am enjoying it while I can. Look at it this way, life is an adventure. We never know what will happen till we live it. Dreams are nice but not life sometimes.

  4. This is a beautiful post about success and life's daily struggles. I’m wondering if you’d give me permission to repost it on WorkersWrite, a website I edit where people tell stories about their lives, including their struggles to find meaningful work. Of course, we would credit you, and link back to your site. Please let me know if that would be okay. Thank you!
    Rose Imperato
    Editor, WorkersWrite

    1. I'd be happy to have you repost this to your website! Check out some of my other posts as well. There are couple I have written about work. One titled Disappointment in the Rewards. Feel free to contact me via emilyvinyard3@gmail.com as well.