Some days, it’s difficult to balance on the thin line between achievement and failure.
On those days, I’m beyond surly. My kid asks a question and I don’t even try to give him a civil response. All of my husband’s wonderful traits–how he listens and takes over chores without my asking, how he cares for our son with greater patience than I can ever muster–pale in the face of the dirty coffee cup he left rotting in the sink that morning. Nothing matters except the mantra blaring in my head about how I’ll never, ever be good enough.
It’s not just that I’m not good enough, says my mantra; it’s that I’ve somehow missed my opportunity to achieve whatever it was that I was supposed to achieve; it’s that I’m supposed to be more than who I’ve become. I should be someone capable of running a major corporation while patiently helping my son with his homework every night and keeping the contents of every closet and cabinet neatly arranged and color coded, my own self muscular and dressed in spotless elegance. Instead, my closets are piled high with jumbled shoes and toys and boxes that still stink of salmon treats from my dog’s early nose work days, and my kitchen cabinets–well, cover your head when you open one. As for the state of my self: Forgetting to brush my hair has become my new normal.
“Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement,” says Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin and Hobbes. This is the mantra I need to play in my head on my bad, unbalanced days. I must remember how blessed I am to have found something that I love as much as writing and teaching, to have a son whose optimism and good nature tickle me, a husband whose steady confidence in our family allows him to say, “Do what makes you happy. We’ll figure out the rest.”[bctt tweet=”Forgetting to brush my hair has become my new normal.”]
My balance may always be tipped in favor of less splashy successes than those I originally yearned to achieve. Still, as I swing my legs high in the air on my side of this seesaw I’ve chosen and stare down at the weighty beast of what I might have achieved, I can honestly say that this life I’ve created, it reflects my values and satisfies my soul.
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Ohhhh!! Loved it!! You ARE enough and MORE! And a very dear friend, amazing wife and mom, and so gifted writer.
Open and heartfelt, Colette. Love, love, love the ending sentiment: “Still, as I swing my legs high in the air on my side of this seesaw I’ve chosen and stare down at the weighty beast of what I might have achieved, I can honestly say that this life I’ve created, it reflects my values and satisfies my soul.”