What Is Success?

I am on the brink of a new life.  Next year I will reenter the working world, or at least that's the plan.  I love staying at home and find a surprising amount of fulfillment in my ability to efficiently run a household.  However, it makes sense for me to go back to work full-time, especially if there are no children here from 8am-4pm, necessitating my being here as well.

So, what do I want to do with my life?  I've somehow been able to avoid answering this question for almost 10 years, but it continuously nags at the back of my mind.  And, does answering this questions necessarily mean that I will find a career I love?

Over a year ago, I wrote a list in my journal titled "What is Success?"  Here is it:

  • paying off all debt
  • owning a house
  • publish a book
  • earn an advanced degree
  • stay married
  • go to church regularly

The first two are pretty obvious, I want a certain level of financial security.  Debt = giant insecurity.  I'm on the fence with how I feel about home ownership, especially considering we aren't 100% sure where we want to be living 10 years from now (in Hawaii for sure, but maybe not on this island).  I think for me a house signifies a level of responsibility, investment and permanence.  But are those things I even want?
The next two fall under the category of recognition.  I want to be recognized for my efforts and achievements - something most homemakers are severely lacking.  I laughed about this because publishing a book probably wouldn't make me feel super successful unless either 1) the book itself was a best-seller or 2) I was completely satisfied with the material I produced.  Both of these speculations are a long-shot.  Earning an advanced degree is all fine and good since I like being in school, but choosing what to go to school for is a real challenge.  Will I feel like this is less of an accomplishment if I get my masters in a subject I'm not particularly keen on?

The last two are emotional security.  If in 15 years I have achieved a deeper level of commitment and intimacy with both my husband and the Lord, then I'm stoked.  However, if I'm just going through the motions, that's not very successful.

OK, back to my impending employment.  If I'm going to take into account financial security, recognition, and emotional security, I might end up doing something that I'm lukewarm about, at least temporarily.  But, if I do this with the long-term goal of pursuing my dreams as the driving force behind it, couldn't I consider that lukewarm job as one step on the road to achieving my dreams?  I've been living in Mommy-LaLa-Land and am nervous about my dreams being dashed on the harsh face on reality.


No comments:

Post a Comment