I often hear moms say that their greatest accomplishments are their children. I know mothers that have responded to job interview questions with this, and moms who just are so proud they can’t help but boast about their children. I think I also at one point or another have probably referred to my children as ‘accomplishments’ of my own. It hasn’t been until recently, that I have really put too much thought into the statement.
When I was starting my college education, I had a list of all kinds of things I wanted to accomplish. I guess it was sort of a ‘bucket list’ that I naively thought I would just go through and eventually cross everything off. Somewhere along the line I forgot about my bucket list, and really lost the motivation to accomplish much of anything. I focused on starting my career, got married and really became the glue that held my family together. I stopped adding things to that list and I really never crossed anything off. And now, I put my time and energy into my kids lives and making sure they have everything they need to reach the goals they will eventually one day have.
But I think I have it all wrong. Naturally, because I put so much effort into my kids lives, I am beaming with pride when they accomplish something great, even if it seems insignificant to everyone else. But that doesn’t make my kids themselves an ‘accomplishment’… and it certainly doesn’t make them a trophy. I started thinking about all of this when I realized that I really haven’t done anything in over five years that I was really proud of. And then I started thinking about what that says to my kids.
First off, I can only imagine the amount of pressure my children will one day experience if they feel like I am living through their own personal accomplishments. Secondly, how will they ever really learn how important it is to have goals and what an amazing feeling it brings when you reach them, if they don’t have a chance to witness it growing up? And lastly, how are they ever going to learn how important it is to always try, even if they might not always reach the finish line (in whatever context that may be)?
So, by now you must all be a little curious about my bucket list. What’s on it? Well, as crazy as it all sounds, here is the more recent and somewhat revised list: Complete a half ironman. Run for city council. Participate in the Olympics. Teach at a college/university level. Run a sub 1:45 half marathon. Publish a book. Establish a charity marketing campaign. Visit the seven wonders of the world.
These are really in no particular order. And I have taken off a few that seemed like really great ideas as a college student. The point is, although it may not be very exciting, I have a list of goals. I don’t know if I will accomplish everything on the list, but at the very least I can try, and maybe have a positive influence on my kids in the process.
So… about a month ago I committed myself to three half marathons this year. About three months past I started researching literary agents and the channels it will take to publish my first book. I have begun to update my resume and plan of applying at our local college to teach in the fall. And… last but not least, I tried out for the Israeli National Curling Team over the weekend. It may all sound crazy. And maybe it is. Maybe I am going through some totally insane premature mid-life crisis. But at the end of the day, if nothing comes from any of this… at least I have had the wake up call I needed to establish my own goals. And if I’m lucky… I will inspire my children to follow their own dreams and never stop trying to accomplish the things that make themselves proud.