Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Accomplishment.

Today, as I steadily (though quickly) knocked out the dishes, I realized something. Something that will, no doubt, be obvious to many, but nonetheless, is one of those things that is only thought about (and sometimes, realized) at random times in a person's life.

So after unloading the dishwasher, I had almost finished loading the dishwasher. (And yes, it was full both times. I'm going to make the claim that we just go through dishes that fast.) I was thinking about how accomplished I felt in that moment, as I was almost done with this task - one that often seems like a huge undertaking - AND, I had also managed to start some laundry. I was satisfied in the fact that my washer was going and my dishwasher was close to being started, too! Side note: all of you SAHMs can relate to the fact that having 2 kiddos in, shall we say, "full-effect" doesn't always afford a Mommy that many consecutive minutes during the day to get that much done, right?

Anyway, I was feeling proud of my (admittedly, small - in the grand scheme of things) accomplishments for the day. Even a little relieved to know that I had gotten these "everyday" tasks done (or at least, put into motion). Oh, it should also be noted that the kids and I made a quick run to Wal-Mart a little before this (and yes, I guess this factored into the feelings I was having as well...my mind must've been forgetting the fact that we were those people in WM, since Everett was very loud about wanting a garbage truck...then a cookie...then to see the cakes...). And then I thought, "REALLY?! You're feeling accomplished by having laundry started and dishes unloaded, loaded, and running?!"

I realized how much the meaning of the word, "accomplishment" had changed over the years for me. I immediately thought of my high school graduation (almost 13 years ago), making my Valedictorian speech, and the sense of "accomplishment" I felt at that time. How hard I had worked to get to that moment of feeling a sense of satisfaction and, yes, relief.





Fast forward about 3.5 years from that moment, to Saturday, November 17, 2001...say, about 9pm that night. I had just finished singing the last song of my Senior Recital. "Ah! Je veux vivre" (Juliet’s Waltz Song) from Romeo and Juliet by Charles Gounod. A beautifully joyful piece with some vocal runs I spent many hours (maybe?) perfecting. I very, very vividly remember going to the reception afterward - in the classroom where I had Music Theory I, II, III, Ear Training I, II, and Diction for Singers. It was now crowded - full of people who had come to listen to me. Just me. Family, friends, a variety of Austin College people - music majors, choir members, friends I had met in classes and on trips, and professors from all areas of learning. I even received flowers the day before from my dear friend (and now Godmother to our children), Tanya, who graduated the year before and wasn't able to make it. People were telling me I sounded amazing. Sure, what else are they going to say? But I was happy with my performance and the fact that my voice teacher was also happy with the performance. Yes, I was feeling pretty accomplished. Definitely relieved. Here I was, in my long, full, black gown, adorned with rhinestones, and I had finished singing about an hours worth of material in front of all of these people. Done.




Now fast forward about 6.5 years, to Saturday, June 7, 2008 (when I was unknowingly 3 weeks pregnant with Everett) - I completed my first 5K race with my good friend Erin! Lots of preparation and training beforehand, waking up early the morning of the event, and then a surge of adrenaline going through my body, making the run seem almost effortless, as I enjoyed the thrill of being a part of such a huge group of people. I loved running past Richard and Jillian, as they cheered me on, and I was proud of the fact that my little girl was there to celebrate a new accomplishment for Mommy!




Now. Back to the moment that kick-started these memories. Dishes and laundry. No, I'm not forgetting the other obvious accomplishments I've had since my college days (married the most wonderful man and had two, incredible children) - they're just kind of in a different "accomplishments" category. How in the world are dishes and laundry related to these other accomplishments?! I'm not really sure that they are. But what I realized was that, like so many other things in one's life, the term, "accomplishment" had metamorphosized greatly. Suddenly, it wasn't the "event" it used to be. It wasn't something that had been scheduled to make record of a planned, anticipated accomplishment that had occurred only after many, many hours of hard work and preparation. Rather, "accomplishment" at this time in my life, seems to mean something that, by external standards and/or opinions is relatively small.

Perhaps. But now that I've got the dishes and laundry done, I can move on to "bigger" things. ;)

1 comment:

  1. Wow I understand the whole laundry scene and the dishes and oh yes the Wal-Mart scene...we are also those people. I feel like I have lost who I am in being a mom and a wife but the most important thing that I feel like I am doing is raising my two girls the best way that I know how to do! I love them so much! Thanks for this post...this was great!
    You are a natural at writing too...among so many other things (arts and crafts etc.) I am a fan!

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