Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always wanted to achieve something, anything, everything. It was my goal to dream big and do great things. “Make a difference,” I was taught in high school. “Make waves and great changes,” I was told in college.
But now, even after working my butt off to accomplish what I thought would make me happy, I sit in my daughters’ playroom with the lights dimmed as my three-month-old naps and I think, where do my accomplishments figure in my everyday life?
Does it matter how many years I taught? How many articles I’ve written? Or even (the closest to my heart), how many books I’ve had published? It doesn’t. I don’t carry my accomplishments around with me and flash them whenever my little ones want my attention. I don’t tell them to listen to me because I have interviewed several experts on parenting. And I don’t think my husband loves me more because I know when to use the right preposition.
And I wanted to cry.
Because at that point, the little girl was me. The child. The teenager. The mother. Who measures her worth in what she has achieved. Not in kindness, love, happiness, caring, or honesty. But in awards, positions, acclaim.
And I realized that at the end of the day, when I’m 80 and my daughters bring their children over to my house to play, my grandchildren won’t be angling to sit next to me because I’m a published author or a celebrated teacher. They will want to sit next to me because they know I love them, because I will listen to them, because I want to be with them.
Don’t get me wrong, I will still strive and try to fulfill my dreams. I know I still have several books inside me begging to be written. But a shift of perspective is in order.
I am worth so much more than what I can do.
What matters is who I am and how I treat and love the people around me. That is how I want to measure my worth and how I want my daughters to measure theirs.