What is success? When is what you do, and have, enough?
Living the "quiet" (and yes, I use that word with a dregree of irony) life of a mother, homeschooler, and wife, hidden in the home, it can be hard to measure success.
I have watched different people I have known in life go on to some degree of fame and success in various areas - music, theology, authoring books, speaking at conferences, promotions at work,and so on. It can be hard to take at times. I panic - what am I doing with my life? What do I have to show for myself?
I know the proper answer to those questions are - "your children". And yes, I take a great deal of (wholesome) pride in my boys and in the job ArtGuy and I are doing in raising them, but sometimes, it just does not feel like enough.
Some things just make you question your success. Like, when we were discussing ancient China, and the book mentioned another ancient culture at that time. I asked Romeo, "What ancient culture would have also existed at this time?.....You know, around 2000 BC?.....you know!......you know? Hello?........" Romeo lifts up his sweet face to me and says, "America"? Moments like those tend to make me question my success in almost every small area in life, not to mention my sanity. Yes, we "homeskool"!
I am not quite sure what to do with this longing at times. Sometimes it just is not enough. But what is enough? Would I rather have a different life than I have now? Unless I can change my weight, get rid of my debt, and publish some books (good ones, of course) while keeping everything else the same, then.....no! All my life I have wanted to be a wife, mother and a teacher. I can remember those desires as a little girl, and when I look at that, I have everything I wanted.
So, is this perpetual existential crisis "divine discontent" or just ungratefulness? Hard to tell. Maybe some of both.
I take great comfort in these words from Blessed Mother Teresa:
(Love: A Fruit Always in Season, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1997)
To be faithful. Faithfulness is a beautiful word. Let us aspire to be faithful in all we do, faithful to all those who are in our care and keeping. Faithful to all we believe and to all we have been given. Faithful in trusting that God has us right where we are meant to be.
For now, this is enough of a challenge.