Accomplishments are strange and powerful things. Whether it is a big or a small accomplishment, people tend to feel a great deal of pride when they achieve it. So what if all your accomplishments are long-term? How do you keep yourself motivated? And what if your daily accomplishments can never truly be accomplished?
The dishes are done! Nope, dirty again.
Laundry is finished. Oh, not anymore.
Are you raising happy, healthy children? Talk to me in eighteen years.
It is a strange thing to go from accomplishing things both big and small on a daily basis, to never feeling you’re accomplishing anything at all. I never thought it would bother me before, but I think it’s pretty normal not to consider the possibilities of something you’ve completely taken for granted. For example, other than a toddler, I’ve never seen anyone stand and flip a light switch on and off, just to watch the wonder of electricity. But if it were to be gone tomorrow, I think all of us would feel like fools for not appreciating it more.
This is my accomplishment-less life right now. I’m missing something I never knew I had before. You’d think this would make me even more reluctant to work on my book, since it too is a long-term accomplishment. But the strange thing is, I’m also developing a strange joy in working on things that seem to be somewhat unrewarding. I recently started a garden. I had help, but it was still a slow process. Yet, every day the children and I race outside to see the wonder of a plant having finally pushed free of the soil, and with it comes a strange thrill that as time passes, we will have created a garden of thriving lives. And whether it is the joy of seeing my children’s wonder, or the garden itself, I feel a strange sense of both joy and exhausted that my new accomplishments in life will be few. But very important.
Like my garden. And book. And children.