The recent attacks on England resulted in an article in the newspaper here about a local woman, Lila, living in London, and her experience that morning.
I went to high school with Lila; her little sister was in my class. She is now an actress in the London theater. I found myself thinking "Good for her! What an amazing life she must have!"
You see, it's a secret wish of mine to live in England - just for a year or two. I would love to have the time to travel Europe and soak up the culture and history - experience something completely different.
So I find myself envying Lila and her exciting life in London. How completely dull my life seems in comparison. Yes, I'm a college graduate - something that was extremely important to me. But what have I done with it? I'm living in a tiny Wyoming town, mothering two beautiful children - and struggling at that. I'm (here it comes...) just a mom.
Yes, even I, the defender of the importance of motherhood, think it in the back of my mind. Who would envy me my life. "Ahh, how glamorous it all is - the sippy cups and Lexapro, the diapers and dogs!"
Not that I would want to give up my children and become an actress. (Although I wonder if I could meet Jude Law that way. ;) But sometimes I wish I had more to add to my life resume than BA in Psychology, mother of 2.
But then perhaps Lila would look at me and think "Look at her! She really has it all - a loving husband and two beautiful kids." Maybe at the end of the day she goes home to a lonely little London flat and wishes for more. (I doubt it - what little I knew of her, she was intelligent, outgoing, kind and warm.) What is success to one person isn't necessarily for the next.
I suppose here is where you want to hear what success is to me. The problem is I don't know yet. I'm still growing up, you know. I'm just a 30 year old kid. I'm not always good at the happiness thing, so I certainly don't have it figured out.
The other night I was tucking Gabriella into bed, and she told me she wants to be a mommy when she grows up. I told her that is a wonderful thing to be. I asked if there was anything else she wanted to be. Nope, she said - just a mommy. She wants to name her little girl Sally, and her little boy Oregon. (Oh yes, and she wants also wants to be an elephant rider - not important to my story, but very cute.)
If there is one person in the world who would envy my life, I'm honored it would be her. Perhaps that right there is my success.