There have been so many instances lately where I have been quick to put myself down, or tell myself I didn’t do something quite good enough or that maybe my family deserves more from me. Maybe I don’t keep the house as clean as I want it, or the laundry goes a little bit longer than intended. Maybe the dinner isn’t as “organic” as I first dreamed it up to be or maybe I just am not mentally present for my family enough. It’s not that I self bash every day all day, but I am more of a realist and know that in many areas of my life, I can do better.
But, reminding myself of all the things I need to do better has also made me want to balance things out and give some props to myself where props are due. As busy moms, wifes, friends, daughters and sisters, I encourage you to do the same! We all are so good at beating ourselves up, let’s not be ashamed to build ourselves up sometimes too! So here are my top 10 life achievements thus far in my 35 years on earth.
- I managed to survive growing up 1 of 4 kids. You might think that doesn’t sound to chaotic, but it was. My older brother and I had some EPIC fights and he would almost always win. And winning would usually look like him sitting on my head and farting.
- I made it. From Kindergarten through 12th grade, I made it through to the end with still somewhat a naive but positive outlook on life. You may think that being naive is not a great thing but there was plenty of time left in my life for my eyes to be opened to the uglier side of humanity. The fact that I made it 18 years without a chip on my shoulder is a great achievement.
- I graduated from college! There was never a doubt that I would go to college but my main focus was to play sports. The fact that I received a degree at the end was icing on the cake!
- Ok, college definitely deserves two on this list, because not only did I graduate from college, I did so playing two collegiate sports and ending up on the Dean’s list. What?! I literally didn’t recognize myself at the end of those 4 years.
- In connection with number 2, I finally had my eyes opened to the sadness, brokenness and hurt that is in the world. Unfortunately, it wasn’t just the world, it was my life. One of my biggest achievements in life is getting through a horrible divorce (which left me alone and pregnant), the worst heartbreak of my life and coming out the other side a better person. Someone who knows that pain is temporary, even if it lasts for a very long time. Someone who loves more intently and someone who knows without a doubt that God brought me through!
- I was a single mother for 6 years before I met my amazing husband now. Those 6 years were HARD but I see achievement. I provided for my son with love, stability, laughter, shelter and so much more even when it wasn’t easy to be on my own doing it. The minute he was born, he became a symbol of my biggest achievement, survival!
- I have a great and close relationship with my parents and always have. The respect and love I have for them has never wavered. It keeps getting stronger. I talk to them almost daily. I see them weekly. We share meals, they love on my family, they are generous with their support and love. After 35 years, I am so happy to have nurtured such an important relationship.
- I have become a mother 3 times over and will do it 1 more time in August. I have always wanted to be a mother and I have always wanted 4 children. I am so amazed that God has allowed me to build my family in this way. It’s not always easy but I have managed to keep them breathing!
- I married someone I consider my best friend. Seriously, this guy can take anything. The secrets he has to keep is just not fair but I trust him with my life. One of my greatest achievements is not just settling but finding a man that would love me, my son and would be an amazing father and family man. Jackpot!
- I have achieved happiness! I am not all the way to the pinnacle of happiness. Probably never will be, but the amount of smiling and laughing I do throughout the day, makes me realize, I have it pretty good. My friends keep me smiling, friends I’ve had since grade school, my family keeps me laughing and gives me a sense of purpose and security and my faith gives me a reason to not stress the small stuff. There is so much more to come and much more important things to focus on than laundry.
There are so many more I could add to this list because I have done a lot in my life so far! I finished a triathlon (it wasn’t pretty but I finished!), we bought our first house, we beat the system and found out a way for me to stay home with the kids for awhile, and I have learned some incredibly valuable and sometimes painful life lessons.
Now, it’s your turn! Focus on your achievements for a change and give yourself a break today.