When I was a senior in high school, my class, like most high schoolers, voted for what are called senior superlatives, or for the less fancy-schmancy, the "most likelys." I was voted Most Likely to Succeed. I am still not completely sure why. I thought I might be a more likely candidate for the Most Horrifyingly Insecure in a Totally Crippling Way award. High school was sort of a middle ground for me - I certainly would never (ever, ever, ever) want to go back, but it was still a very good experience in many ways. My husband, on the other hand, was voted by his classmates as Best All Around, Most Popular, and Class Favorite. I mean, come on! Did I mention he was also voted most likely to marry someone who likes to tease him about his senior superlatives? For some reason he just can't seem to understand why my high school experience wasn't as totally and completely blissful as his. Really?
Anyway, I was looking at some old yearbooks at my parents' house the other day, and I got to thinking about whether I had lived up to my given senior superlative. Am I successful now? Have I been successful in the past, at least? I thought about this in light of my decision to put down the practice of law for awhile to stay home. Does that make me less successful? Or more? I guess it is all in how you define success and is definitely part of my own internal struggle to reconcile this season of life with some of my long-held beliefs on what success means.
Some days, when I just "get" something about my kids that I wouldn't pick up on if I was working and away from them all day, I feel successful. And then on days when I see news of my law school colleagues taking off professionally and winning cases and awards, I can tend to feel not so successful. And maybe a little left behind.
Success, or a lack thereof, also has many facets aside from work. You know, success can be defined as getting around to shaving your legs at least once a week. Just sayin'. It may mean being the better negotiator in the battle with your 3 year old over how many Skittles he can have after lunch. Or making just one supper a week that is not too bland, too salty, too undercooked or too overcooked. It may also mean loving a seemingly unloveable person, serving others in an area that you are uncomfortable in, or doing something you know is right even when the world thinks you are crazy.
I continue to tinker with my definition of success, but for now, I believe it is living my life doing the things that God intends for me to do with purpose, conviction and enthusiasm. Now working with that definition, I still don't know that I can say I've been successful all the time (or any of the time, for that matter), but I am working on it. And I am working on knowing that in different seasons I will be doing things that will look much different than what I do now, and I must have my eyes and ears open to the possibilities. Maybe one day, I'll be as close as possible to reaching my definition of successful. And perhaps the most beautiful thing in all of this is knowing that to reach any level of success, I'll never have to go back to the high school version of me. Yuck.
This blog is the story of my journey from lawyer to stay-at-home mommy. After finding out I was pregnant with baby #2, we decided that we would give it a go for awhile with me staying home with the kids. I worked after having our first child Deacon, so this experience will be a new one for me. I decided to blog mainly so that I would have a memorialization of the process since those first few months with a new baby are a fog anyway. But years from now, whether I never made it back or whether I am spending my days in suits and heels, I want to be able to look back and see what God is teaching me in these days of going from the courtroom to the playroom.