Come play in my world for awhile!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

How do you measure success?

Today was a busy day, but that's really nothing new. It seems I start almost every post that way of late. I spoke with someone who asked an off-hand question, "Was your day a success?" They weren't trying to be profound, but it got me thinking. Does accomplishment of all items on your to-do list constitute success? What if you accomplished nothing but you had fun? What if you did lots, but nothing turned out quite right? Was it technically a success?

Today I did the following:

  • Spent a ton of time at the barn with Rachel. Rach had a fantastic ride and made some significant progress on her riding course. I, on the other hand, spent a lot of time watching Rachel. Now, don't get me wrong -- I really enjoy watching Rachel, but it takes 4 hours from doorstep to doorstep. That's a lot of doing nothing. But if Rachel was successful does that mean that I, as the mom was successful? I'm going with yes on this one.

  • Showered when I got home from the barn to get the horsey smell off of me and then wasted a bunch of time doing a Sudoku puzzle. I'm pretty sure that's not a success of any sort. I didn't even solve the puzzle. But I did have fun. But does that qualify as successful? I'm not sure. I wasted time and I didn't complete the puzzle, but I'm not sure how to factor enjoyment into the equation. Let's go with moderately successful.

  • Decorated a gingerbread house with three of my daughters. This was supposed to be fun, but the constant jockeying for position between my daughters got really old really fast. The girls enjoyed themselves. My heart wasn't in it. And on top of that we made the saddest little gingerbread house in the world. I consider myself to be a fairly skilled cake decorator. This should have been a piece of cake (pun intended). All I can say is thank God I didn't pursue a career in engineering. I guess since the kids enjoyed it and I tolerated it we'll go with successful on this one.

  • Helped with dinner preparations (although really not much) and then I helped eat the dinner. Dinner was good, so I guess that was a success. Afterwards I immediately started plotting a way to get to bed by 8:30. I succeeded in changing into my pajamas so I guess that was a successful start?

  • Watched my sister try to make a plaster of paris ornament of some sort with the kids. It was a hoot watching her try to figure it out, and I think she and the kids had fun. I'd have to call it unsuccessful, though, as this is how it turned ended.

  • Went for a walk on the golf course. Remember I mentioned that I hopped into my pajamas right after dinner in the hope of sneaking off to bed early? Well, my husband decided to rally our family and guests for an evening walk. I did not want to participate. I was on a mission to get to bed, and instead found myself walking the neighborhood and golf course in my pj's. I put a sweatshirt on over top and it's really dark here with no street lights. I'm sure no one saw me.... Mid-way through the walk it started to rain and I ended up running through the golf course instead of walking on the cart path to get home. I returned from the walk damp and wide awake. No debate here, this was not a success.
So as I tally up the votes I had more successes than non-successes and mostly I had fun. I think that qualifies as a successful day? How I turned a simple question into a complete analysis of the minutiae of my life is beyond me.

And please, don't anyone ever ask me that question again.


Leslie M said...

I think the gingerbread house is gorgeous!!!

Gibby said...

You are right, that is a good question. I ask myself that all the time...what is a more successful day, getting the entire house cleaned, laundry done, etc, or hanging out with the girls, playing? I guess it depends who you ask. But I always think...what will I remember more 10 years from now, getting all my chores done, or playing with the girls while they still will?

Great post!
P.S. I can't believe you still have time to post while hosting guests! You rock!

:) said...

I personally measure by how fulfilling and fun the day was. Forget the to-do lists!

Michele said...

I'm sure you've seen this before, but here goes...

Today I left some dishes dirty,
The bed was made about 3:30,
The diapers soaked a little longer,
The odor grew a great deal stronger.
The crumbs I spilled the day before
Are staring at me from the floor.
The fingerprints upon the wall
Will likely be there till next fall.
The dirty streaks on window-panes
Will still be there next time it rains.

"For shame, you lazy one," you say,
"And just what did you do today?"
I held a toddler while she wept,
I nursed a baby till he slept,
I played a game of hide-and-seek
I squeezed a toy so it would squeak.
I pulled a wagon, sang a song,
Taught a child right from wrong.

What did I do this whole day through?
Not much that shows, I guess it's true.
Unless you think that what I've done
Might be important to someone
With shining eyes and silky hair
If that is true, I've done my share.