Life is full of potential accomplishments. One person's accomplishments might be drudgery, or even failure, for another person. Even more notable, from my perspective, is that a personal accomplishment at one point in my life might not be the accomplishment I want at another point in my life.
Case in point: two years ago, the accomplishment I wanted and needed was to challenge myself with a new job. I tackled that and succeeded in proving that I can handle tough situations. I also proved to myself that gaining power in the business world and making six figures wasn't really going to cut it for me. I began to crave some accomplishments which used to seem like chores.
Today, I feel as if I've accomplished more than I have in a long time. I planned a museum morning for our family at the Bob Bullock Museum (where we watched a 3D movie about Arabia) and the Blanton Museum of Art (because Groupon just had a great deal on family memberships). At the Blanton, I was so happy to just sit back and quietly watch my kids take in art. My son spent a long time looking at every detail of some of the frontier/cowboy paintings and my daughter couldn't wait to get to the modern art gallery. It was a great morning because I refrained from rushing or insisting that we follow my own agenda. I let the kids lead. That was a huge accomplishment for me.
Once we got home, I did a grocery run where I saved buckets of money with coupons (always a fun accomplishment), then came home and cooked/prepared food for a freaky-long time. I considered the women in generations before me who had to cook for hours at a time and figured I wouldn't have loved it so much if it was expected of me or if I didn't have any other options. But I was really in kitchen heaven from about 2 - 7 p.m. this afternoon - because it was my choice.
It's a great life lesson. Accomplishments are only satisfying if they are the ones we choose for ourselves. Public acclaim is great - and Lord knows I'm a sucker for it - but if my heart is really into the idea of baking the perfect loaf of bread one Saturday, then I might as well focus on that because nothing else is going to make me as happy. Since accomplishments and life callings tend to morph, maybe a few months later I'll be called to lead a board meeting. If so, I'll just go at it with the same gusto and that accomplishment will as satisfying as today's cooking...
Although there's no way it will smell as delicious.