Legions suggested that I write a list of triumphs, as well as regrets (okay, it was one person and he goes by Smithfieldman). I was initially reluctant because talking about triumphs seems like bragging, but hey, sometimes one has to brag. I also have a hard time identifying TRIUMPHS because when I think triumph, I see finishing marathons, or publishing a novel... tasks that are complete. But the things I feel most proud of are works in progress. So for your enjoyment... Ten Triumphs.
1- My Marriage with This Guy.
I consider this marriage a triumph in progress for many reasons. 1- I had a pretty negative attitude about marriage before I met him. 2- I was terrified of commitment. 3- I was (and continue to be) pretty selfish. I enjoy things my way, on my timetable, when I feel like it, okay? I like to joke that the Beardocrat weaseled his way into my affections and stayed there, but in reality the Beardocrat was the perfect partner for me. His kindness, enthusiasm, silliness, stability, and overall awesomeness make me want to be around him all the time. I have truly found an equal and I like learning from him, and teaching him, and most of all, laughing with him. I am not sure what life will bring us, but I know I'd not want to face any of those things, good and bad, without my best buddy.
I consider Motherhood to be a triumph in progress for a lot of reasons. 1- I am not a 'kid person'. 2- I do not have a lot of the talents generally associated with motherhood. 3- I have to work at it. When Squirmy entered my life in 2010 I was completely unprepared and ill equipped for the challenges that would follow. I considered myself a reasonable and responsible adult. I had a college education with years of experience working in emotionally taxing fields (and no, I am not talking about my time working at the Deli!). I also had leadership experience and felt that taking on the role of primary caregiver to a kid couldn't be that hard. Hahahahahhahahah, oh, sorry, I was just remembering how young and naive I was. Now, I can't promise that at this point that my children won't turn out to be horrible human beings, but I show them love every day. I sing to them. I laugh with them. I protect them. I put one of them in time out... sometimes frequently. All I know is that the physical act of carrying a child for nine months is a triumph, and lets not even DISCUSS the act of actually HAVING the child. The patience I am learning, and the willingness to step outside of what I know, make me excited for further triumphs along these lines.
3- Hard Church Stuff
Surprise, as a Mormom, one gets called to do all sorts of complicated, unpleasant, and awkward things. Apart from serving as a full time missionary back in the day, I felt I have always had the opportunity to accept these callings or reject them. And once accepted, the opportunity to do my best or worst. Apart from teaching Gospel Doctrine in Sunday School, most of my church callings have been things I didn't really want to do. Having agreed to do callings; however, has taught me many important lessons. Love. Compassion. Organization. Motivation. etc etc etc Currently, I teach the 6-7 year old Primary Class. Easily, one of the most difficult things I have done within the church, and yeah, that includes the mission! I find from one moment to the next I feel this is a triumph or a failure, but for me the triumph is carrying on and continuing, even when I don't want to.
4- I Actually Enjoy Working Out
Who'd have thought? And most definitely after having the kiddos I thought that I would never again get to the point where working out was less work and more relaxing. I am still unable to run as far or as fast as I have in the past, and have a long way to go to reach my fitness goals, but I am back to the spot where working out is a haven. I don't consider going to the gym a chore or drudgery but something I look forward to and a place where I can be alone and clear my mind. I don't feel like an interloper at the gym, rather that I belong there... and THAT is a triumph.
5- I Have a Library!!!
It has long been a goal of mine to have a house with a library. Since I was a kid I imagined a place where I could keep my books organized and just go to read, or write. In my childhood imaginings, there was also a secret passageway, and alas, I am working on it, but for now I will settle for the library. When the Beardocrat and I went house hunting (did I mention we moved? Oooops!) exactly a year ago, this was on the list of 'almost essentials'. In our townhome the Beardocrat and I shared an office/library and my books took up too much room. When we found our current house, the first thing I noticed was the formal dining room (carpeted, what?) that would one day be my library. Sometimes I just go in there and look at my books, not going to lie.
6- I Can Bake Cookies
Now, I don't bake. Ever. I'd rather buy baked goods than take the time to prepare them. Baking stresses me out as there is so little creativity with a precise recipe. If you start taking out this and adding that, you can destroy the whole thing. The science of it all is rather terrifying. And yet, I have mastered The Wicked Rage's chocolate chip cookie recipe. As far as recipes go, I doubt it is very complicated, but I can whip them out while taking care of children in a mere hour and a half.
7- Five Years, One Phone
This may not have seemed like a big deal back fifteen years ago when you had a land line, and who needed a new phone, but today, I don't know ANYONE who has kept the same phone for five years. What phone even lasts that long? A crappy samsung, no data plan, flip phone, that is what! So the phone isn't perfect, but what is perfect in this life? Occasionally if I go out of range my phone will do something strange and not let me know that I have texts or messages, until I send a text, then I will get all of them at once. So it has some quirks, but I am hoping to milk a few more years out of it!
8- Working Relationships
Something I feel confident being smug about is my relationships with my former employers, or rather, immediate supervisors. I began working at the tender age of twelve and excepting a few breaks for a mission and a couple of semesters of college (and of course now, where I work but do not get paid) I've always worked. I've never had a bad relationship with my boss, and still communicate with my last three bosses somewhat irregularly. I go visit with my last boss, Darrin, or Darronimo as I like to call him, about six times a year and regularly exchange emails to catch up. I realize that in the world of today where people tend to have adversarial or distant bosses, I have been pretty fortunate, but I count these good relationships as a triumph.
9- Not a Quitter
When it comes to reading books, anyway. I will finish every book I start. A notable exception being the Chronicles of Conan by Robert Jordan which were filled with masochistic sex and violence. Not edifying and not my thing, thank you very much. I've waded through the most boring, dull, horribly written books. Remember, I read Ulysses, TWICE!
This last one is definitely a triumph in progress, and might have more to do with the people I associate with than me, but I am throwing it in to round things out. I am not going to be the friend that always stays in touch, or 'likes' what you have to say on facebook, or keeps abreast of every single detail of my friend's lives, but I strive to be the type of friend that can be counted on, for whatever. When I think of my friends, they don't fit into one specific box. They come from a wide spectrum of political beliefs, religions, socioeconomic scales, education levels etc. I hope that I can be a good friend to all, independent of differences or similarities. For example (and this just happened last week!) I met a girl several (geez, I'm not young anymore, am I?) years ago. At first I didn't appreciate her, but thanks to #3 we became good friends. Though the years that followed separated us geographically, I still consider her a good friend (that I talk to maybe once a year?). We used to gchat incessantly when I worked for the entire State of Utah and she worked for BYU, but now she works for Georgetown, and I work at home, so opportunities of this sort don't come up that often. As I was checking my email the other day, I could see she was online. This is nothing new, whenever I am online, I can usually see she is as well. As I typed my tender missives to whoever (okay, deleted my linked in junk mail) her name and the little green dot next to it kept calling my attention. I ignored it for a while, as the kids were going to wake up from naps and I was going to have to be a parent, but I just couldn't, so I chatted her and asked her what was going on. Apparently, she was really struggling with some personal issues and needed a friendly ear to work through some things. This is exactly what happened about 5 months before when I gchatted her randomly. We spent the next little while discussing important issues and questions and moral dilemmas (my favorite kind of dilemma!). At the end of our chat she said I'd answered her prayers. THAT was a triumph, and an aspiration, to be the kind of friend who can be there when I am needed and wanted. I may not always agree with how my friends live their lives, spend their time, color their hair (except the Wicked Rage--she looks great no matter what color her hair is), or make decisions, but I would like to be the kind of friend that can offer support and comfort when it is needed. Oh, and laugh until some liquid comes out of my nose. That kind of friend.