I was asked to define success recently, and I just couldn't. I mean, sure, I know the basic definition of success. Success is achieving a goal. But do I consider my life successful because I've attained a few goals along the way? Of course not, because there are always more goals along the way. And re-defining goals, and yes, even failing a few. Does that mean I'm unsuccessful? No, and I'm not a failure because I haven't succeeded at absolutely everything.
My X likes to say that happiness is an unnatural state of mind. I think a more apt way to put that is that happiness is like any other emotion: it comes and goes. Sometimes I'm happy, sometimes I'm not. If someone asked me if I was happy with my life, I would say yes, but I think it's an oversimplification of what true happiness and joy is. If we're happy 24/7, then how could we appreciate it?
Balance, I should say, is also not achievable. It's a great goal because it allows us to shift and re-focus as necessary, but no one's life is ever completely balanced. Routines can feel comforting at times, but at others, they can feel stifling. The sensible approach is to shift the routine a little bit in order to make room for other goals, other pursuits.
I was reading a book about how to achieve balance, how to segment goals into tiny reachable steps in order to reach those goals. As I was reading them, I have to say, I'm pretty proud of how I'm doing when it comes to looking at my life that way. And to feel validated like that helped alleviate some of the guilt that was stifling me a few posts ago.
So at this point, I would say that the thing I can attempt to sustain is feeling like I'm making progress. To know that I've made progress in my work, with the girls, in getting stuff done allows me to relax in front of a TV show or a book with a sense of accomplishment. It's tempting to re-name this blog It's All About Progress, but I'm still going for that unattainable balance in order to keep progressing. As once was brilliantly said by that genius Stephen Sondheim, "well, what's the point of demands you CAN meet?" (Merrily We Roll Along)
The point is to just keep going.