Wednesday, July 10, 2013
MASH, Success and the The Declaration of You
The Declaration of You by Creative Career Coach Michelle Ward and Artist Designer Jessica Swift will be published by North Light Craft Books this summer, with readers getting all the permission they've craved to step passionately into their lives, discover how they and their gifts are unique and uncover what they are meant to do! This post is part of The Declaration of You's BlogLovin' Tour, which I'm thrilled to participate in alongside over 100 other creative bloggers. The topic this week is SUCCESS. Can I get some jazz hands?
Remember when we used to play MASH? Or sometimes it was MOSH. You'd make a square on a piece of paper and write MASH at the top. The M was for mansion. The A was for Apartment (the O in MOSH was for outhouse!) The S was for Shack. The H was for House. Then on the right side of the square you would list four cars, two favorable and two unfavorable. On the left side of the square you would list four boys, two favorable and two unfavorable. And below the square you would write four numbers, two small and two large. Then you would draw a spiral in the middle of the square until your friend told you to stop and then you'd count up the lines of the spiral across the diameter and starting from the big M you would use that number to eliminate whatever you landed on until you were left with a dwelling, a vehicle, a boy and a number of offspring. Voila! Your fate was sealed.
Does anyone else remember this? Fifth or sixth grade? Maybe earlier... So you hoped you'd end up with a Mansion, a Maserati, the cutest boy in your class and two kids. And even though you knew it was just a game, you prayed not to end up in a shack (or an outhouse!) with a poolman car, the class dork and seventeen kids. Because it could happen if you didn't play your cards right. That game defined success when we were kids. It was just a game but you can tell a lot about a society by it's children's games. I guess my society valued the big house and the fancy car and the cute husband and an appropriate amount of offspring.
Nowadays my definition of success looks a little different. By MASH standards I'm doing well actually. I live in house. I drive a nice (used) car. I married a very cute boy and we have three kids. My ten year old self breathes a sigh of relief. And I am profoundly grateful for all of these elements in my life but my success is not defined by any of them. Nor is my success tied to any of my accomplishments. These days I measure success by my ability to thoughtfully manage all of the flying balls and find joy in the process. This takes practice and sometimes I suck at it. Many days I feel like my business is on fire but I'm totally neglecting my kids. Or my kids and the business are thriving but I haven't exercised in six months. You get my point.
For me, at this moment, success is three well-adjusted, happy kids only a year and half after moving them to a new house and a new school where they made new friends in a new language in a new country. Success is relocating my business to Israel despite bureaucratic hurdles all the while providing the same high quality products and services to my clients around the world. Success is finally starting to write a novel, something I have wanted to do for many many years. But my biggest success is being in the middle of all of it and not feeling overwhelmed by the loose ends.