Hi, I am Nataly and I am the co-founder of Work It, Mom!
I write the daily Work It, Mom! Blog where I talk about issues affecting working moms, goings on in our Work It, Mom! community, new site features, updates,and contests. I also share my own juggle between work and family and love to see members jump in with comments. Come and visit often!
Nataly's profile on Work It, Mom!
I’m in my mid-30s (AHHHHH!) and it seems like I am not the only one among my friends to be asking BIG life questions like “What do I really want to achieve in my life?” I guess it’s one of the things you do in your mid-30s — think about your life, your career, your goals, the goals you had ten years ago, before you had kids and mortgages and responsibilities beyond yourself, and ask big questions.
Among my friends there seem to be two camps. The first group are friends who are married and have kids. The big questions most of them are asking — and I am squarely in this group — have more to do with their career and personal achievement. (Am I on a career path I find fulfilling? What do I really want to achieve professionally?) The second group are friends who are either not married or don’t have kids and their questions tend to be family-focused: When should we have kids? Do I even want to get married? You get the idea. It seems that if the family part is figured out, career and personal achievement step up into the questioning spotlight and vice versa.
OK, so of course there are no simple or short answers to life achievement questions, I know that. But I am insanely curious to find out how you guys think about them (and if you do, actually). Where I find myself looks something like this:
I feel like I’ve done some really awesome things in my life that feel like achievements and even better, achievements that I am proud of and care about. Big stuff, like becoming a mom and having a family. Personal stuff, like surviving immigration when I thought I couldn’t, learning English, and building a life. Career stuff, like having some rockin’ jobs where I did great stuff, learned a lot, made some friends and felt rewarded for my work. Creative stuff, like learning Japanese Sumi-e painting, writing a lot (although definitely not lately), and making fun, creative gifts for my family for as long as I can remember. Entrepreneurial stuff, like starting a publishing company, writing a book, and starting a web company.
And yet, there are many, MANY more things that I’d love to achieve in my life that I’m not yet close to doing. I don’t want to make a long list here and to be honest, for some of them I only have vague descriptions that make me sound like I am 22 and fresh out of college. The problem is, my life is completely full as it is and I am barely getting through the day, not to mention finding time to work on these big things I want to achieve. A friend of mine said to me that until her kids are out of the house and in college she is on hiatus from big goals or achievements and while this sounded perfectly reasonable, it just doesn’t sit well with me. Not to sound morbid, but where’s the guarantee that after all those years we will have the energy and opportunity to get back to our goals?
So what does achievement look to you? Do you think about BIG life questions like this or do you agree with my friend that when you’re a busy working mom just staying above water every day is a big achievement?
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