Well, here it is. My 100th post. Isn’t it so shiny and polished? Now that I’m such an experienced blogger, this will be a post full of wit and wisdom, of laughter and tears, of such beautiful brilliance that it will overload the blogosphere, explode beyond the confines of the interwebs, burst into the thoughts of the non-webified, and I will, finally, achieve my goal of becoming a household name.
Oh, wait, I forgot. That wasn’t my goal at all. My goal was to get someone (aka ‘Not Mom’) to read my stories.
But I achieved that goal. Why didn’t I celebrate that achievement?
The funny thing about goals is that once you’ve achieved them, they cease to be a goal. They become, briefly, a milestone, or one of many steps, and eventually just a blurry memory.
Remember back when I had less than ten, twenty, fifty followers? Wow, I was a nobody then.
When will I say, Well, this is it. I’m exactly where I wanted to be?
You could applaud this thought process. You could say it means I am ambitious and driven. You could say I am destined for greatness because I never stop trying to climb to that next level. Sure. But what if this is as high as I will ever go? Shouldn’t I learn to be happy with where I am? Because I might be miserable forever if I feel like my current level is too low. But if I stop to smell the roses of success does that mean I’ve given up?
When I turned twenty-one, I went to a casino for the first time. I spent an hour or two dropping quarters into the slot machines and enjoying the privilege of doing something that had been previously denied. As I neared the end of my roll of quarters, I won eighty dollars. The machine made a lot of noise and a waitress came over and told me, if you put three quarters in at a time, you could win so much more. She kept pushing me to put the quarters back into the machine because of course, she’s paid to do that, and because she saw my measly eighty dollars as, well, measly. But I was really proud of those eighty dollars. I enjoyed that success. I still enjoy it. The amount didn’t matter. It was just that I achieved the gamblers goal: I walked out with more than I had when I walked in.
Maybe I need to redefine my goals. The place to find my happiness is in the work itself. That way I never stop working, no matter how large that follower number gets, and I’ll never be disappointed by how slowly the number grows.
But I am not a person who creates purely for my own enjoyment. I have always felt there is no point in writing if no one reads my words. I get a little bubble of adrenalin-rush-happiness every time I get a new like or comment or follower. Every time. It never gets old.
The little milestones are what keep me writing every day.
So I will keep writing and all those milestones will remind me that I am moving onwards and upwards. But I will try to focus on the joy of the creation and my intense appreciation of the attention I receive from my fellow bloggers. I will try to celebrate the little successes as they happen. I will try to remember that my goal is to walk out with more than I had walking in.
That way, I win every day.
Every bursted bubble has a glory!
Each abysmal failure makes a point!
Every glowing path that goes astray,
Shows you how to find a better way.
So every time you stumble never grumble.
Next time you’ll bumble even less!
For up from the ashes, up from the ashes, grow the roses of success!
-Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Soundtrack – The Roses Of Success