Gold medal mommying

Watching the Olympics last month made me restless.  It might seem ridiculous, but whenever I watch competition on that level, I wonder if I could have what it takes to do that — if I could, under any circumstances, compete at that level, in anything.  It’s not that I hold any illusions of actually doing it, but I wonder if I could.  And not necessarily something physical — could I devote enough of myself to ANY pursuit to be able to compete at the highest levels?

I certainly have the drive, the ability to be single-minded, the tendency to be obsessive about something when I decide I want to excel at it.  So, could I?  Do I have what it takes?

Maybe it’s an overdose of ego, but I think I could.  I think I could devote every waking moment, every ounce of energy, to a single goal.  I think I could sacrifice the idle things I want in pursuit of a dream.  I think I could become completely consumed by one purpose, and put it first.  I think I could.

So, why don’t I?  I’m good at a lot of stuff.  My chosen sport is one that people my age (and even older) excel in, so there’s still time.  I’m a good writer, with a certain amount of talent and some good ideas.  I could go after these things, in a real, determined way.  I could.

But, the truth is, I don’t want to.  I can’t be great at everything.  Time and energy are finite. Professional athletes, Olympians, actors, politicians, artists, writers — they all devote a lot of themselves — everything they have — to their pursuits.  And right now, I don’t want to give that much of myself.

I’ve chosen another path.  I want to be a world-class mom.

Being phenomenal at anything doesn’t happen in our spare time, it doesn’t happen in the moments left over from another passionate pursuit.  I don’t think I could be a world-class rider, writer, dancer, or whatever, and then come home and devote what was left of myself to being an amazing mom.  (Well, I think I could, but I don’t think it would work.)

I’m a professional mom.  I left my career to stay home and do this, full-time.  I think it’s important, and I’m excited to be able to do it every day.  I want to be great at it.  I don’t think I could be great at it, though, if I were devoting myself completely to being a world-class something else.  I need to passionately dedicate my energy to this if I want to get the results I’m hungry for.  (So many things suck that energy away: Facebook, tv, gossip, pastimes, games, anger/resentment.  Must work on that.)

If I want to be phenomenal in my chosen passion, I’m going to have to give that energy to my kids.  That’s what I want to be great at.  That’s what I want to be known for, more than anything else.  The audience is very small, but the reward is very great.

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