I am known to celebrate pretty much anything. I don't need much of an excuse to crack open a bottle of champagne and don a party hat.
Half birthday? Cheers to that!
Finally made some cash writing for Weekend Notes! Cheers to that!
Slept for four hours in a row. Cheers to that!
So the fact that this is actually my 200th blog post is something that has been weighing on my mind for a few weeks. I wanted to do something big, something special, something timeless. Something that would go viral and earn me a Pulitzer or a book deal.
But life's not really like that is it?
For every Glennon Melton, Amber Dusick and Kerri Sackville whose hard work has earned them international fame and a book deal or two, there are hundreds, probably thousands of everyday bloggers like me, plus tens of thousands of ordinary mums who carry on in the anonymity of their every day lives, with their relatively small successes.
I had a conversation this morning with a friend about the general 'lack' in our lives. A lack of progress, lack of achievement, lack of personal grooming (in my case at least). This parenting gig, even five years down the track, still astonishes me on a daily basis. How all encompassing is it, how time consuming. How the six hours between school drop off and school pick up can evaporate into nothing more than a load of washing and a few breast feeds.
I'm not complaining, though it may sound like I am.
I spent almost thirty years studying and working and being told to perform and achieve, and being rewarded for performing and achieving. And it doesn't matter how much you love your kids, how much you cherish your time with them, whether you carpe diem or not - it's not as though you can instantly turn off that voice in your head that has told you that success comes from (choose one): money, promotion, position, publications, qualifications, status, public recognition, or perfectly manicured nails.
Because that voice does not exist solely in your head.
Even if you have come to grips with the fact that your project management skills are now being used to write the playgroup roster, or your engineering degree is now being used to help build towers out of Lego, you can't stop the relentless (albeit well-meaning) questioning that inevitably starts up again about when you will go back to work, and what you spend your time doing.
Life with children takes you to not only another planet, but another dimension. It has its own sense of time, and its own sense of achievement. While the years fly past without us realising it, the minutes can drag. Our babies are suddenly grown and leaving for school, yet the last fifteen minutes of the day before our husband (or wife or partner) walks through the door can become nightmarishly long. And brutal.
Where we once may have celebrated a completed project, a new degree or a closed deal, we now view success as an attempt to sit on the potty, a merit certificate from school, a shopping trip without a tantrum. Small successes.
Some days I have trouble finding a single thing to discuss with another adult that doesn't involve talk of sleep (or lack thereof), poo, or kids deviant behaviour. Some days I don't even manage the most simple household chore - beds remain unmade, dishes unwashed, breakfast bowls still on the table. Those are the days I question my greater contribution - beyond my own household and to my kids, who obviously think I rock.
And so I postponed writing my 200th blog post, waiting for something incredible to happen to me so I could write about it.
And I kept waiting.
And in the end I decided that I didn't need something huge to write about. That's not what I do anyway. I write about the small things that are instantly recognisable to most parents.
And then when I was about to hit publish, I realised that Blogger counts all my unfinished, unpublished posts. Relics of days that I couldn't even string together a few paragraphs worth publishing. There's been a few of those.
Which means, I am nowhere near my 200th post.