what we do.

Recently I had dessert with my sister.
We are a lot alike.
But are years apart and never really got all that close.
She had moved out and on before I even hit middle school.
But now that we are grown ups and especially moms, sometimes those years seem a lot closer together.

I said we are a lot alike. But in other ways we couldn’t be more different.
She buys nice clothes. I shop at Goodwill.
She eats healthy food. I mean too, but I really like Chik fil A.
She works a lot. I work. But I wouldn’t call it a lot.
She doesn’t have a facebook. I live online.

But we look almost exactly alike. Except maybe she is a few sizes smaller.
We are both smart, except maybe she has more letters after her name than me.
We are both obnoxious and loud, except maybe her mouth is even worse than mine.

I was home for a minute last week and we both snuck out for a glass of wine and some delicious dessert. Spanish almond basque cake from Veritas….I don’t really know what basque cake is. But it was amazing. I had to use some serious self control not to lick the bowl.

We caught up a little. She talked about work. And how busy she has been. Recently she was put in charge of a 12.5 million dollar grant and has been busting her tail with the press in addition to her lab work. She talked about meetings and budgets and her recent interview with Nature. I mentioned that we had been going to swim lessons. And also the science museum. And the park a lot. Then I went kind of blank. I didn’t have much to add. I’m not stressed. I’m not busy. I really haven’t been doing much of anything besides writing blogs, reading books and hanging out with my family and friends. I haven’t hardly thought about work since school let out. She talked some more about her research and some of it’s implications and the possibility of starting a company. She gave me some details, and even though I have a masters degree in science…most of it was over my head.

But despite all this success she kept saying that she was tired. That even though she is being praised highly right and left it is growing old. Those accolades aren’t really sinking in. Or they aren’t enough.

And this particular blog post isn’t about the grass being greener. Or even another post about my lack of ambition.
Of course there is a twinge of jealousy for her success and attention.
And she is probably just as jealous of my free time, lack of stress and time with my family and friends.
But I don’t want her job. I like sleep. I like my family. When I did my masters thesis, research bored me to tears. I even like teaching highschool. And I especially like waffle fries.
And she likes whatever complicated sciency thing she does. A lot. More than a double rainbow (bad you tube reference, sorry, I couldn't resist).

I told her that I was tired too.
And like her, also slightly unsatisfied.
Mine by my suburban mediocrity. Her from lack of rest. From always just trying to get through the next thing, which always leads to another next thing.

And it doesn’t matter.
Success doesn’t equal satisfied.

The next day I read one of her press releases. And she read my blog for the first time.
And again. We are a lot alike and equally as different.

But we both know that there is more.
That it doesn’t matter what we do. Or how much we do it. Or who publishes it.
She might be curing cancer. I might be wasting my time.
But happiness doesn’t come from what we do. Or don’t do.
From million dollar grants or coffee with friends.

But how much we love. And if I can just do that well, it will be enough.

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Margie said...

I'm catching up, here. Haven't read a blog - anyone's - in over a week. Love this post, and especially the picture that accompanies it. Thought I'd let ya know! (And I'm being soundly trounced at Words With Friends, by the way - all five games I have going! And I used to always win at Scrabble!)

This Heavenly Life said...

This is a very belated comment, but...


It's a good one and I couldn't pass it up.

You are wise, you know?

I'm so glad to have found your blog! Every time I stop by -- EVERY TIME -- you amaze me with your open thoughtfulness. I love it here :)