Monday, November 02, 2009

Is Greatness Overrated?

I was an A and B student, in school. A's in subjects I really liked (English) and B's in pretty much everything else. I could pull a B with minimal studying and a C without studying (mostly). My mother would always say, "If you truly applied yourself you could be a Straight A student."

And my thought was always: Why, when I can get good grades without overexerting myself?

I've never had a problem with the fact that I'm really good at a lot of stuff but perhaps not great at anything.

Now, with kids of my own, I definitely see why my mom was frustrated with my nonchalance, but I still don't regret my outlook.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not advocating slacking. Quite the opposite. I don't think the word slacker ever defined me, nor would it apply now. I approach near everything I do with ferocity but I also enjoy things 100% while I'm doing them, so I never feel like I need to be immersed in it 24-7.

It's been proven that those who achieve greatness often do so by the sheer volume of time they spend doing whatever they're great at.

Me, I'm a huge fan of being well-rounded and to be so, you sort of sacrifice the pinnacle of greatness for goodness. I'd love to be a great writer instead of a really good one, but literally the only thing I could sacrifice to write more is sleep or time with my family.

Call me crazy, but I sort of need sleep and I really like my family, they're kind of fun to be around. I feel like this approach I've always had has prepared me for juggling writing along with a full-time job and an active family.

Writing is addictive and I could very easily let it take over my life. Very easily.

I have incredibly manic phases where all I want to do is write. I give in to them, but not nearly at the level I'd like to. I'm afraid if I do, I'll emerge from the office and my kids will be grown and my husband off with another woman. I mean, the mania gets that bad.

Thank goodness, I know how to control it. Years of being satisfied with goodness has taught me how.

And I've passed that trait down to my kids.

In my oldest, I see myself. She can get good grades with minimal effort and as much as she loves anything (her friends, cheerleading etc...) she always reaches a point where it's like - Okay, enough of that for right now.

Some might see our quest for a little taste of it all as fickleness. But I don't see it that way.

It's more like living in the moment and cherishing experiences rather than letting any one thing define us.

I see the pros and cons of our mentality. But I'm totally at peace with being like this. After all, I am the goodest! Ask anybody.


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