Being Good Enough

My mom recently told me she thought I’d lost my ambition.

Her comment stung.

I know she didn’t mean for it to; it was just her observation.

It had me thinking, though: Was my ambition gone?

I was super ambitious in high school. Geek confession: I retook Algebra 2 during summer school just to change a B to an A and preserve my perfect GPA, which was later ruined by AP Biology. Ah well.

I learned my lesson and let go of some of that need for perfection in college…until I graduated and jumped head first into a New York City-based publishing career.

But then life happened and I moved back to my hometown – where publishing jobs were very limited – got married and settled down, even though I hadn’t planned to stay for long.

A decade later, my roots are planted pretty deep. And yet, I’ve still managed to pursue my dreams: I earned a Master’s degree in writing, I found a job in publishing, and my husband and I started a family. There are still dreams I have yet to fulfill: to travel more and to write and publish a novel.

Perhaps its this last dream that prompted my mother’s comment. Its been a dream of mine since I was a little girl and I’ve never pursued it in earnest. My focus now is on my family, on building a strong marriage, on raising my children – my son and the baby to come, and on being a voice in the food allergy community. This is where I’ve been channeling my ambition.

My ambition is not lost. And I haven’t given up on my writing dreams, either. I just haven’t figured out how to balance those pursuits with my responsibilities. But I know that one day I will.

In the meantime, I’m just trying to do the best I can. And for this recovering perfectionist, that’s good enough.

This post was inspired by Good Enough is the New Perfect: Finding Happiness and Success in Modern Motherhood by Becky Beaupre Gillepsie and Hollee Schwartz Temple. Its about balancing the demands of work with the demands of family. As a member of the From Left to Write Book Club, I received a copy of the book for free. This post is not intended as a review.

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  1. Some days in the trenches of motherhood (with young ones), I feel like I’ve given up on my dreams. I’ve come to realize that I haven’t given them up, I’m letting them stew until I’m ready. Kudos to you for keeping your dream alive! I know that you will write that novel when it’s ready!
    Thien-Kim recently posted..Dont Clean the Toilet at 2 in the MorningMy Profile

  2. When I was going through my dark period, I feared for myself that I’d lost my ambition. Slowly but surely, I figured out that it just had to be on the backburner for a while. This year, I did something for me; got myself into a community leadership class. Next year…well, still trying to figure that out!
    April recently posted..Perfect for MeMy Profile

  3. I have the opposite… A mother who has told me I my ambition needs take a back seat and I should stay home with my son. It stings, too, in its own way. It’s funny how moms can do that.

    You sound to me like you have enough on your plate… And all of it sounds pretty ambitious. You’ll know when you’re ready to take the next step with some of your dreams – And when you’ll be in the best position to ensure they’re successful.

    • Thank you for your comment! It really struck a cord with me. Its funny how our sense of our ambitions can differ from someone else’s perceptions of them.

      I hope you’re following your own dreams, too!


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