Monday, October 22, 2012

Definition of Success?

I had lunch with my 17 year old daughter last week and as I walked away I smiled to myself and thought was a successful time it had been. And then I laughed out loud as I realized how my views on what constitute "successful" have changed beyond all recognition since having kids. Here is a brief summary of our lunch:

We met at a restaurant near to where we both work that serves lovely pasta. While I was waiting for her to appear (of course, she was late) I looked at their menu and and decided to choose something off their very reasonable 'Lunch Specials' menu. When Emma arrived, she was starving and took a very brief glance at the Specials menu before declaring there was nothing there she liked. No problem, I said, choose what you want from the normal menu. After perusing for a few minutes she decided on a Gorgonzola pasta dish. I knew she wouldn't be able to eat a normal-sized portion so offered to share it with her and just order a salad. I wanted the Mixta salad, which I'd fancied from the Specials menu, she wanted the Caesar salad, as usual (what is it with all teenagers - why do they always order bloody Caesar salad?). We ordered the Gorgonzola pasta and the Caesar salad. I ate most of the salad as she disliked their homemade dressing.

She then spent most of our lunch texting on her phone, which is supposed to be forbidden, but apparently it was "Just one more text, it's very quick, just making important social arrangements". We did, however, manage to squeeze in a few conversational sentences without getting into an argument, in between her texting and shovelling food in her mouth, before we got the bill. As we were leaving she somehow managed to extract $7 cash out of me to go back to her work (a fashionable clothing store) as she absolutely had to have this bracelet which was the last one there and she'd left her wallet at home.

As we left she smiled happily, told me she loved me (hmmm, wallet-love?) and actually allowed me to put an arm around her and graciously leaned her head towards me so I could kiss her forehead. This was thrilling as I am not normally allowed to touch her. I walked away thinking what a nice lunch it was before giving myself a mental head slap and reality check.

How has your thinking changed over the years? What do you accept now that would have been completely unacceptable a few years ago? (Like farting when you cough, no longer being able to do star-jumps - did I ever want to? - or longing for bed at 9pm, to sleep not for any hanky-panky.)

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11 comments:

  1. Sounds like a perfect lunch. I have learned that it's better to just not think anymore. I have placed my brain in a vacuum, so now everything seems acceptable to me.

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    1. LOL Gives new meaning to the term 'vacuous'

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  2. I want to have lunch with you!
    I think I'm just more accepting of people in general. They're going to do what they want to do anyway, right?

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    1. Anytime! Yes, easier to accept people as nothing we do is gonna make 'em change!

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  3. Claire, when she's 30 it will be better! My daughter was just like that, except cell phones weren't as prevalent then.

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    1. 30???!!!!! Nooooooooo! That's too far away. Pleeeease tell me it will be sooner than that?!

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  4. Sounds like a great lunch indeed. As far as changes go, hmm not sure, I'm more crazier and care less about the nuts around me I suppose haha

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    1. Well, you are definitely crazy! Thanks Pat :)

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  5. My bedrock is still the same but I've learned to spot the small stuff and let it ride. I'm the pick the battle and win the war sort.

    One think I have learned: to accept family, friends, and people in general, for who they are and not what you want them to be--because they never will be what you want them to be. You love them or like them in spite of the parts you don't like. You let the rest of the stuff just roll off the back. :-)

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  6. If we get out of the house within half an hour of our planned time, and only have to go back for something we've forgotten once, then that's the very definition of success for me!

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  7. Having a teen daughter, I totally get this. I'll even take a "good morning mom." I might have been the same way though. Yikes!

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