For a little while tonight, my feelings were hurt. I knew that things were likely to play out this way, yet I still hoped that it would be different. I told family and close friends how big a deal tonight was to me, how important it was reaching this particular milestone. I told them, rather than expect them to read my mind. I didn't make a huge fuss about it, but they were all told that tonight I would finish all requirements for this degree and that it was important to me. I made another mistake in thinking. I thought they would hear.
When I got home, the husband of the house said, "You are home really late tonight", to which I replied that we had to give our presentations and sit through everyone else's. His reply was "How did you do?". When I told him the group (I hate group projects!) got an 88/100 there was no response. And those were the total extent of his comments to me for the entire day and evening (really, those are the only words he said to me in 24 hours).
When people reach milestones or complete something important, especially if they tell me ahead of time, I try to respond in a way that acknowledges that I know it was important to them, and lets them know I am happy with and for them. Congratulate success. Help someone else feel good about their efforts.
But I didn't plan anything for myself and I should have. I knew that class would run late tonight. Still, I hoped that people at home would have a card or perhaps a flower or even just tell me congratulations. I thought that perhaps I might get a phone call from my sister or even emails from my extended family and friends. But it didn't happen. Strangers and passing acquaintances offered congratulations, but not my family and close friends. And for a little while, I was hurt.
However, I didn't do this for them and I didn't do it for any accolades. I have worked for the past four years to reach this first goal, for me. I DID IT! I am finished with this phase of things. I did it despite the lack of encouragement from almost all directions; I did it despite the financial difficulties; I did it despite my age and frequent lack of energy; and I am moving right into new goals for the next two years.
YEA ME! Tomorrow I will figure out something to do that marks the accomplishment.
Quotes for the occasion reflecting the progression through 2000-2004:
"Decide what you want, decide what you are willing to exchange for it. Establish your priorities and go to work." ~H. L. Hunt
"If you really want to do something, you'll find a way; if you don't, you'll find an excuse." ~Unknown
"Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that." ~Norman Vincent Peale
"Hell begins on the day when God grants us a clear vision of all that we might have achieved, of all the gifts which we might have wasted, of all that we might have done which we did not do." ~Gian-Carlo Menotti
"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is to try to please everyone." ~Bill Cosby
This one is one of my favorites:
"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds." ~Orison Swett Marden