Feb 8, 2011

Kicking Against the Pricks

I honestly don't even know what a prick is, but it sounds uncomfortable to kick.  This discomfort is something I have been experiencing most of my life.  I am very impatient, especially when it comes to life moving along.  I don't like transition periods and I don't like that stagnant period between transitions. I suppose the only period I tolerate is when things are on the up and up.  Enjoying the journey, as they say, is something I've only recently adopted.  It certainly doesn't come naturally to me to enjoy waiting for the next exciting and new thing in life to come along.  But alas, at least I have learned it, as infrequently as I follow it.  There are 3 things in my adult life that have been consistent and ever present that I enjoy.  In no particular order they are cooking, silversmithing and natural health studies.  I am almost 30 and I stay at home with my kids.  I know that my kids wont be home forever and therefore I do not intend to be a house wife forever either.  I feel it is very important to stay home with my kids and raise them.  I certainly don't want to miss any important moments.  Yet sometimes it is hard.  I find myself getting down in the dumps, depressed, BORED.  I try to keep myself busy and my mind active with activities here and there.  Crafting, learning, watching hours of BBC classical period dramas...  
The outside world on the tv is continually telling me to get a career and be successful.  Oh do I ever want to be successful.  Here's the thing about being successful.  It is like being skinny, it is all relative.  Relative to whom you ask, whom you live by and where you live.  To a 500 lb woman struggling to loose weight, I bet 350 lbs sounds sweet.  To that 350 lb woman I imagine 180 lbs would be fantastic.  To that 180 lb woman 145 would be great!  To me 145 lbs is fat and I'm sick of it!  So it goes success.

When I look at my mother though, I see success.  She never had a fabulous career or made a lot of money or was super skinny and fashionable.  She raised 7 kids!  She is still married to the same man after 4 decades!  She reads every book before I even know it exists.  She helps everyone around her and is always charitable.  She is smart and sturdy little lady who just keeps on going and learning and doing.  I know that according to "the world" she is not much of a fantastic success, but if I could just be half the woman she is by the time I am her age I would feel successful.  There is no denying she is a successful human being.  Yet here I am "kicking against the pricks" trying to accomplish things I know will largely make me successful in others eyes and not my own.
My sister and I had a conversation this morning about how I am frustrated that I cannot find a decent school and degree combo that I want.  One school has the program I want but is not accredited, the other school may have the accreditation but does not have the kind of program that I can believe in.  I have been searching for the right school and the right program for years.  I didn't even know what I wanted to do exactly until very recently.  Still I am not completely certain how it will all pan out.  My sister implored me to stop kicking against the pricks.  Just enjoy what I am doing right now and when it's time to go to school the stars will align.   Sometimes I want to kick the pricks to spite my foot. I suppose I will always have the personality that will kick the pricks occasionally to make sure they are really there.   Then I will look at my sore foot and remember that life was much better before I started kicking said pricks.  Thank you sister for reminding me that I have to enjoy the journey and work toward my goals at a more patient pace.  That I cannot want something and receive it at the same time; there is little to learn if there is not some adversity along the way.  Thank you mother for your shining example of a well adjusted, successful mother who tells "society" what for instead of letting society determine your worth.


  1. Very well said Val. I find you to be VERY successful, talented and NOT fat. You have so much talent Val...that what a lot in this world go to school for to gain credit and worth for...you already have...in abundance...naturally. Said sister is right, enjoy what you have now. Your life is good! And what you say about Mom is so sweet. And so true. Love you!

  2. P.S. kicking against the pricks is in reference to kicking against the goad...A prick/goad was an ancient version of todays modern "cattle prod". They were used to have some form of control over oxen while tilling. Sometimes the oxen would kick back at the "prodding" only to cause themselves further discomfort. Hence, kicking against the "pricks". :)