I’ve always wanted to accomplish something in my life. Granted, I gave birth to two exceptional, talented, and successful children, but that was their doing, not mine. I’ve managed to stay married for 40 years, but that was because my husband and I can’t imagine life without each other. I’ve always been “Chuck’s wife” or “Jackie’s mom” or “Brian’s den mother” or “Chris’s friend” or “Jennifer’s teacher.” Yes, I can cook a pretty tasty turkey at Thanksgiving, or make sure the family room stays dust free, but I wanted to have the accolades of truly accomplishing something that would bring me notoriety, recognition, and a feeling of success.
Today we celebrated the grand opening of the first student-run credit union on a high school campus in Arizona. I wrote the proposal for the school district, and I worked with the credit union in order for this to happen. It took a year and a half to bring this to fruition. Today’s ceremony was filled with “congratulations,” “job well done,” “you really accomplished something.” TV channels 5 and 12 were there to capture the event on tape (or digital, or whatever is behind those huge lenses). I couldn’t count all the cameras that were flashing to record this “historic” event. At the VIP luncheon, I sat with the school’s principal, the district’s superintendent, the director of public relations, and the administrator for continuing education. This was way out of my comfort zone. So there. I guess I can say that I accomplished something in my life.
But the purpose of this blog is not to pat myself on the back. Quite the contrary. For one thing, it took a committee made up of credit union representatives, marketing personnel from the school district, students, security, and maintenance to pull this celebration together. It is truly amazing to see the end result of a lot of little pieces put together – like one of those jigsaw puzzles that cover the top of a card table.
What is most humbling for me is not the notoriety, the recognition, and the feeling of success; it is the support from my family, friends, and colleagues. My husband left work early to attend the ceremony and hang around in a world unfamiliar to him. My friend left work in the middle of the day and drove 20 miles to sit in the audience. And my colleagues made a card that they all signed with words of praise. All this meant more to me than the flashing cameras, the handshakes, and the attention. I know now that my life will change. I will show my family how proud I am of them. I will be sure that I celebrate the accomplishments of my friends. I will congratulate my colleagues for a job well done. I appreciate their support more than any accolades received, and I will in turn support all of them and revel in their accomplishments.