But Mom, I want a gold medal too!

The Olympics are the only sporting events that I truly enjoy watching.

Granted, I’ve taken in a few Buffalo Sabres games with my mother and some Sunday NASCAR races with my father, but sports only snare me once every four years.

However, with this global celebration of athleticism comes the imminent and overwhelming gloom of inadequacy.

Photo credit: Huffington Post
Photo credit: Huffington Post

Watching, slack-jawed, as 15-year-old Russian figure skater Julia Lipnitskaia dominated the women’s team short program, filled me with warring waves of awe and indignation.

I interrogated myself mercilessly, compiling my brief list of teenage accomplishments but discounting them quickly for one reason or another.  Somehow “Making high-honor roll every quarter” still doesn’t match up to the grandeur of “Winning top honors at the Olympics before I had my driver’s license.”

As I sat on my parent’s couch, cat in my lap and frown furrowing my expression, I realized something.

Accomplishment is relative.

Yes, Miss Lipni—too many consonants— may end up with this gold circle to love and cherish for the rest of her life. BUT, that achievement was most likely her only focus since she triple-axeled out of the womb.

For someone like me, a recent college graduate with a severe lack of job prospects, finally finding paid work was enough to throw a block party, ya know, if I wasn’t broke. For someone recovering from serious addiction, accomplishment could be waking up, showering and making it through the day without relapsing.

Photo credit: Creative Commons
Photo credit: Creative Commons

See what I mean? It’s all relative.

So, before you sit there berating yourself for your lack of pre-pubescent metallic medallions, remember that everything you do is important. Whether it’s mailing the bills on time, submitting the last draft of a dissertation, or finally proposing to your significant other—your efforts matter.

Keep pushing yourself. Find a goal, and motivate yourself to achieve it.

You’ve got this, so keep going.

Write on!

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