Not 'success' in and of itself - the actual Achievement, Arrival, The Big Deal Done. Indeed, she only WISHES some kind of success (as she might define this) would land on her doorstep and ring the damn bell. And she wishes she would be wise enough to recognize Success when it does arrive.
"Hello, Big Lifetime Achievement Award! You would definitely look better with a glass of something red and grape-ish in your hand!"
No, the Matron has been mulling over the definition of success -- in part, what kinds of successes does she need in order to lay claim to a successful life? Now, being the academic sort, she understands you can fault her immediately for all kinds of assumptions and fallacies, the first being that life SHOULD be 'successful.'
She gets it.
This is the appeal of Buddhism, the profound acceptance that all we have in life is the present moment. Last hour's contentment at the table has vanished; memory eventually erases most of what were peak emotional moments in our lives. Here, success is simply the ability to be in the moment - fully, consistently, richly, authentically.
Sometimes, the Matron visits that zone. It is a pleasant place but it does not yet sustain or keep her-- maybe she's just not ready for(read enlightened or mature enough for) a permanent residency with that kind of peace.
Instead, she is frequently driven by something else. Is it ego, the pull of personality? The weight of mortality or an old fashioned American narrative? Whatever is calling her, the battle cry is (OMIGOD here's where she's SO sorry) is sort of like a Wheatie's commercial -- or was this for the Army?: "Be the Best that you can Be!"
Or she's producing her own quiet version of American Beauty?
Because she longs for the extraordinary -- or at least to be as extraordinary as she's capable of being (and sometimes that bar appears to be sitting on the kitchen floor next to Satan's Familiar).
She often wonders what qualities superior people possess. Why can one person trek across Antarctica while another cannot say no to a piece of pie? Why will this person jet across the globe reporting on wars while that person is afraid to leave a hated tedious job of too many years?
Tonight, she really has no answers. She's had her turns both eating the pie and staking out the dream, not always in equal measures. She just started reading Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers" and the first few pages ( success is all connection, context and synergy) has not been all that encouraging, at least as it relates to Instant Change for the Matron. Not that she's impatient.
She's just not currently residing in the the moment. ( Please, Lord, if she stands up and slings another commercial slogan---tomorrow is the first day of the rest of her life?-- it is all right to strike her down and leave the children mother-less. They'd be better off. )
Sometimes things would be SO much easier if she could just live through her children like the rest of the Little League parents. . . .