“I’m helping put a man on the moon.”
I do a lot of dishes. We homemake, from scratch, just about everything we eat… so I also do a lot of cooking. I fold towels, wipe tooshies, organize meal plans and “experiment supplies,” and pull weeds out of the driveway. It is not glamorous, mind-blowingly intellectual, or particularly difficult. However, if you were to ask me what I was doing, I would say, “I’m helping put a man on the moon.”
Now, I’m not necessarily interested in putting a man on the moon, unless that man is my son, and he wants with everything in his being to be on the moon. (Or that man is my husband, though I’m pretty sure what he wants is to be a world-wide resource for those who want to get to the root cause of what’s going on with them to obtain their life’s purpose, joy, and freedom.) So maybe I’m helping a future astronaut, or maybe I’m helping a future Olympian, a philanthropist, a Mr. Fix-It who makes peoples’ lives easier, a brilliant inventor, an inspired musician, a loving father, a conscious world citizen, and/or a loyal friend. Some may see what I’m doing as chores, but to me, they are things on my “Successful Actions” list that I’ve noticed help our lives as a family flow more smoothly, those things that organize our environment to help us feel and be more successful and empowered, calm and collected. They are the “little things” that free my family up to fulfill their purposes in life.
What about my purpose in life? What am “I” doing with my life? First and foremost, I am helping put men on the moon. That is my focus. Like a bulldog with a chew toy and a Tibetan monk clearing energetic channels. As for my other aspirations, I do what I can when inspired and otherwise trust I will fulfill whatever other dreams in their own time. Making my bed makes me feel like the kind of woman who gracefully moves through life, lovingly snuggles her child, kisses her husband in the kitchen, and writes children’s books that warm homes on starlit evenings across the world. I aspire to those things and already do some of them daily. It also practically gives a sense of order to our surroundings and makes it possible for us to show our house at a moment’s notice.
Just to be clear, I’m talking about the seemingly mundane, behind-the-scenes, “little” things we all do for each other every day out of love. This includes all parents, all partners, all friends, all siblings, really anyone who contributes to another person reaching his or her full potential. As Mother Teresa said, “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” Or maybe small things done with great love lead to great things. Or maybe, as a NASA janitor once told President Kennedy, when asked what he was doing, “Well, Mr. President, I’m helping put a man on the moon.”
Will my child (or husband or myself) have to do something “great” for me to feel successful? No. But I do hope for my child that he is a kind, centered being; mindful of others and comfortable and confident in his own skin; doing what he loves in life and living what he feels is purposeful. I hope that my husband feels supported in being his authentic self, congruent and aligned with his work, free to aspire to the greatness I see him embody everyday in daily life. I hope that I never mistake a Successful Action for a chore on my journey to support those I love, including myself. If I can contribute that to society, I will be incredibly grateful. And if I can offer the groundwork of that for my child, husband, and myself, by small things done with great love, I am one happy Being.