I saw the Disney movie Secretariat at the movie theater when it first came out months ago, I even paid full price. If you know how cheap I am, you’ll know how much I wanted to watch this movie. I was hoping it would uplift and inspire me. Secretariat was that kind of movie.
If you are not familiar, it is the story of a woman who takes over the business of running her father’s horse breeding/racing farm due to the death of her parents. She does what she needs in order to succeed, even in the most difficult of circumstances.
What I loved most was seeing the determination and at the same time, the uncertainty in Penny as she had to choose between living this dream or not. After two years of living a dual life, late one night, her husband questions her ability to keep up such a tremendous pace. Her response stuck with me when she replied, “When I went off to college, I felt like that colt, full of promise, full of adventure, like I could make something work. I gave up a career to have our family – and this colt is part of our family now, I just want to see him run.”
While I don’t want anyone to believe for a minute that I feel like have sacrificed everything for the sake of raising my family, I do sometimes feel like women sacrifice more than their share. Sometimes we lose our sense of balance when we give absolutely everything to our children and spouses while reserving little or nothing for ourselves. I want my children to have the kind of parent that shoots for the stars and follows her dreams, no matter how difficult or uncertain the chances of realizing that goal may be. In my small way, I hope I am showing them a bright example of how I want them to live their own lives.
Please don't misunderstand me, I absolutely believe that a mother’s place is in the home, no matter how old fashioned that sentiment may seem. I also realize that for many women, not working is just not an option, I get that. But, there is nothing that is more fulfilling in my life than watching my children succeed and simply being there for them when I can. When my children succeed, I feel like I can take a small part of the credit for their achievements.
If my goals and dreams were taken away from me, or even shoved too far back in the closet until a “better” time for them to come out, I think I would lose a part of me that I would want my children to see as they grew up. I think that is why I am so persistent in doing the things that I want to do, even if it means giving my children a bit more responsibility around the house, expecting them to help out with their younger siblings more than their friends have to, and sometimes sacrificing my own personal time supporting my kids. I can closely relate to the scene when Penny is missing her daughter’s performance and lays on her hotel room bed sobbing while listening to it through a payphone. I don’t know how many football/baseball games, music recitals, field trips, etc. I have missed because I was taking a test or finishing homework.
So, what are my dreams? First, I am going to graduate from ASU (December 15, 8:30am). This goal is 22 years in the making. It has been a wonderful and exhausting experience and my family has sacrified as well as myself, but I am so excited. Another goal is to help each of my kids graduate with a major scholarship that covers at least two years of tuition and books (I’m 1 for 7 thus far). My additional goals include traveling to Spain and visiting a real castle, maybe picking up Vance in Paraguay when his mission is done, going to England to work on family history documentation, and serving a mission with Ben. I also dream of the day when my blog magically turns itself into a keepsake book, or when I get my own parenting book published. I’m like Penny when she said, “This is about life being ahead of you and you run at it!” Speaking of running, a marathon still eludes me, but that is next summer too.
This movie is less about a race horse and more about living out your dreams. What are you made of? What are your dreams?