Monday, July 13, 2015



               The Story of the Scepter and the Crown


      I spent seven years earning my Masters Degree. I was pregnant with my first daughter when I traveled to downtown Detroit where I took my classes at Wayne State University. With a baby on the way, I figured I would just take the courses one at a time so I wouldn’t put undue pressure on myself while learning how to be a mother. Getting the degree was much easier than learning how to be a mother. 

     I worked hard writing papers, giving presentations, researching this and that and sweating for months over my thesis. Defending that thesis in front of the Graduate Committee was like walking the plank; labor was much easier.

     I remember being so proud when I finished and received my degree in the mail. I didn’t go through the ceremony, as I was 40, and I thought it was a little late for all of the pomp. I reveled in my achievement for a few days, and then we went to a dinner party at a friend’s home. The friend had invited another friend and her husband. That friend was a high school classmate of whom I was insanely jealous. She was beautiful, and I remember all the boys were gaga over her back then. She was still beautiful all these years later, and she had no children; therefore, no bulges. The reason this is relevant to the story is that she had just completed her PhD and announced it at the dinner table. Instead of chiming in and telling everyone that I had just finished a seven-year MA program and was nursing my child like super Mom, I just shrank in my chair. I went home that evening depressed, and it took me weeks to recover. 

     Now some may think that is immature and childish, and it was. But for those of us who were brought up to be the brightest star, it was devastating. Why did I let someone else’s light put mine out? Who knows, but I did. 

     Fast forward to the present. At 72, I have just earned the Toastmasters International Triple Crown Award for completing three certifications in one year. For anyone unfamiliar with the Toastmaster program, this is no big deal. To those of us working hard every week to accomplish our goals, it is admirable. Well, I went on some website to check out the Triple Crown award and discovered that not only am I one of about 30 in our region who earned it, there were at least six or seven who earned between seven and ten certifications in one year. Flashback to the PhD dinner. 

     Fortunately, I already wear a crown at home. Mr. Wonderful is very respectful of the status I have earned, and he even calls me “The Queen.” So what’s the point? The point is, that when we accomplish things, the absolute worst thing we can do is to compare ourselves to someone else. Comparison is the enemy of self-esteem said someone important. What matters is that I set a goal, achieved it, and I deserve to celebrate even if it’s alone in my woman cave. So hats off (CHAPEAU!). I did it, and I’m proud! If you did more, then bully for you. Pass me my scepter.