I came across a story yesterday on the Internet about a young, obese woman who is the focus of a new MTV reality series, Chelsea Settles. Naturally, I was drawn to the story because I wanted to know if Chelsea had lost any weight. The pretty-faced Chelsea admitted to weighing 324 lbs. and hoped that a move to Los Angeles from her small, oppressive town in Pennsylvania would be the lightning rod for her weight loss plans and a new start in life.
The article did not directly report whether she realized her goals. You have to tune in to MTV to find out and it’s unlikely that I will, but I was struck by one of the questions that the reporter asked Chelsea. The reporter wanted to know if Chelsea was still a “work in progress” or was she finished after six episodes.
I am more than twice Chelsea’s age and I doubt I have ever faced the challenges that this young woman has, but let me lay it on the line right now: I am still a “work in progress.” I wonder when you ever stop being a “work in progress.”
I am always looking to lose a few extra pounds, say the right thing, improve my vocabulary, learn a new language, dress appropriately, be the “perfect” mother, you know, stuff like that.
Invariably, I fall short, become overwhelmed and decide to take a nap. There’s nothing like a little sleep to refresh me and sharpen my outlook. Still, I continue to set goals and try to chip away at them. This blog remains one of them and I must admit, some days it feels like I set myself up to fail, particularly when my computer screen remains blank after an hour of steady staring.
Do you think Steve Jobs felt he had accomplished everything he wanted to when he died at 56 last week? Unlikely. Apparently, Jobs authorized his soon-to-be released biography because, as he told author Walter Isaacson, “I wanted my kids to know me.” Jobs concluded his final interview with Isaacson by saying, “I wasn’t always there for them (his kids), and I wanted them to know why and to understand what I did.”
Personally, I really benefited from Jobs’ commitment to the iPhone and all the technological breakthroughs that he spearheaded. But I wouldn’t have wanted to be his child. If you have to read a book about your parent to know him, then I think you were cheated out of some quality time.
On the other hand, I have always been there for my kids. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that I could have helped Steve Jobs invent the iPhone if I wasn’t carpooling or making grilled cheese sandwiches. Since I’m still a “work in progress,” there’s hope yet.