At different times in my life I have measured success in varying ways. A good grade in school, seeing my writing published, a win on eBay, getting married, getting divorced, the fire department arriving in time, having healthy children, an interview gone well, buying a home, finding the perfect gift for someone, hearing the word “benign,” not throwing up when I was thisclose, finding the little black dress…
I told you it has varied.
I have made lists to add up my successes and lists to cross them off. I’ve celebrated them quietly and sometimes alone and also loudly and pompously with friends. I have prematurely claimed success when it wasn’t success at all and I have completely failed to note successes when they have sat right here beside me; their legs intertwined with mine.
Lately, with even more change on the horizon, I’m trying to re-examine what success means for me. I am reminding myself to find success in smaller moments too; to allow myself that sense of accomplishment in the finer chunks of time that, in hindsight, carry just as much importance.
If not more.
A little over a week ago, success was in the face of my nine year old son who saw his Pac-Man cake for the first time. This past week, it was managing to take care of very sick boys while being sick myself. Saturday night, it was having the boys sit on the couch and over-analyze the UFC fights with me. Today, it won’t only be in starting a new job, but in letting go of the guilt that goes with it.
There is so much change. And for someone who struggles with the very idea of change, I will count each and every one of my accomplishments – huge and ridiculously small – giving myself credit for every moment I acknowledge and embrace as I face each new thing that comes our way.
This, I hope, is success.