What Is Success?

When I was younger, I had a vision for my life. I was going to be successful…that was always a priority of mine. To be successful. I always connected success with a career, never with a family. Yes, I would get married and have kids, but a successful career was of the utmost importance to me.

Then came a time, when my parents divorced after 29 years of marriage, where I second guessed marriage and family. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to get married and have kids, because everything that I thought I believed about marriage had blown up. So I took some time, actually several years, to figure out what marriage meant to me outside of my parents, their marriage, and what I thought it entailed.

When I reflected on my own thoughts about marriage, outside of my parents’ relationship, I discovered some interesting insight, but it was literally an epiphany. I was volunteering in South Africa, and I met a set of twin girls, Queenie and Princess. I fell in love with them, and BOOM, just like that, I knew I wanted to get married and have kids. I knew it, without a doubt! It hit me in that one instance in meeting them.

It’s hard to believe that something can happen that fast…in that quick of an instance, but it did. When I returned from Africa, I was on a mission to find “the one.” Who it was or what he looked like, I had no idea, but I wanted desperately to make it happen.

Needless to say, I haven’t yet, but that’s not my point. Sometimes we look so hard at what we think we want that what we need passes us by. I spent so many years wanting to be successful at work and putting my time, effort, and energy into my career that I didn’t even consider a family. Then when I did, I was in my early thirties and felt I was on a time schedule. I put the pressure on myself to “desperately” make it happen.

Success comes in different forms. It’s not shown by money or your position at your job. It can be in the form of a marriage or in raising exceptional kids. I never thought that success was anything but career oriented. Now I know otherwise.

With expecting my first child, that perspective has greatly changed. Success can be getting out of bed without feeling abdominal pain. Success can be making it through the day with your swollen feet about to explode at any given moment. Success can be the pure joy of someone unexpectedly thinking of you asking, “How are you feeling today?” and your answering, “I feel good…at least today I do.”

Success can be a baby with ten toes and ten fingers. Success can be getting three hours of continued sleep. Success can be motivating yourself to get off the couch. Success can be your baby smiling for the first time. Success can be holding your baby after a long day. Success can and is anything and everything you make up your mind to see it as. Success is only a matter of perspective. So, how have you been successful today?

 

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