I read this quote each morning through sleepy eyes as I scoop coffee to make my favorite beverage. When I sit down to work in my office I have these words nearby reminding me of what I already know. I live these words every day, always have, and until a good friend gave me this quote on a decorative angel did I realize this WAS the secret to my success.
How do we measure success? Certainly each of us will answer this question differently and undoubtedly our responses will vary as the seasons of our lives ebb and flow. Success to me comes from within and my measuring tool is my happiness meter. Most always I am content:
*In this moment I and my family have good health. This is always at the top of my checklist…we’ve been down the rabbit hole before and I don’t care to ever return. If anyone reading this is trying to escape the clawing, black abyss of some life altering health concern I pray for you every night. I’ll never forget our good fortune to climb out from that place of unknowing and uncertainty to have days like today where we dream and plan for tomorrow. I hope you will have this again one day.
*I’m watching from afar my kids work hard on educational goals that right now strain them emotionally yet energizes them as they chisel through and triumph along the way. There is nothing more satisfying than watching my children use the tools they’ve taken with them to independently work through their days, their problems and then return to us to discuss how they handled a particular situation. Yes, they do still weigh in with us on the front end of some of their issues and this is equally satisfying because I know there still remains that desire for our parental input. Mutual respect between parent and child is a delicate bond to maintain if not constantly evaluated throughout the years. For you parents of young children who think you are at the best stage and you cannot imagine them growing up? Just you wait…exciting times lie ahead! The thread that binds you thickens yet it physically no longer exists, or so they think, and before you know it you have an independent thinking, conversing adult before you who will surprise you with his vast knowledge, her creative solutions and you will wonder where did the time go? You in tune parents will know just where it went-time stands right before you.
*I have wonderful groups of friends, some of which overlap and some of which have never met but have mutually heard about over the years. Many are married, some are single, some are in between, but all are in good places right now (per our last coffee, Christmas correspondence, email exchange, phone call, etc.). I remember having a conversation with my mom when I was young about wealth. She asked me what makes you wealthy. I told her,
“My friends. The person who dies with the most friends wins!”
From where that came I don’t know and I wish I could remember her response but I do believe this was the first quote inked upon my heart. And I am not talking about social media friends, I grew up in a more private and personal era. I refer to those friends who know my feelings just by the way I enter the room or answer the phone, or don’t. Those friends who know me from way back when and we reminisce about who we were before we were Mrs. or Mr. so-in-so. Those friends who will take time from their day to meet with me just because I asked or are happy to see me even if it is the second time in the same week. I’m rich with dear friends who will go to the movies yearly to watch my favorite holiday film because we share the same affinity for Elf culture! Or that friend who I ran across at a football game who I’d not seen in years yet we gabbed for hours in the pouring rain about our kids, work, high school and our mothers. Without you my many dear friends, my pockets are empty.
*My home glows. NOT because it is clean and dusted, good Lord, no. My home glows because it knows love and laughter, piano music, good food, hard work and support for each other. These walls are painted with stories told at Thanksgiving when my small family comes together. Some shareable, some not worth repeating but I cherish the time spent together and the conversations that leap from one side of the table to the next. And guess what? We do discuss politics and religion and no one has succumbed yet!
The floors in my home are polished from the many feet that have brushed it’s surface to share a cup of tea, a bottle of wine, to discuss the month’s book club selection, share a recipe or to dance and hang out all night long (while we parents attempted sleep above you, thankful all were safe and accounted for). These boards especially glow from the four legged loves who tiptoe here and dash there and those who have graced our home over the years.
The windows in this home are the jewels. They open in spring welcoming the scents of flowery new growth, dewy morning grasses and curious chirping creatures. They close with the new season’s invitation of clean, crisp fall air that excites me with the onset of colder weather. And every day they remind me how wooded spaces can be so peaceful.
All of this gives me a sense of balanced energy that lifts and fills me with happiness daily. Along with my work and personal passions I do feel quite successful. However I, like you, have my very down moments in life where I feel there are no answers and possibly nowhere to turn. These times can simply be fleeting moments or linger for days. After a proper amount of self-pity, I venture beyond myself and inventory my life’s collage, where I’ve been and who’s helped me along my journey and I realize that I do have it all despite my current disposition. This is a belief held deep in my core and perhaps learned from my childhood, a time when my family lived modestly, dreamed a lot and knew the three of us would persevere regardless life’s hurdles because we had one another.
My happiness meter is spot on these days so I will say I am successful. That’s my secret, one worth sharing. And yes, I do have it all…
This is my response to the daily prompt, Quote Me.