Friday, April 13, 2012

The Measure of Success

We measure success differently throughout our life. In high school, we might measure success by how many friends we have or how busy our social calendar is. Or by how many boys heads we can turn. At least that's what is was for me. Then it became about having a good job, getting promotions, buying my own home, driving a decent car, etc... Once you have children, of course the priorities changed again. Your measure of success lies completely in how good of a parent you are and how well you provide for your childs needs.

Mid life brings new meaning to the term successful. Seeing my children grown and making their own way in life brings me tremendous joy. For me it has been a time of great reflection. I no longer feel the need to work 50+ hours a week. I am thankful that I was able to support my family so well but having a lot of money is definitely not a priority of mine. It's not worth giving up time with my family. Money can never replace the time I spent caring for my mother before she passed away. It can not replace the time I spend with my family now, cooking meals or just enjoying their company. It could never replace the late night talks my children and I had after they came home from work or out with friends when they were teenagers. The older I become the more I treasure each of those little moments.

I live a Blessed life. I don't really have a job right now and money is tight at my house. But that's ok. You see, I have the priviledge of caring for my family and for others. I have the priviledge of helping. Helping strangers through volunteer work, helping my family by being available for them, helping my Church by serving. There is no greater joy for me than doing for others. Isn't that what Jesus taught us? Sure, I need to work. We have to pay our bills and buy food. But work no longer defines who I am as it once did. That, my friends is how I measure success now. By having my priorities in order. This is one of the great joys of being middle aged.