A Picture of Success

I’ve been reflecting today about how people measure success differently.

It seems like most folks consider rolling in money, fame and popularity as getting their piece of the pie.

I can definitely see where being financially blessed has it’s perks (duh). I realize you can get more done when you have the dough. But at this point, being on my own makes all of that seem like a lifeless goal. Yes, I realize friends and family would come out of the woodwork if I ever hit it big, but it wouldn’t count. If I’m out there ballin’ for overtime and bonus pay, but don’t have a soulmate to share it with, it doesn’t mean much.

A couple may have to shop at Aldi to save money. But if they can have intelligent conversation while curled up together at night, as they inspire one another to push themselves to be the best they can be, believing in one another and praying each other through hard times, to me they have already reached success!

My pastor said the other night, “You can be content without being satisfied.” I would consider it a dream come true to have a partner who, like me, was not satisfied until we reached our individual and shared goals, but who had peace and contentment along the way, and already felt successful while on the journey.

I aspire to be effective on my job, with my writing, and I most definitely have other personal goals and plans, but how interesting it would be to already feel successful in 2017 while I work toward these achievements!

To me, it’s about the journey as much as the destination. (Thank you, Aerosmith, for those words!) Although I know where my final destination is going to be, this picture would be my pinnacle of success along the way – me and the king of the castle, working for what’s ours and what God has for us!

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How do you define success for yourself? Are you there yet? What are you doing to reach it? If met with obstacles, are you willing to fight for it?

Here’s to success in 2017, whatever that may look like to you!

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In Repair

Please, dear God, let 2017 be better than 2016!

It’s been a year of false starts and knock-downs, renewed hope and crushed desires, rekindled dreams and reality checks. But I guess even all of that is a huge improvement from previous years when I actually thought my life was over! Thank God I survived those years! (Can anyone give me a post-divorce, post-cancer or post-any-kind-of-trauma AMEN?)

Still, what is it about 2016 that makes me want to look twice before crossing over into 2017? I feel ready – repaired from past damage – but what if I’m not? It is taking so very long for me to arrive, but maybe this time I’ll be ok.

The reason I hesitate isn’t because of fear – I think it’s because I really want it to be right, and I really want to be ready. You see every time I step out too soon, it just doesn’t work. Each time I make the wrong choice, I fail miserably. I seriously don’t just stumble either – I fall flat on my face, skirt over my head, and roll right off the edge of a tall building and into oncoming traffic – it’s ugly! I’ve learned that timing is everything. And if I’m not careful my next move could set me back again.

So I’m hesitant. Am I ready to step out and make these decisions just yet? I don’t want to be wrong!

I remember one time when I left my car at the dealership for some work to be done. It was promised to me in two days, so when the time came I went to pick it up. When I saw it, the front tires were new, and when I started it I could tell immediately that the battery had been replaced. I thought I was good to go! But as soon as I put it in gear, the same grinding sound that I had before was still present, and boy, was I mad! I huffed into the office and crossly informed them that they had not fixed it. Upon investigating, it was discovered that miscommunication among the mechanics had caused them to miss the most crucial problem of all. I had assumed I was ready to drive away. But there was still an unresolved problem under the hood.

Nothing can defeat you more than when you believe you have fixed your issues and that you’re good to go, only to get neck-deep into your next “situation” and find out that you’re still drowning in the same problems you had before!

So as I come to the beginning of a new year, I’m shaky from past events, but I still have hope in the future. I’m focused on decisions I need to make, and I’m determined to take the steps towards personal goals and in becoming the person God planned.

The question is, even though I’m not who I used to be, am I repaired enough to be ready for what is to come?