I’ve been thinking a lot about success lately.
It means something different for everyone. For me, I’m not quite sure how I would define it, but I do know I haven’t been feeling it lately.
The last race I ran was horrible, and I seem to be only getting slower (if that’s even possible, ha!). My apartment hasn’t been cleaned in weeks. Everyday when I leave work and head home, I feel unaccomplished……like if I had just focused a little more I could have done much more with my eight hours in the office. I haven’t been writing much, and I honestly have no idea what my next career move will be come December. I feel very stalled, like I’m not going anywhere.
I constantly feel stuck between two views of how to live life to the fullest:
“Life is short, so dream big, take advantage of opportunities, do what you love”…. in essence, do do do.
But in some ways, on the other hand, although not guaranteed, life can be long…so…
“Cherish what you have, for you will come to miss this.” In essence, slow down, enjoy the here and now, and don’t be in such a hurry to get to the next step.
I find value in both of these thoughts, and I try to remember them when I feel blah and anxious. However, they do conflict, don’t they? How can you always be dreaming big and doing, while also slowing down and enjoying what you have now? It’s tough to find a balance, and I guess that’s where I am —finding happiness between the reaching for more and the thankful for now.
But there is one part of my day that I neither feel anxious nor unsuccessful about…. where I feel I am enough.
Everyday when I get home from work, Steven and I rush through dinner, then head out to Shawnee Mission Dog Park with our furry child, Dixie the labradoodle.
If you haven’t been there before, it’s very nice. There are several trails that lead down to the lake. Sometimes Steven and I take one of the back trails, where we aren’t likely to see many other people. We talk about our days, we laugh and we enjoy each other’s company.
Lately, we have enjoyed the cool crisp air, and the crunching leaves. And Dixie is so funny to watch. She goes racing out of the car at full speed greeting every person and dog she sees with lots of tail wagging. She’s the happiest creature I have ever seen, and she makes me laugh. It’s true that dogs really know what’s important in life. To Dixie, it’s a park, a ball, other dogs and just having fun. She makes me value the little things.
The other day, as the sun was setting on the lake Steven, Dixie and I seemed to be the only ones down by the water. I felt happier than I have in a long time, and a familiar quote from a popular book came to mind.
“I am nothing special, of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts, and I’ve led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I have loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough.” ~ Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook (Don’t lie, you have read and loved this book too.)
When 5 p.m. rolls around, all I can think about is rushing home to my little family. Maybe admitting this will come back to bite me, but I think I will always value family over work…and I know I will always value people over money.
I don’t write amazing stories everyday. I certainly don’t run 9 minute miles, and I think I will always have 5-10 pounds of stubborn belly fat because that’s the way I was freakin’ made.
But I am loved, and although I don’t break world records or win Nobel Prizes, I do love back.
And maybe if I am blessed with one of those long lives, I will come to the end of my path, look back and realize….
That was really all the success I needed.