Redefining Success

I’ve been out of college almost 10 years … wow, that just made me feel really old. So, for almost a decade, daily successes have been revolved around jobs. Hiring quality people as fast as possible as a recruiter, and then creating and developing a corporate wellness program that was a notch above everyone else’s. I lived for doing my job well and I think, for the most part, I did. Then I left the corporate world and became my own boss, at that point my successes revolved around satisfied clients. Small daily successes were fun and rewarding … my clients reaching fitness goals, and me feeling like I had some small part in it; bringing joy through photography, and having a client thank me for capturing a moment in their life that I never would have had the chance to do had they not invited me to the opportunity.

When we moved to Grenada, I left these two growing businesses behind and the transition away from “working” has been more difficult than I ever anticipated. Initially I was somewhat relieved to have a break from the pressure of making money … because, as a new small business owner, I have had many sleepless nights over the past two years, wondering if I’d made the right choice and if I would be able to successfully support my family. But those sleepless nights of worry made my business successes that much sweeter. And I didn’t realize how much my happiness, contentment, confidence, and energy depended on these small successes. When we came here, in an instant, I was removed from everything that I associated with success and I struggled with finding a way to replace the way it made me feel.

With homeschooling, being home with the kids full time, and ‘technically’ not being able to work in Grenada, I was at a loss for how to solve this problem. Most days we were so busy with our schedule that I just pushed my feelings to the backseat, but they continually resurfaced.

And then one day, out of the blue, there was that successful feeling!! And it was caused by the smallest of things, actually it sounds crazy even writing it but here it goes. Chris was in the kitchen and was opening door after door, I finally asked what he was looking for and he said “where the heck do we keep coffee cups!” I told you, it’s crazy! But our family goal and purpose for being here in Grenada is for Chris to do well in school, and it has been my mission to make sure he’s well fed and to get him what he needs, before he realizes he needs it. In my eyes, he should have one thing to worry about; studying. So, the fact that he had spent so little time in our kitchen that he didn’t even know where the coffee cups were, made me feel like I had accomplished my mission. Is this success? To some, probably not. But at this time … and this point in my life, this is success for me. And it opened my eyes, success doesn’t have to be making enough money or having a certain job. Success is what makes you feel good and feel fulfilled and happy … for me it has been redefined.

Here are 3 of my most recent successes:

1. Cooper swimming: When we got to Grenada Cooper would barely let go of the wall at the pool. He now swims LAPS as a warm-up at swim practice and is going to compete in his first swim meet next month.

2. Chris being clueless at home: The stories, like the one I told earlier, keep happening. Where are the diapers? Where are the napkins?  Could he do it without me, yes, definitely, but the fact that he relies on me so much absolutely helps fill my void.

3. Relaxing: This one is all about me. I co-hosted a joint birthday party today for Ava and a close friend of hers and I felt not ONE SINGLE ounce of stress. Maybe island life has had its affect on me. We still had hang-ups, the food wasn’t totally ready when the party started, and a few other minor hick-ups, but none of it mattered. We just did what we did and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the party. I don’t honestly believe I’ve ever had a party that wasn’t somewhat stressful and that I just enjoyed every minute of. It was a beautiful feeling to just relax and take it all in.

None of these are monumental, change the world, type of things. But, for me … right now, right here … they are big achievements. I am proud of my little successes and honestly they seem so much more powerful then some of my old successes. So, be proud of what makes you feel good, it might be the smallest, goofiest thing, but if it makes you feel like you did something right, then take a minute and enjoy that feeling. Because, it seems to me, that we define our own success and that definition changes as our lives change.

“A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do”. -Bob Dylan

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5 responses to “Redefining Success

  1. Totally relate to so many of your posts! Have I said that before?! If I haven’t I should have!! I most definitely relate to all the feelings of transition in your previous posts. I am 100% relating to the mixed feelings of leaving a loved career and being a stay at home mom/wife around the clock. Thanks for voicing so many things I have felt in a much more logical way..maybe I’m not crazy after all?!! Thanks for making me feel validated!!! Every time I see you and your cute kids I tell myself you do an amazing job with them 🙂

  2. You are such a great inspiration to me! I know it must have been hard to be a businesswoman and then give up what you were working so hard on to totally change your life to come here. You’re a fantastic mom and wife, and I look up to you so much. The small successes you mentioned are definitely big successes, and you will have played a huge part in your hubby’s growth to becoming a doctor. He’s very lucky to have someone like you!

  3. Keep going girl…taking stock of your small victories and milestones. It makes life sweeter. I am so proud of you!

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