Posts Tagged ‘success’

collective success

I recently had a few conversations that left me reeling. They reflected visions of success that, I realized, I rejected completely and absolutely. Viscerally.

This left me with the questions: Why did I reject that vision of success? And given that I rejected it wholesale, what was my own vision of success?

The answer is tied, in part, to the 150 or so books I’ve read since August of last year. Somehow, I couldn’t find the answer to these questions in pages. I had to find it in conversation.

We live in a world of finite resources. Some people are granted access to those resources; others are deprived of them. Generally, those who have access have military or other kinds of power legitimating that access. In short, they retain access by force. Read more…


Success, no matter what numbers suggest

6,100 people follow this blog. My stats page tells me so.

My stats page also tells me that only a few dozen people read my posts regularly.

My most visited posts this quarter was “Rara sends her love,” which got lots of visits through no magic of my own.

After that followed “You are capable of changing them,” “my bulimia / my beautiful body” and “The Church of Sunlight through Trees.” Each of these posts was viewed a little more than 100 times.

Am I a successful blogger? I could drive myself crazy trying to answer that based on the numbers. So today I asked myself during my seemingly eternal commute: What was the moment you felt most successful blogging?

I could answer that immediately, with two equally important moments:

To me, both these comments said: You are listening, and you are listening well. You are learning how to hear people even when they can’t find the right words.

Their comments told me so much more about whether I’m “successful” than a bunch of numbers sitting idle upon a screen.

I suspect my blog is too melancholy for day-to-day reading by most.

That it’s best read in times of loneliness or heartbreak.

You know what?

That’s beautiful.

I don’t need to be read by everyone, everywhere, every day.

If I am read by one person whose grief seems insurmountable, and that person finds the briefest glimmer of hope from my words

(as I have found hope, connection, and respite from theirs),

then I have been successful beyond my wildest dreams,

no matter what any number seems to imply.


How do you measure your success?

FTIAT: The Nitty-Gritty Life of a Med Student’s Wife

sisters nowRachael (The Ramblings of a Would-be Writer) is my just-younger sister, my Silver Star. She’s a little late to the FTIAT shindig, but for my Big Little Sister? I’d extend just about any party. And, hey … for this once, it’s not even a pity party!

Sharing her thanks on my twentieth bloggingversary means I’m compelled to also share a relevant blog excerpt from 18.5 years ago:

A boy asked her out last week and well, let me tell you, he’s got the Big Sis’ seal of approval! He’s at that wonderful awkward stage that all teenagers seem to hit… you know, that one I’m still not past. 🙂

Recommended postSurrounding Yourself with Good: How We Chose Our Children’s Godparents

ftiat img 200x200

The Nitty-Gritty Life of a Med Student’s Wife

So, as most would no doubt imagine, being the spouse of someone attending medical school while raising two small children (one and three years old, respectively) and working full time can get a little stressful. And while there are days that I ache with every fiber in my being, where my head feels like exploding, my chest thumps the ‘can-I-really-do-this-and-keep-my-sanity’ heavy thump of near-implosion, and my eyes droop from too little sleep – with all that being true – I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Read more…

Running & a middle school boy’s wisdom

My son and husband are watching a televised track meet being held in my hometown.

My mom used to take my siblings running along that track. We were all fast runners, something I thought we’d inherited from our dad until my mom’s cousin exclaimed how fast she always ran.

I was in middle school the one and only time I was chosen first for a team. My P.E. teacher explained my class would be running various durations for the next several weeks. She’d pool each team’s time for each run and tally them at the end. The team ending the challenge with the shortest total running time would get a school store credit.

Tim, a quiet boy I knew only as a skater, was named a team leader. He was told he could choose before other team leaders. He named me without skipping a beat.

I was shocked. A weirdo in weird clothes, I was always chosen last or close to it. It never occurred to me that a middle schooler might choose teammates based not on popularity but skill. Indeed, many adults haven’t mastered this! Read more…

10 Ways I’m an Awesome Mom

“10 Ways I’m an Awesome Mom,” a blog title boldly proclaimed this morning.

I had to read it. It’s not often I see the words “I,” “awesome” and “mom” in the same sentence. From experience, I’d only expect to see them in the (way) negative:

  • I fail at being an awesome mom.
  • I suck at being an awesome mom.
  • I will never be an awesome mom.

Life is full of imperfect moments and good intentions translated into hurtful actions. It’s important to share those moments and, seeing others’, understand we have so much in common. We face many of the same trials. There’s no shame in them.

Still, I sometimes feel heavy-hearted at how imbalanced sharing. Many bloggers I love share their faults far more often than their successes. I want to read about both. I wonder if they even see their successes.

Catherine, Peeper, Littler J and me last summer

Catherine, Peeper, Littler J and me last summer

Catherine’s list of ways she rocks motherhood lifted my heart. Like Catherine, I enjoy improvising songs for my little ones. Like her, I don’t fear dirt. It just so happens I spent a chunk of childhood running barefoot around my neighborhood.

I thought, “Maybe I should write my own 10 ways I’m an awesome mom!”

But you know what I just said about difficulty seeing our own successes?

It applies to me, too.

I started drafting my list in my brain. For the first couple of hours, it looked like this: Read more…

A success of smiles

“He’s talking!” I exclaimed when my oldest son, Li’l D, spoke his first word before returning to babbling for weeks.

“He’s walking!” I exclaimed when he took his first step unassisted, though he wouldn’t take another for many days.

I wrote these first dates in his baby book. I hawkishly watched baby sites to make sure he met every milestone on time. I wanted everything to line up just right for him to have a perfect life, as if his life at thirty would be dictated by his life at three months.

Somewhere between then and now, I talked myself down from those stressful heights. I remembered my truth that parenting success is revealed in a child’s acts of wisdom, humor and grace over the long run, not in any two-minute tantrum on the playground or milestone hit late.

So when Li’l D’s younger brother first said “mama,” I smiled and said, “I’ll write that as your first word after you’ve said it a few more times.”

I cheered when Littler J rolled over for the first time, but didn’t run for his baby book. Was it a fluke or the beginning of a new era? I wanted to make sure.

I wasn’t worried about the milestones written on someone else’s website, as long as Littler J seemed engaged and content.

Then eleven months came and went without him showing much interest in walking. Read more…

Life beyond the leash

I started a new job two months ago.

I will leave it next Friday.

This is not typical for me.


From a February 2014 post. Yes, really.

I cherish stability, a fact I recognized long before I learned my DiSC personality type is C for “conscientious.” (Is anyone here surprised, looking at the description? No? Right, then.)

But there can be a dark side to stability. Sometimes it means staying with someone who hurts you because the pain you know can seem better than even the possibility of worse pain somewhere else. It can mean sticking with something that limits you while keeping you comfortably, predictably “safe.” It can mean living with your wings wrapped tightly around you because you know you’re less likely to fall if you don’t even try testing your wings.

Of course, avoiding falling means you also never learn to fly.

I only saw this a few months ago.

I used a different analogy then, though. Read more…

%d bloggers like this: