I don’t know how it came about
It slowly crept on me.
This comfi cozy feeling
Of sofa, bed and tea.
It came upon me slowly
Just take a break it said,
“Rest a while, you’ve done enough”
Resounded in my head.
And so I took it easy
As my life began to dim
I’m getting older gracefully
I said to doubts within.
I lost my sense of purpose
The thing that egged me on
‘f I’d continued with my dozing
My life would soon be gone.
As so this year I’ve promised
Something to myself,
If I think a thing I do it
Not put it on the shelf
To come back to it later
While the time is passing by
There’s so many other options
to do before I die.
What do you picture when you think of a successful person? Media prompting – we’ll most likely picture a well healed business man/woman dressed in the best money can buy, or maybe a celebrity living the high life in a palatial mansion. I’d challenge that concept though.
Firstly the notion of success first requires a choice of what goal you desire to be successful in. Talking to young people, I’ve noticed an alarming trend to simply accept the goals promoted so often in the media (as stated above) without conscious thought or choice, often not even perceiving there are other goals. This is a mistake, not only because not all are fitted for these particular callings (thank God!) and may feel discouraged and lacking when they can’t attain them, but also the ones who do succeed have a tendency to be the saddest, most miserable of mortals.
There’s a great saying – “Before you climb the ladder of success make sure it’s leaning against the right wall!”
I like my son’s goal – to marry and make a happy family (sadly he’s yet to achieve that one having discovered you need a woman with the same goal – his ex being a bit of a gold digger!) Then there are my daughters’ goals. Some went for financial goals and succeeded, (it came at a price though – it always does). One choose ethical teaching ( succeeding and becoming a successful business woman as a result, without compromising her integrity). Another wanted to help her autistic son realize all he could of his potential (I honor her choice highest of all.) She’s succeeding miraculously but there was a lot of sacrifice involved. My youngest wants to leave something of value behind in the way of literature (she’s still setting out.) Even in my own family goal can vary greatly.
I have a second reason also to challenge the accepted notion of success. As a Christian (and human being) I believe in the end we are rated on our degree of love, humanity and integrity. Whether you believe appraisal will come in a look of pity and disappointment by an all loving God or the legacy you leave behind in the way of fond (or not so fond) memories.
I somehow don’t think most financial high fliers and celebrities are going to score high on those ratings. I rather see the struggling, single mum, the street sweepers who greet everyone with a sunny smile on the rainiest of days, the relief worker who cries himself to sleep under the weight of care for others, these are the one’s I see who are the real successes of life, who bring a radiant smile to the eyes of God, who are treasured in the lives of others.
So don’t feel bad if you don’t see yourself as “successful” maybe you score higher than you know!
Having to spend a lot of time sitting with my foot propped up, while being frustrating (I’m an active type), is slowly bringing me to realise I need to evaluate my time. My goal on retiring was to write.
In my youth I was given a message, in a mysterious encounter, that my destiny was to write. At the time I was an artist and thought they must have got it wrong, but as I’ve grown older the idea of using what I’d learnt in a very full and diverse life to help inspire others has grown.
Other goals have been slowly added, studying health, growing my own vegetables, yoga, exercise etc. Then there’s helping others, my children and grand-kids, and sailing with the disabled, for a while I even added being part of a local “green” group but that proved to be too much lol.
All these are good things, but a bit from an Andrew Womack audio kept ringing in my head. He said, if you have more than one goal your efforts get too diffused. He recalled many good causes he could have gotten involved with and had encouraged others in, but how he had to stick to that he felt he was ordained to do.
I pondered this at the time recalling another old saying, “don’t let doing what is good keep you from doing what is best.” but then I shrugged it off – mistake maybe?
Now apart from watching movies writing is the only thing I can do and I’m realising how unfocused I’d become, just fitting in a bit here and there between all the other stuff. Not that I can’t do these other things but that they should revolve around my writing not vise versa.
Maybe my temporary injury has a silver lining.
Much love to all you fellow writers and thank you all so much for all your concern and continuous encouragement! It’s so good to find so many others like me.
Even if not a believer it is a profound truth of life that what we are becoming is far more important than where we are going or what we are achieving.
I’ve found some of the toughest times in life have softened and molded my character transforming the arrogance and pride of my youth to more patience and compassion.
On stating that a very opinionated and argumentative family member reminded me of myself at that age. My youngest daughter, bless her heart, said, “but mum I can’t imagine you ever being like that.” I laughed, and said you’d never believe how much “tenderizing” it took to get me this far!
The secret of contentment in old age is being at peace with yourself, liking who you have become (even if we are none of us perfect.) No great achievement can satisfy if we cannot look to our heart with the peace of surrender.