Define Success

How do you know when something is enough? Are you successful or successful…enough?  I had a boss who told me I’d never get rich working for that particular employer. Wow, depressing, right? Or not…. His yardstick clearly wasn’t mine.

Like most folks, my husband and I were broke when we got married but we always had an income, a roof over our house and food on the table. We rarely had to tell ourselves “no” when it came to something. Not that we didn’t have to budget, but we spent our money relatively smart and were able to buy the normal fun things. We started out in a tiny little house but eventually traded up to a series of “forever” houses (my work has moved us around a bit). Every single house we’ve had has been beautiful in some way. Is that the definition of being rich? Maybe, but it only lasts so long if your house is empty.

We’ve always had an abundance of books. When the boys were little I would tell them, “we are rich in books!” because every bookshelf was overflowing. Does that mean we were rich? Even a house full of books may not be home though.

Ever since Martin and I got together, we’ve always had a house full of our boys, family, the neighbors’ and the boys’ friends. We wanted to be that house, the one where all the kids hang out. We don’t mind the mess, the noise or the extra food bill (even now, when each boy seems to need an extra large pizza). Ok, we don’t mind their mess as long as there is daylight outside…. In all seriousness, we love that they come over, talk for a bit, and then go do their thing. For us, this is the definition of success. It means that people see your home as safe and comfortable, that it’s a place to be yourself and where you are accepted for who you are. Our boys are getting older (the youngest is 17) and I’m happy to see them grow up. I’ll miss the impromptu sessions in our kitchen where they gather with their buddies around a pizza. I’ll still think we’re rich though, because of the role we’ve had in their upbringing.

My dad with Gus and Dylan. Don't let the scowls fool you - apparently the boys have outgrown smiling for the camera. :)

My dad with Gus and Dylan. Don’t let the scowls fool you – apparently the boys have outgrown smiling for the camera. 🙂

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