Measurement of Success

Today, I am 32 years old.

If you would have asked me 15 years ago where I thought I would be in my life, my answer probably would have had “teaching” somewhere in it. Life is a funny thing. When you’re young, you think that you have your whole life planned, or even mapped out. And somehow, you end up where you’re supposed to be…and for me, it’s nowhere near what the 17 year old Caiti imagined.

It’s better.

Yes, my life has had struggles. But, I’ve also had triumphs. We all have.

As I woke up this morning, I began thinking about the last 32 years of my life. I know that I shouldn’t, but I have a bad habit of comparing myself to others. I see people my age who are nurses, doctors, lawyers, or just hold prestigious positions at a company. I see them, and I think “Wow, they are really successful!” “Maybe someday, I’ll be successful too!”

But, as soon as I think that, the next immediate thought is, “YOU are successful!”
What’s the measurement of success anyway? If I think about my life, and categorize it…it’s pretty easy to see that success can be measured differently for everyone. And for me, success might look a little like this…

It occurred to me that I have been driving for half of my life! 16 years! What? It seems like just yesterday I drove my manual Chevy Cavalier out of the driveway for the first time! Only one accident (sorry Tina!) and one ticket…success!

I have been a wife for 10 (almost 11) years. Ray and I were 21 years old when we got married…still kids! We had so many people tell us that we were too young…but we are still going strong! We have been through SO much together, and I know there is still SO much more to come, and probably to overcome! Ray is the one who I can be a complete dork around, and he still loves me.(I know, I know. Yes, I am a dork. Shocking )…I look forward to the next 50 years with him! Huge Success!

I have been pregnant 3 times for a total of two years and 3 months. That really puts pregnancy and the changes that our bodies go through into perspective! I have been blessed to naturally bring 3 healthy, beautiful children into the world. I consider this one of my biggest accomplishments because it was something I did by myself! (Well, not the getting pregnant part, but the actual delivery.) Hehe. Success!

This is my other greatest success. I have been a stay at home mom for the last 8 years of my life. It has been over these years that I have learned the most about myself. When you’re the only adult in the house during the day, you learn a lot!

I have also learned that I don’t need to hold a reputable position, or be a doctor or lawyer to be successful.

Success is a hugging my husband when he gets home from a long day at work.
Success is an unprompted “I love you, Mommy.”
Success is my 3 year old using his manners.
Success is being able to go on a date night with my husband.
Success is being able to sit and talk with my children.
Success is still having relationships with our families.
Success is my kids still allowing me to kiss them goodbye in front of their friends.
Success is being able to bake cakes from my home.
Success is getting showered for the day! (Trust me, sometimes that’s HUGE success)
Success is praying with my kids every night.
Success is my husband saying, “the house looks nice!”

Success is not just one thing, but lots of little things piled up, that have made me the person I am today, and the person that I look forward to meeting in the future.

You know, I’m ok with getting older, because life just keeps getting better.
I don’t look forward to the day when I’m finally successful anymore, because I realized, I already am.
Here’s to another 32 years!

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