The last few years have had their challenges. Bad work situations, anemia, a changing newspaper industry where I saw my career ending right before my eyes, a child with chronic ear infections and let's not forget breaking my teeth...
But such is life. Some people avoid these tribulations. Some people never have to worry about money a day in their life. But these people have their own challenges.
I walked away from professional employment almost three years ago. I needed to find out who I was, where I was, and I had to appreciate my little girl before she grew up. I went back to school, took a part-time job at Target, and traded the financial security of being a dual income family for the chance to be a part of my family.
I've lost friends. I've made friends. I've gained mentors. I've found souls that inspire me.
I'm slowly learning to let go of this first world stress and to revel in the moment. I still have goals and places I desire to go, but if I never get the chance to do them, am I a failure? No. As long as I make steady progress and really see my life as I want it to be, I am no one's victim. I want no regrets. I'm not focusing on my happiness as something that comes as a reward for what I've done.
Happiness can only be how I frame this moment.
Yeah, the moment I'm wasting on the Internet talking to everyone and no one at the same time.
There's a ton of old proverbs, Bible verses and adages that address this. The past is gone. The future will never come. I even had one of them read at my wedding. The verses from Matthew that say something like this: Don't worry about the future. See the lilies of the field. They don't worry, yet God dresses them beautifully.
Evaluate your life. This week I applied for jobs (yes, professional ones), put out some freelance proposals, examined my volunteer commitments, handed in the first massive draft of my honors thesis, and took some naps.
And you know what?
I will never be defined by my jobs, or my mistakes, or even the things I do each day. I will be remembered for how I touch people. That might be by giving a kid a special straw at Target. That might be because of some fiction piece or some article I wrote. That might be walking some child home from school. That might be teaching the neighborhood kids to garden.
I have some errands to run.