“Some women measure life by the men they have loved, Harriet reflected, and some by the children they have had. Others, in summing up, evaluate by a creed or code, considering the rewards of conformity and penalties of violation (or vice versa!). And then there are those who know no other measurement than the accumulation of possessions.” – Elithe Hamilton Kirkland
That’s the opening bit to what has become my favorite book, “Love is a Wild Assault”. It’s a historical fiction novel based on the memoirs of Harriet Potter, one of the first woman pioneers of Texas. As another birthday quickly approaches, I find myself getting introspective once again. This amazing opening to a wonderful book makes me pause every time. I can’t help but consider this statement.
Upon the reading this the first time I admit I stopped in my tracks. It made me take a quick mental inventory of my life. While I love her points, there obviously some that do not apply to me as a single girl with no kids. As another birthday came and went, I considered how my life measures (by slightly altered standards): family, friends, career, love, and growth. I can’t say it was always a pleasant introspection, but one that was well worth it in the end.
Family & Friends
When measuring by family and friends, I feel like my life shows I hit the jackpot. I realize how lucky I am to have these people in my life. Because I grow increasingly more aware of how lucky I am, I am trying to spend more time caring for these relationships. Trips back to the parents’ house where I can also see my sister and her family are important to me. My friends, well, my friends mean the world to me. I can’t believe what all of us have been through individually and together. The fact that I still have people in my life from when I was only 11 or 12 years old is crazy. My friends from Dallas are my rocks…keeping me sane through everything that work, relationships and life have thrown at me – always offering a shoulder to cry on and a glass of wine or shot of whiskey to help me move on.
I have been working for 10 years. It has not been an easy road for me – a few periods of unemployment coupled with less than great work environments. I won’t say my job is perfect, but who can possibly say that about their job. Work is hard and most of us only do it because we need to be able to afford living and doing what we really do love. That being said, I’m in a job that I feel like I’m appreciated 80% of the time, I have the ability to travel, I am trusted to lead a talented team, and at the end of the day – we are all working towards an admirable goal of youth development.
Oh love…well there is still a long way to go on that one. However, we have had progress over the last year. I am more sure of what I want. That clarity has led to better decisions about the men I let into my life. Each time the vision of what I want becomes more clear, my tolerance for the BS becomes shorter, and I become more confident in standing up for myself and my needs in a relationship. Still waiting for my person to be ready and able to sweep me off my feet.
Growth is the area where the most introspection has come. Have I grown in the last year? Yes. In what ways? Hopefully several as I am always trying to improve myself. Should I challenge myself more? Yeah, I’m definitely at that point. I am more at peace with who I am. Rather than constantly rebelling against how I believe that people might see me, or even convention (because yeah, I was that girl). Instead I’m embracing the fact that I’m at heart I pretty conservative, responsible adult who doesn’t mind a night on the couch and going to bed early. I still have a long way to go. I want to rededicate my life to getting healthy. I want to start going to church again. So yeah, there is still a lot of room for improvement.
Each year, I get older and hopefully a wiser as well. I still have a long way to go but I’m excited about having another year ahead of me. Between now and next August there are lots of amazing things that are in the works. Work will challenge me with a new role that is more leadership, less hands-on, there will be 2 amazing events back-to-back, next month I have a week of vacation with a girlfriend in Paris, hopefully some fun NYE plans, then of course I hope for a few weekend trips along the way.
So how do you measure your life?