Sunday, April 11, 2010

Episode Thirteen

I am incredibly successful. Whew. I'm quite certain by the most basic American standards that I look, appear to be a complete failure. Financially, I can say I've experienced moderate success for short spurts. However, basically most of my life I have struggled to make it enough of a priority to really gain solid ground on that mountain. I've worked for enough financial successes to know that it takes absolute commitment to make a whole lot of money. It's the kind of focus I'm not sure I'm really interested in at the moment. Though I do conclude stability is an extraordinary goal I chase.

So how can I measure "incredible success" and thereby make this statement confidently? Besides eminent wealth, "success" can be defined by the accomplishment of a favorable or desirable outcome, and "incredible" means that it is too extraordinary to be believed. This makes me laugh. I'll tell you why. Today I went shopping with my daughter with a very, very limited budget. She took her own babysitting money and some gift cards she's been saving since Christmas. She spent it all. With what she had, she was frugal and wise, and careful in her choices. She did not whine at me to give her more, and she was quite graceful in her gratitude for what I could give to her. Is this not exactly the essence of "incredible success" in parenting? My own "lack" has provided her with more wisdom than I could have ever paid for.

In the meantime, I can also say I am incredibly successful in the pursuit of my truth and I feel I'm getting closer everyday to actually accepting what I know to be true for me. Willingly, I give up having the stuff, if only I can get down to what I believe will serve humanity the best way I can. I know that a word of encouragement during a hard moment, or a clap of applause for a tiny triumph of my friends and acquaintances means more to me than being able to take them out to dinner or buy them a gift. I'm paying attention. I'm incredibly successful in paying attention. That's what I do as a writer and as a human being.

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