For most of my life, I have been driven by an internal definition of "success" that was based on a quick standard of...how much money have I made.
It is a compass that was planted by a father looking for a male adult, instead of the female gender I had..which is why I was such an embarrassment to him. Then, it grew under a society determined to see the same.
The past few weeks have illustrated just how perverted that compass really is. Over that time, I tried to earn as much money as possible to help. However, the result was making myself unable to have the mental or physical capacity to take care of the things necessary to the family and household.
My wife had a spasm of her spinal issues that sent her to the ER, and I was barely able to handle the stress needed to respond to the situation or the physical needs to get her prescriptions. Then, I was faced with needing to adjust my daily schedule and budgets to prepare for the upcoming days, and that was difficult for someone that was so mentally depleted. Further, dealing with ALL of this made me even MORE unable to EARN MONEY, which made me feel like I was failing...again...for caring for my wife. How absurd is that?
Also, the internal compass made me betray the person I am most indebted for fidelity..myself. I had no time to be... me. What would the point be if I live my life but failed the person I was born to be...me.
So, I have made a few adjustments. In the last few weeks, I have earned much less money, but I have accomplished much more. I have begun the process of applying for her disability benefits, which was something that has grown apparent but had not been done, because I was too...busy.
I have revised my photography profile and blog to allow me to do an interest I had let fall by the wayside. I took a bath that lasted more than 5 minutes and have allowed myself time to think...to process..of things valuable to me...time I would not have taken, before. I have lowered my stress level and began to heal stress injuries, taking time to meditate and laugh more.
In short, I have FAILED my internal compass, but I have succeeded in what is really important. Success is not about money and dollars. It is about creating a life that empowers you to live a happy life, and it can't get more simple than that.