The measure of success

There are 334 people in my e-mail address book, four doors in my car, three sets of spare sheets in my closet and nearly a full tank of my somewhat overpriced gas in my car.

We have 15 Iowa Newspaper Association plaques on the wall at the Dickinson County News. One of them actually has my name on it, and the first award I’ve ever earned lies buried somewhere in the bottom of one of my stubborn desk drawers.

I guess you could say I have an admirable credit score, a sufficient home and the right ingredients in my cupboard to make my favorite meal.

That’s a nice list, I suppose, but God help me if I ever use any of these things to determine my success.

I’ve always based my success on people connections. If I have successful relationships, then I feel successful.

I find my success when I get a hug from a sweet, young angel at church. I feel wonderful after an evening of catching up with my girlfriends. My heart is full when my little nephew lays his head on my lap to rest or my boyfriend gives me a smile and a wink after wrapping his arms around me.

This might seem like a column to say “I’m happy, I’m happy, I’m happy.” And when I stop to think about it, I suppose that’s actually what it is.

I will hit my 30th birthday this Friday. (Feel free to send black balloons to the office, but be aware that I have the day off.) As with every milestone birthday, many of us do a little assessment of where we wanted to be vs. where we actually are in life.

I have to admit I haven’t hit all the goals I set for myself five or ten years ago. I doubt I would find myself happy if I continued to strive for some of the goals I determined outdated. I’ll admit I’m a little more in debt than I’d hoped, not quite the physique I’d imagined and still trying to pay off my school loans.

In my personal 30th birthday assessment, I have to say I’ve found myself to be happier than I have ever been. And when it comes to relationships and definitions of success, I’m rich.