Sunday, October 30, 2011

Rethinking Success

suc·cess    [suhk-ses]

1: outcome, result

2a : degree or measure of succeeding b : favorable or desired outcome; also : the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence

3: one that succeeds

As I have pondered the many facets of my life raising a child with a disability, I have identified my need to change the way I approach and view success not only in Lincoln's life, but in mine as well. What is success? How is it measured?

As noted above success can be defined as a favorable or desired outcome. My difficulty has been changing my perspective and attitude toward what I see as favorable. I used to daydream about my future children and family in a panoramic view, imagining their birth and childhood, gaining excitement about the typical successes of talking, playing, and just learning. Not in my 360 degree view did I foresee how those views of success would need to be tweaked.

Too often success is measured only by what one can see and is even then compared to what "should be". It has been a blessing to step outside this definition of success and make it my own. If I were to define success as I have come to understand it, it would read something like this;

1: the act of persevering and moving toward a desired or favorable outcome

I have realized that sometimes just moving forward is a success. So often I become frustrated and feel hopeless while trying to achieve a desired outcome. It is then requisite for me to step back and see the small and simple successes achieved along the way. Today I witnessed several small steps and successes in Lincoln's life and in mine.

I am so grateful for the time I have to reevaluate my life and my successes while helping Lincoln with his. I am happy and hopeful knowing that if Lincoln and I just put one foot in front of the other working toward our goals that we will find success not only in the end but also in the journey. I am happy that success needn't always be measured in leaps and bounds but in tiny footsteps as well!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

One of those days...

Yesterday, was one of those days. One of those days ending in tears. The tears came because it was the only thing I could do to find comfort. Have you ever been anxious about stopping crying, because it is then when you will have to face reality and the emptiness you feel? I have. I did. On one of those days. I felt so alone. So lost.

That day had been a day of frustration. Frustration in not knowing how to help my child speak. Frustration in feeling I am doing this alone while my husband is away. Frustration in helping Lincoln do the same thing over and over and not seeing the progress. Frustration in seeing other children Lincoln's age accomplish things with ease that he may never do. Frustration with the same uncertain answer to same wanting question. How long? How long will it be this hard? How long will I have "one of those days" far too often? How long until feeling the only thing keeping the tears at bay is my will to keep them there will be over? How long?

The silver lining of these feelings is recognizing and being grateful for a God who gives us days, gives me days. Beautiful sunrises that come with a sense of newness and strength. Sometimes I wonder how I can keep going. Then I realize, you just do. Even when things are hard. Because even during the hard times there are wonderful things to experience it is just a matter of me choosing what I want to experience and what I want to feel. This doesn't mean I won't experience one of those days...but that maybe they will become fewer and fewer. So here to is to new days, relishing the good times while learning from the hard times. Lincoln, I will always keep going for you. I love you!