Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Defining success

Yesterday evening, we drove out to a family cookout. The traffic turned an hour's drive into two, and of course made us an hour late. We arrived hungry and stressed out, and probably ate more than we should have. Such is life.

But later, sitting around a small fire, chatting with relatives, all was well in the world. Funny how a couple hours with family, a little baby's smile, the undisguised admiration of your 11-year old nephew, and a rousing game of whiffle ball can make everything seem much better.

My wife's aunt asked me to explain what I do for a living. It's hard to explain software development to someone, and explaining that you manage a software team isn't that much easier. "Ok, so what do they do?" Heh. But she asked me if, when I was younger, I ever expected to be "this successful."

I'm not sure exactly what she was referring to. And I wasn't sure how to answer. Looking back at it, though, I think I have found success. Just perhaps not in the way she meant.

Sometimes it's not about what you achieve, but what you reach for. I feel like, this year, I've found a way to reach for the things in life which matter to me. And that has nothing to do with how big of a paycheck I bring home, or what I do from 9 to 5.

Did I ever think I would find that kind of success? No. I don't think as a teenager you really have that kind of grasp on reality. But that's not an easy answer to give someone, is it? So I just settled for "I don't know, really."

(Workout progress this week is a long run, a fast run, and an upper-body workout. On schedule so far!)

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