I want to be successful in life and in order to do that, I need a definition of a successful life. I believe it is one in which the world is a bit better because you (me, anyone) was in it.

I was a nurse for over twenty years. I saved lives and conquered disease. I mean, it was with a lot of help and I didn’t do this stuff alone, but I was part of the process. I met lots and lots of people who were having one of the worst days of their lives and I sincerely hope I made a bad day a bit better. I took care of the issue at hand, but I also took care of the person with the issue.

I knew the job was worthwhile and I did it to the best of my ability. Then I got sick. Not contagious kind of sick, but the lights in the OR were giving me constant migraines. The surgeons refused to work in the dark for some reason. I quit or maybe a kinder way to say that is I retired.

I went back to school and learned about computers and then I taught people. I began with high school and picked up some adult education classes and then eventually I taught grade school kids. The adult education classes were in medical, business, and technical things, but the kids were all computer stuff. Again, it was important stuff and it matters and I was spreading truth and goodwill.

Then I moved away and ended up in secretarial jobs which used lots of my technical skills and certainly many of my organizational skills. I can perhaps note that the arts and money are both important aspects of our everyday lives, but these jobs didn’t seem to be as worthwhile to me. Necessary, perhaps, but not as worthwhile.

Then I really retired. This is supposed to be the time when we get to reap the benefits of a well lived life. But it is really just trying to create meaning out of chaos. Or worse, meaning out of nothing.

I would like to still be a person of worth. I would like to be worthy of the air and space I take up in the world. I would like to be, if this isn’t too much to ask, a beacon or inspiration to others.

Yesterday the workout was difficult – at least for me. They are all difficult for me if the truth be known. But I keep showing up and am able to do more crap than when I started so that’s sorta cool. I’m never going to be blowing the doors off or anything, but I plod along and hope for the best.

After 37 minutes and 39 seconds, my partner and I were finally done with all the stuff that had been on the white board. I was pooped. It was a lot of stuff and I did my share of the stuff with full ROM and all that nonsense.

I sat on the curb, panting and said, “I’m too old for this shit.” Kelly was sitting next to me. She is a powerhouse. She can do all the things and she is talented and skilled and wonderful to watch on Saturdays. During the school year (she is a teacher) she comes at 5 AM and so I don’t get to play with her then. Summers she is in the same classes as me.

She said, “I say that some days too, and then I know you are coming later and you are going to do it and so I know I have to do it, too.”

Holy shit, Batman. I inspire someone to do things I can’t even do!

I wrote about how wonderful that felt in my writing forum and another friend from way back in AOL days mentioned that it was my encouragement that got her to post some of her first work in the forum where she got lots of help and great feedback. She said that I had changed her life. She has published a book and everything!

Apparently, I’m successful. Who knew?

And to all those who have encouraged me and held me up when I was crumbling, I thank you. Your successful life has let me have a crack at mine.