Measures of Success

Friday, January 8, 2010
The mother of a boy I once dated had a thing for knick-knacks. From top to bottom, her house was stocked with decorative plates, miniature shoes, figurines, clocks and glassware. Her sons picked on her ruthlessly for it, but she loved them. At one point while I was still in the picture, she made a conscious decision to begin collecting opalescent glassware. She bought books on the subject, carefully plotting out her next acquisitions. Not coming from family that’s big on home decoration, I found her obsession odd. It wasn’t until I was dusting a bit of opalescent glassware at the restaurant this week that I thought of her and realized she probably had a large amount of pride invested in her carefully researched collection.

We all measure success in different ways. I suspect for the glass collecting lady that he viewed a large portion of her personal success as being able to fill her home with things she deemed beautiful. In the restaurant business we measure success by the tip amount left on the table. We can measure it using financial, materialistic, or happiness indicators.

I generally measure my success using the happiness method and I’m generally happiest when I’m writing. That said, I have two articles to write in the next week. Yesterday I did my interview and took my pictures for one – I’m all set for that one. The other article has me calling up random people and asking them to tell me about their heart problems. That’s mildly awful, although mostly just awkward, yet I’d rather be doing that than picking up $10 bills off of tables I’m wiping down. When it comes right down to it, that’s probably not any less nutty than collecting glassware.

It’s been a busy few days and I may end up taking a nap when I’ve posted this. I haven’t put in a ton of hours at work this week, but the car had to be in the shop (it’s all fixed up and quiet as a mouse now) overnight on Wednesday which always complicates things a bit and then there have been interviews, dinner dates, trivia, and errands among other things to keep both Andy and I running around.

Andrew came up from the Cities yesterday and he and Andy embarked on a three night camping trip late this morning. They’ll have lovely weather; it’s finally starting to warm up outside. Warm temperatures or not, I’m still not sure I’m cut out for winter camping.

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