Thursday, July 18, 2013

To Thrive

To thrive....not just survive....that is what many consider to be a sign of a successful life.  But what does it mean to thrive?

Is it having a well paying job with extra income, either to spend or to save?

Is it being surrounded by loved ones, either your own offspring or other family or friends?

Is it having a career that brings fulfillment and purpose do your life?

Is it having a hobby or interest that brings fulfillment and purpose to your life when other things don't?

I realize that there is no black and white answer to this question and it's going to be unique for each person. And what of us survivors who have, for one reason or another, beat incredible odds and are still upright and breathing?  Isn't that enough?

I think back over everything I've experienced in my life up to this point, and think, "Holy shit.  How am I even still alive?"  That in itself is pretty fucking incredible.  On good days, I feel a sense of accomplishment for the fact that I can get out of bed.  Grateful that I've been able to keep my shit together long enough to stay employed at the same place for over a year now.  Proud that I haven't been evicted, and that I can pay (most) of my bills.  I think, "Hey look at me.  I'm doing it."  Life, that is.

On bad days, none of that matters.  The weight of a million mistakes falls upon me like hurricane waves battering against a wall.  I think of the endless "second chances" I've been given, and wonder what my life would be like now if only I had stuck with it then and had no third and fourth-to-a-thousand-ones.  I think about all of the things I should have done, and didn't.  All of the things I should have accomplished by now, but haven't.  Things that society says I should have, like a wife and offspring.  And if I can't "man up and deal with it" then I'm a failure, and "doing it wrong."  And then I think of chucking it all in and giving up, because what's the point?

Anyway.....thriving.  What constitutes thriving, and who makes that decision?  I feel I'm thriving if I wake up clean every day.  Isn't that enough?