Monday, December 29, 2014

Then and Now

I was packing to go house sit at my sister's house for their annual anniversary trip, and started thinking about how things that are important to me have changed.

When I was younger, my drive ad desire was to try to be as "successful" as I could be.  I strove to excel in every career I held, from the military to office managers later.  I don't regret holding my country or my service to it in high regard.  I don't regret the hard work I did through all the years near or far from family.  I've lost friends in the mail, when I, they or both of us moved.  I took that in stride as just another thing that happens when you live life and are on the move from one place to another.  What I do regret from these times are the years lost that I could have spent with family that I love and who love me.  I regret not taking better care of the health problems I knew about because I was just too busy to notice they were getting worse, or just thought if I kept moving they would stay in check because a thing in motion "stays in motion".  Well, it may WANT to stay in motion, but sometimes it comes to a screeching screaming halt.

As my hearing approaches this upcoming month, I reflect on the fact that what has become important to me is my family.  It's not all I have, though sometimes it may feel like it, but it is the most precious thing I have.  I'm very glad that I can be closer to them now.  I no longer feel the need to be "successful" as society views success.  What I value is being able to applaud those in my family that can do, and are striving to do it, and also are doing their best to keep their family close to them.  I find so much happiness in seeing their successes, triumphs and happiness.  I see that we might share some of the same or similar health issues, and pray that in them they don't develop like they have in me.  I don't want to see them have to slow, or halt their lives due to things like this.

I look at my youngest brother and I'm so proud of the daddy he's become.  He is getting to be such a good father, and his daughter is a joy to be around. Success!  Just to watch his interaction with her is amazing because he was such a wild young boy and man, and now he's a DADDY!  It's just amazing to see such a transformation in him and know he's still my baby brother, who, when mom and dad would go out would refuse to go to sleep or lay down unless I lay down on the floor next to his crib.

My next younger brother is such a driven man, but he seems to also take the time to enjoy life.  I'm so happy to see him happy with his new girlfriend since I know it was quite a ramp he hit when things seemed to fall apart so badly.  He's pulled it back together and it's amazing to me to see him so happy now.  He loves his boys, and his boys love him and his girlfriend too, so I'm glad that seems to be coming together nicely.  He's had to start nearly from scratch from a hard blow going from one job to another but I'm happy that he's stuck to it and seems to be making it work for him.

My older brother, patiently patiently waited for an opening at his job, while he worked as a temporary employee.  I'm so happy to see him feeling better and more stable since he's now a full time employee there.  He set himself a goal and waited while he saw others picked before him, but yet he stuck it out, as frustrating as that can be, and I'm so proud of him for being so patient.  He's a good man, a good employee, and a good friend to those he is close to.  I'm happy he's my brother.

My sister was always a little shy.  You didn't always know it because I think she felt the need to NOT be shy since she was the oldest of us.  She had the pressure of showing us the way, and she did the very best she could.  She's always been a little high strung, because I think she sometimes held so much inside.  She had to be "fearless" for us, and so I'm sure there were times she felt torn between what she wanted to feel and what she felt she needed to feel for our sake.  I'm so happy to see that she's not only become more relaxed, but also more outgoing.  Genuinely, not like she feels she has to TRY to be that so that us younger siblings looked at her being fearless.

My mother, the most beautiful mom in the world.  She's always been gentle and kind, although she was a rough disciplinarian when we needed it.  I'm not sure if others see just how much she bears the weight of our trials on her shoulders.  She worries for us all, though I wish she wouldn't.  I for one adore her for it.  I'm not sure how much they see, I know my sister does for sure, but I'm pretty sure my brothers feel the same way too.  Everyone should have a mom as beautiful as my mom.

My stepfather takes care of mom, and I'm glad he's there to take care of her and watch over her.  Honestly, that's the most important thing, to know that mom doesn't have to have a rough life, because I think she deserves all good things.  And he's doing his best to see that she has a good life.

What is important to me?  Now, it's seeing my family succeed, being there to cheer them on.  I know I may be limited on what I can do right now, but I can be their personal cheerleader and remind them of how proud I am that they're doing so well.  I want them to always know, I'm not bitter that physically I have some issues, even though some days I think I can do more than I can and end up regretting it LOL.  I want them to always feel how proud I am of them for what they do and how they live their lives.  Being such great Dad's, Brothers, Uncles, and Aunties.  I'm so proud of them for being brave enough to reach for the goals they have set and strive to get to them.

In short, society's view of success has no hold on me any longer.  My success is loving my family as best I can so they know I will always be there to be proud of them and their achievements.

Well, I guess I've put off packing long enough LOL, back I go! :P HAPPY ANNIVERSARY SEESTER AND BROTHER IN LAW!