Are YOU Successful?

successFunny, how conflicted a person can feel about success.

And there’s the rub. What IS success, and what is not?

That is what I’m thinking at 5 a.m. as I take in a deep breath, smell the essence of my tropical green tea, look outside my window and glory in the darkness, the blinking lights of the town and the city beyond the bay.

success, morning moon, moon, dawn

This, this is my success.

Waking up at 5.

yoga, stretch, morningStretching and pulling and moving my muscles, yoga style, in bed before encouraging the whole lot of them – the cold feet, the sleepy leg muscles, the torso, the heavy head, to rise up from bed and start a new day.

This is success, starting a new day, every day, with freshness and vigor.

But sometimes I, and a lot of us (let’s be frank, it’s human nature to lie in bed in the middle of the night and …) ask the age-old question —  “why?”.

Why strain and strive for another day, for another “success,” whether it be writing or banking, running a business or running a marathon, selling sailboats or collecting stamps, lawyering or antiquing (and I’m just listing a few of the passions I know of friends and family).

Don’t we all stop once in a while and ask, “what the hell does it matter?”

That’s when we should stop and, well, just STOP, and ask ourselves, “what does matter?”

early morning, shadows and light

I sip my tea and watch the harsh blackness of the night begin to slowly, slowly become a softer dark, a black that silhouettes the hills, the dark floating islands, the deep mystery of the bay in front of me. A black that mystifies and entices. These dark shadows soon will be illuminated by the sun’s rays. Objects that are dark now, will soon glow pink and peach and glory in the day.

dawn, chapel, Old St. Hilary's, morning

Like me.

That’s what matters. I just want to glory in each day, stretch my body and my mind to wakefulness of the light, and the dark. Wakefulness of the laughter that surrounds me, and the sadness. Wakefulness to the aroma of steaming tea, and the soft strain of the classical music in my background.

morning, light, blue

Rosy dawn turns to a blue morning.

That’s what makes my day. I throw out the fear and insecurity of being a “success,” since it means nothing.

Instead, I promise to just stay in the moment, and ignore the rest.

success, morning, rainbow


Here’s to your success!

32 thoughts on “Are YOU Successful?

  1. lol I had to comment first, just after reading the title….oh WHO CARES!?! I am rolling my eyes at the thought of some imaginary oz type creation telling us that there are a certain set of whatsits called success and in exchange everything left is NOT success…BLAH!! ok, now I will go read what you wrote….(and why t f would I EVER EVER let anyone else determine that for me) hehe see now i’m all riled-like 😀


      • I had really battled over what title to give this piece, and chose “Are YOU Successful” to get just the response you wrote about when you first saw it. I think so many of us resent that word ‘success,’ thus have a first bad reaction when we see the word. Thanks for getting past the heading and reading the rest of my post. And thank you MUCH for your comments, always!


  2. Thought of you at exactly that moment this morning!! So amazing, you must have been sending energy across the bay. Rarely do I wake up at the same time as you and those early morning walks, but today I am flying east. Will see Marcia on Thursday!! Looking forward to connecting when I’m back. Beautiful piece!!! Keep smiling at the oncoming dawn.

    Lauren Eastman Issima! PR 415-867-7664


    • What’s even weirder is that I was at SFO this morning and wrote to you (on FB) without ever knowing you commented here. Is that neat or what? Have a fabulous trip – I’ll keep an eye out on our Bay dawns for you. xo


  3. YOU are definitely a success! Loving family, adoring doggie, talented writer, faithful friend, lovely person – inside and out, nature appreciater (is that a word?), mentor, and, oh so many wonderful things!
    You have my R-E-S-P-E-C-T!


  4. The pictures are great of our earth; the fantastic family I am so thankful for is all the success I need now Mom, Nanny


  5. Those are some pretty words. It is difficult to keep them in mind throughout the day but taking stock at regular intervals like you do surely helps. I almost think “Success” as we have come to know know it makes us failures as human beings: stressed, miserable, lonely, unhealthy, oblivious to sunrises…


  6. The ladder of success seems to be built in our culture, and we’re expected to climb it. We’re kinda the black sheep of our family because we tried to sign out of the rat race, move into the woods up north, and raise a family without too much in the monetary department. It’s interesting, though. You try to run from cultural values like success, but so often they’re inside of us. The “job” of learning to live life as “glory”, as enough…that’s my true barometer of success. Sounds like yours, too. Great post!


    • You make a really good point. No matter how hard we try to get away from the ‘rat race’ (as the old saying goes), it still seems to be within us – that need to show that we’re successes. I guess we have to really work hard at convincing ourselves that success is withIN, not withOUT.


  7. Good post, lovely daybreak pictures. Big subject and one that we’ll all have a different take on. Certainly, as one gets on in years, material success as traditionally measured seems to become less and less important. If one is reasonably happy and content then that is more than 99% of the world’s population can claim and that must count as a form of success?


    • I agree. I’m not sure I could have written this post when I was in my 20s, or 30s, or even 40s. We do get a different perspective of ‘success,’ and ‘happiness,’ the more the years gather behind us.


  8. a beautifully written post with beautiful images to go with your words. I think we are successful when we find our passion and are able to practice it and explore it everyday, because it just simply brings us joy!


  9. Success. Family and grandsons close by. Friends, in person and online. A roof over my head. A car that goes vroom when I turn the key. I wake up every day. that’s all I need.


  10. Great post. this is a subject that I ruminate about often. I realized today that I am happy. I know that because I found myself humming yesterday as I drove along the roads of north Georgia and through the mountains of my home now in North Carolina. Having been on the grief journey for four years, I had not realized that I seldom hummed or sang anymore. Today I feel successful because I have reached a point where my heart is light enough to sing.


    • You know, I should have added humming in this post with the photos. You’re right, humming/singing is a great indication that our soul is satisfied, light, even happy. I’m so glad you are humming again – thanks so much for sharing here.


  11. I like your idea of success! Thanks for this inspiring post. This year I have had some surprise challenges that made me slow down and appreciate the every day pleasure of living and being in the moment. Excellent post!


Comments are closed.