I've had the long hot, unstructured days of the Utah summer and the impetus of some introspective reading to ponder a few provocative questions - questions that require significant reflection and potentially painful honesty. Questions whose answers can be contradictory on any given day, and freqently muddled. Occasionally, however, if I persist, press through the muck and the mire, I am rewarded with an "AHA!" So, I keep journaling.
A particularly provocative question, by the author, Patti Digh, has been at the center of my ruminations. "What is the magic yardstick against which you measure your life?" I've devoted more than a few pages to this question, partly because the standard of measurement, now that I've retired, is still morphing. And perhaps, because I really never took time to consider as broad a question until these past few months. Too busy, too caught up in daily demands to think this philosophically?!?
I've dissected the success (or failure) of an event or a project; lost sleep considering the quality of a relationship; analyzed ad nauseum why I may feel the way I do at any given moment or think the way I do about a given issue, or person, or myself, but never this particular question.
It's a question I wish someone had asked me at other crossroads in my life. I might have gotten over my divorce sooner. Not been so hurt or angry when I didn't measure up to someone else's yardstick. Not tried so hard to measure up. I would have questioned not only whose yardstick, but why it sometimes felt as though the yardstick was longer for me than others around me. I might have taken more satisfaction in my accomplishments.
As the saying goes, however, that's water over the dam. One of the greatest opportunities of any transition is the chance to take the time to recalibrate the yardstick. Perhaps to redefine the standard of measurement! To answer this question, and others of a similar depth, consciously, clearly and confidently. I'm taking the time and making progress.