So in my infinite wisdom I am learning that sometimes you are a success for simply not screwing something up.  This is my lesson of the week.  I mean it may sound a little backwards, but, well, it’s true.

Let’s start with Braylon Edwards and the other many men of the NFL.  Hello!  If you have a free 24 limo service at your disposal, would you be dumb enough to drive drunk?  Of course not!  You, a normal person, would just be freaking happy as sin to be plastered and cruising in a limo ala Pretty Woman-hangin’-out-the-sun-roof. 

Next example:  Lindsay Lohan.  Hey, doped-up psycho girl, you’re so talented that even high and ankle-monitored, people are willing to give you jobs.  Maybe you should quit effing up and you’d be rich again.

Now obviously the rest of us aren’t exactly rich and famous, but it still applies to us.  I was watching my new TV this week (which might I add really makes me happy).  I dvr-ed a show called My Generation.  So one of the guys was interviewed at the end of his senior year of high school and asked what one word would describe his life and he said “success.”  So they interviewed him 10 years later telling him his answer and being quite condescending towards him because he had a modest house in Hawaii, was a bartender by night, and a surfer by day.  His reply was:  “Well, I am successful.  This is a good life.”  The show goes on to tell us that his dad was arrested in the Enron deal and went to jail.  In comparison, he is a success simply by not destroying his life, too.  Again, that was a TV show, but the point remains:  sometimes, avoiding failure is success. 

Too often I see people pushing too hard to be a “success”.  So many people are in pursuit of the American dream to prove how smart they are, how talented they are, how well they can multi-task, and how much they can cram into their lives to have everything.  More often than not, as a bystander, I watch people try to be super-human at their jobs, then run home to pick up the kids to be super-parent at 3 different sports practices and drive their mini-van by the Hy-Vee deli to grab supper and still do 5 loads of laundry and update their facebook accounts in the middle of the night while they’re not sleeping, worrying about getting everything done the next day.  I give props to anybody who attempts to be something to everyone, but it’s unrealistic.  At some point, you get tired.  And whether or not it looks like you are accomplishing miracles, at the end of the day, you’re probably letting somebody down, even if it’s yourself.  Too many people lie to themselves and think they have something to prove.  I wouldn’t know anything about this.  I never feel that way.  lol. 

But sometimes I forget that success is relative.  Do we ever stop to smell the roses around us?  Do we ever stop and think, “Hey, I’ve got a job, a house, and a few people who like me.  I haven’t killed anyone.  I haven’t stolen from anyone.  I’m not in a gang.  I’m not in jail.  I’m not living in my mom’s basement stalking people on the internet.  I’m not crazy enough to deserve my own reality TV show.  I live my little life and don’t ruin anyone else’s.”  Tell me that isn’t something to be proud of.  And tell me you’ve given yourself credit for that lately.  Yeah, that’s what I thought. 

We forget that by not making the situation worse, we are, in fact, being something better.  Sure, you’ll seal your place in heaven by starting that “save the kids in Africa knitting club” or by babysitting your elderly neighbor after major surgery, but I’m just here to thank you for not being another f-ed up statistic on my 10 o’clock news. 

Have a cookie, you’ve earned it!