Birthday Lessons

Settle, Survive, or Thrive?

Monday, May 04, 2020

Tomorrow is my birthday, and I am feeling all sorts of things about it.  See, usually, I'm all about my
birthday.  I always have something to look forward to, something to anticipate.  I always try to do *something* special.  Growing up, my birthday was one of three favorite days of the year (Christmas and Halloween were the other two, obviously. 🤓)  It was the *one* day that was all about me.  I didn't have to share the day with anyone, and we always did it up good!  Ever since, I have always felt that birthdays are special and should be the best days ever for the person who is celebrating another turn around the sun. 

This year is different, though.  There are lots of things to celebrate:  my amazing job; the fact that I am done with my quality class forever (you healthcare folks should understand that!); I have a couple of really sweet pups that I've gotten to spend extra time with; and I have some pretty awesome friends!  There are also a few things that make tomorrow tough:  we're all separated; we're all stuck at home; and there have been some really tough marriage things happening since before the whole coronavirus hit that we are still dealing with.  Nothing that won't resolve eventually, but still tough.

And that brings me to today's post topic.  I want you to think about this question for a good minute, k?

Do you settle, survive, or thrive?

It has often occurred to me over the last several years that I have been settling in several areas.  For example, I've made some interesting career choices in the last year (my husband thinks I'm insane).  I left a stable, lucrative position to return to my previous position with the same salary and triple the responsibility.  (Don't regret that decision in the least!!)  Then when that hospital closed, I moved to my current teaching position with 1/4 of my salary.  Now, hear me out for just a few minutes.  Making those *strange* jumps?  That wasn't the settling part.  That was actually part of the new plan to thrive...  No, the settling part was moving just for the increases in salary.  Moving into a culture that was apathetic and uninvested for an increased paycheck and less work was settling.  Moving into a more "stable" position was settling.  Were those things bad or wrong?  Absolutely not.  But they were NOT right FOR ME.

Everyone has their own brand of excellence.  Everyone has their own best.  And settling for anything less than that is dissonant.  Anything less is dishonoring who God made you to be.

So how can you - and I - move from simply settling, simply surviving, to thriving?
  • It means remembering your values, your priorities.  What sets your soul ablaze?  What makes you come alive?  What is the thing - you know the one - that makes you wake up, stand up, and just start talking up a storm?  That?  That's what you need to remember, always.
  • It means sometimes saying “No” or saying “not right now.”  Before you agree to something, does it fit with those values and priorities above?  No?  Then put a pin in it for a bit.  You do NOT have to say yes to every opportunity.
  • It means being realistic about your capabilities.  It does NO ONE any good to not get the best of you.  No one.  You are not superwoman, but neither are you a nobody.  You are you - with all your own strengths and weaknesses.  Own them.  Own them, and be who you were meant to be.
I've started making these strides in my own life.  Are you ready to do the same?  How can I help you with that?  Let me know in the comments!

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