I ran into an acquaintance from the past this week. It was one of those ‘don’t I know you from somewhere’ moments, followed by a rehashing of each of our lives, before realizing we had crossed paths almost 17 years ago! I am still just amazed that I ran into this person in my everyday life, and it makes me realize just how small the world can be (our paths crossed before in a completely different state, under completely different circumstances). We talked for about 30 minutes and I am sure we’ll talk to each other again, since we now work together. While this encounter in itself was incredible, it also caused me to reflect on life over the past 17 years.
It can be so easy to move through our day-to-day lives and not take a moment to reflect – in a positive way – on the past. Having this unexpected opportunity to think about my life and where I have been over the past 17 years gave me a chance to realize all I have accomplished during this time. In day-to-day life, it can be hard to see the forest for the trees, so to speak. But when you look at your life over time, I am sure you can find many things you accomplished that just seem like the norm for you now.
For me, the past 17 years included serving in the U.S. Air Force, getting both my undergraduate and graduate degrees, living in four states, traveling to four countries (plus Hawaii!), making new friends across the world, getting married to my awesome husband and becoming a mom, the best job ever! Certainly there have been failures during that time – unsuccessful relationships, bad jobs (and bad bosses), decisions I’m not sure were the best ever, and other low points. But they were part of the process of getting to the successes and major accomplishments. For example, a failed relationship led to a major move across country (on my own – scary!) and to the love of my life!
When you are at the low points of life, it can be hard to see the high points. It can also be hard to see that those low points may be leading to something better, or that they led you on a path to something really great. Did you survive a broken heart only to come out on the other side and discover a new and loving relationship? Or did a job you hated lead you to pursue a different job or business venture that was really a much better opportunity long-term?
Do me (but mostly yourself) a favor this week. Take the time to reflect on all that you have accomplished over the past 5, 10, or even 17, years. Remember the bad times, too. Think about how far you’ve come and what you have accomplished. Think about the people you have been lucky enough to have helping and supporting you along the way, or even the people who were not so supportive, but who pushed you to do more, to become more. And make sure to take a moment to enjoy your successes. I am sure you have some that you haven’t even thought of recently. As an added bonus, the perspective you gain will be sure to give you a confidence boost to take on the next challenges in your life. Even if just gives you the motivation to get out of bed tomorrow, that’s an accomplishment, too. And when you run into that someone from your past, you can tell them all about your adventures over the years, knowing you took the path you were meant to be on.
This post is linked up at Sharing Saturday.