Today we were in Wal-Mart, looking for a few things, but mostly it was a day to roam and wander. In the pharmacy department, I happened to see a sign that read FREE. Free what? It was a bright shiny new kiosk to take your own blood pressure. I thought Wal-Mart had gotten rid of that, but here was a new one.
In this one, it was like sitting in a little space capsule, almost hidden, almost private. I love machines that tell me something about myself.
So, I sat down.
On the bright screen was a message: START. I punched the button and learned right away I could learn more than my blood pressure from this very cool machine. It would also tell me my BMI (Body Mass Index, that is weight relative to my height.) It would also tell me my risk of having a serious disease, and my chance of a long healthy life.
Now, do you think I want to know all this? You bet I do.
So, I went about the process of measuring...MY SUCCESS.
First--Blood Pressure. By the time I finished this simple process I learned my blood pressure was--105/75. Really? REALLY? Isn't that very low? Wouldn't I feel lightheaded or something with such a low blood pressure? True, my BP is regularly rather low, but it's usually around 120/ 80. The machine might be a bit off.
Second--BMI. I was instructed by the pretty lady on the screen to place my feet on the bars under the edge of my seat--in other words, take my feet off the floor. I did so. Then I was asked my height. Five feet-Six, I punched. The results? Excellent. Good weight for my height.
Third--my diet. Do I eat 4-6 servings a day of fruits and vegetables? Yes, I live on those and carbohydrates, mostly in the form of pasta. After this test of several questions, I was ranked--Excellent.
Fourth--my chances of living a long life.
Do I exercise regularly every day for at least thirty minutes? No. I am quite lazy.
Do I smoke? No, never.
Do I binge on alcohol? No. Only drink moderately.
Do I have relatives with diabetes? No.
Do I have relatives with heart disease. Yes.
After this test, I was ranked Good--not Excellent--but Good. And it will stay that way because I probably won't exercise any more than I do now. Didn't I say I was lazy?
But these are physical tests.
If you are an author, you knew I would sooner or later get around to measuring our success by the number of sales we made recently or the rankings on our books. This is the time of year for reflection--the 1099s that arrive from our publishers that tell us how much money we made during 2014.
If you are a reader you will have some other way of measuring success.
For example, are you happy? Are you at least somewhat successful? Do you wonder what else you could have done?
All of the above, in my case. Yes, I'm reasonably happy, but not completely satisfied. I surely know I could have done more.
But do I feel successful? Yes, and I'll tell you why.
I began writing late in life, so whatever I accomplish now is only a plus, a big present wrapped up in shiny paper with a big red bow. To write stories and have wonderful publishers who like my work and puts them out in ebook and beautiful prints is one of the most thrilling things I've done. And I've accomplished other things later in life that surprised even me.
I never thought I'd go to college at age 27 and get two degrees.
I never thought I'd be fortunate enough to teach in a wonderful private military boarding school until I retired.
I never thought I'd learn to play golf at age forty. I never thought I'd suddenly begin to write fiction when I'd never thought of it in my entire life.
How Do You Measure Success? It's all relative, don't you see? Think on the positives, and look forward to trying something new to boost your own success.
Every day is a new day to begin again.
Good luck to you all--and think...SUCCESS!
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
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