We have plenty of yardsticks by which to measure our success and plenty of failures to drag us down, but what I am learning as a parent, and as someone dancing with being an adult for a couple decades, is that the messiness of life perpetuates even while we are "getting it right." It's important to step back a little, take an objective look at our progress, and give ourselves some credit. Here are some simple items to check on the list and know whether you are getting life right.
1. Things are better than they were. Maybe things aren't perfect, but how were they two years ago? If you see any improvement, then you know you are getting it right and making the right choices. They might not be the choices that someone else would make but, lucky for you, someone else isn't in charge of your life. Your values and what is important to you dictate how you make decisions, so as long as things are getting better then you are on the right course!
2. You, your spouse, and your children are healthy and safe. If everyone in your household is physically safe from harm, well fed, nourished and healthy, then you are getting it right. If you are dealing with disease of any kind, or any health challenges, these don't indicate you are getting it wrong. How you are dealing with those issues and whether you are working towards wellness for those that might be struggling change that. As long as you are taking measures to address it, coping with the circumstances, and putting health and safety first, then you are getting it right.
3. Your dreams are being fulfilled, even if just part-time or in microscopic increments. There is no timeline for when something has to be fulfilled. Taking simple steps, everyday, toward fulfilling the dreams you have in your heart and your gut are all that are needed. Prioritizing your dreams out of the picture won't work. Putting them on the back burner is okay as long as you are willing to allow that dream to be given a little more priority at an appropriate time (such as when 1 and 2 are happening).
4. You no longer doubt your own worth or your children's worth. If you have begun to recognize your own value beyond income, material indication, and keeping up with the Jones's then you are definitely getting it right. Recognizing your own worth is imperative to making progress on the dreams you might have for yourself and your children. Clothes, toys, cars, electronic devices, are not indicators of success. They might be indicators of debt, or indicators of values, even indicators of insecurity, but in no way are they indicators of worth. Pressuring children to live up to others' standards don't improve their own sense of who they are. When you are allowing yourself, your partner, and your children to be amazingly valuable just as they are, then you know you are getting it right.
5. You are able to help others that need help, even if it's not monetary. Donating money is tricky if you don't have a lot to share. But it's not the only way. Giving and sharing are really things that allow us to be present in the gratitude we have for our own lives and in recognizing how much more we have than so many others on the planet. Even if it's just a conversation, or a donation of old clothes, giving to others is an important part of our human experience. Selfishly, it is a ritual of proving to ourselves that we have more than enough. Compassionately, it is an opportunity to help others make progress on their path, a path that might have started out much further behind than yours has been.
6. When you take time for yourself, you are renewed and re-committed to the path you are on.
If, after taking time to meditate, get a massage, take a walk, or just read a book, you find yourself with renewed energy for the path you are walking, then you know you are getting it right. And you also know how important that time for yourself is for making progress on that path. So take more time, be more of an example to yourself of how good it feels to be renewed, and know that you truly are "GETTING IT RIGHT!"
A thousand waves of blessings to you!