When do you know you've "made it"? When can you say you've "succeeded"?
It's a question I've been struggling with for years.
I remember when we were on our road to diagnosis with Yon, and I used to look at YouTube videos, blog posts and social media posts of people who were much more experienced than me in the special needs world and hope one day I will be able to write one of those success stories posts that inspired me so much. But as the years went by I could never pinpoint that perfect exact moment were I could write one of those grand "see - everything is going to be ok" posts. Because there is always the next step, the next hurdle lurking quietly around the corner.
And in one moment of complacency or carelessness we can lose it all.
I couldn't stop looking for that definite moment.
But I never wrote that post.
Yon, way back when
But recently I realised so many of the people I work with struggle with the same question - what is success? When is that elusive moment where you can say the business / project / product / deal succeeded?
Because it is easier to preach than it is to practice, I always tell them 2 things - they are always a success, and the precise moment is now.
The truth is I think we are all looking for something measurable, some irrefutable, objective proof. So we go looking for numbers, because we are used to thinking numbers are where the value is, but in many cases there are no numbers. Companies don't like to really measure things because what you don't know doesn't exist, and that means you don't have to deal with it.
But also because it is very hard to measure. Not necessarily technically, though sometimes it is and there are a few systems, and then there are a few different sets of numbers and no one can even decide which numbers are the real or correct ones,
but mostly it's hard because numbers without a story have no meaning.
And who decides what's the story?
For years Hidai and I have been hearing that the way we live our lives is a total disaster, that we are crazy and that we ruined the kids' lives with our irresponsibility. And for years Hidai and I have been hearing that we are brave, inspiring and raised amazing kids.
Which one is the true?
Well, if you ask me, then it depends on the day you ask...
But that's the thing, isn't it? success isn't in the numbers, or in looking for absolutes. It's hiding there inside our story, it's in the goals we set for ourselves, in the potential, and in the learnings.
It is actually in the small things that we never take the time to appreciate.
So when Yon won student of the year for his first year in secondary school, something we never even dared dream about way back when, I cried throughout the ceremony (also explains why there are no good photos of the event).
And even though, I still don't have my "we did it" post, this year for the first time since he was in nursery, I did let him go to school without sending 17 preparation emails to the school beforehand.
Yon, a couple of months ago