noun: benchmark; plural noun: benchmarks
a standard or point of reference against which things may be compared.
“I have found myself measuring each day – one at a time. Somewhere I lost the chaotic thinking of what is happening tomorrow, next month, or next year. I have stopped looking back wondering what went wrong, or even what went right – it just does not matter to me now. TODAY is my benchmark for joy, tenderness, adventure, and LOVE. Some days are better than others, but I know when I put my head on my pillow, I will have another chance to recreate another day and there is a huge possibility it will be even better than the day before. Living my dream…” Journal Entry
This overwhelming wave of truth could be a side effect of the pandemic for 12 months or making our move to Portugal from Houston Texas: maybe both or neither. I just know that today I am here in the sweet space of being alive. I am basking in this moment.
And I hope that we can all agree, life is complicated, messy and on good days easy, we ultimately choose what we call it. Each day offers a new perspective and a new benchmark.
What are we here to learn? What is ours to pay forward? What is ours to forgive? What is ours to do?
Sitting here by the ocean, I have found a space of introspection. The views are humbling, feeling small against the massive body of the Atlantic Ocean. My brain has slowed down, the mind chatter is quiet, and my thought patterns are going deeper with layers of my life unfolding with a new view.
In the silence, sometimes I wonder how I got here, and I also know there is no reasonable answer. What I do know is that we all have our stories and our sacred journeys that got us from there to here.
The story that lives inside of me as the trajectory of my higher self:
Growing up with minimal ‘things’ and a perceived sense of lack – I am humbled
Growing up with a Single Mother who loved me unconditionally – I found my compass
In the wake of some of my really bad choices – I am smarter
In the lack of my higher education – I remain hungry and eager to learn more
Inside my professional choices, hard work and dedication – I am proud
In the darkest moments when I thought I could not go on any longer – I am stronger
When I lost my Mom at 26 – I knew I would never be the same
In the years I struggled in learning how to be a Mom – I found my greatest joy
On those sleepless nights inside the internal questions of what happened or why me – I learned to pray
In the moments I took to disconnect – reconnect read, meditate, and practice self-care – I found my center
In finding, creating, and losing relationships – I learned more about myself
During my travels to unknown places – I became grateful beyond measure
In the wake of my days when I finally became honest with my thoughts and words – I became truly alive.
Our life experiences do not define us, but they do build our character. I have also learned to Celebrate every chapter and every season. There is a beginning and ending to every ‘stage’ of our life and each one should be acknowledged and celebrated. Some chapters are clearly easier than others, but they all carry meaning into the book we are writing. We can look back and feel the pain or feel the joy, we can let the chapters define our ending or accept them as they are and keep moving forward to our higher selves. And what I know now… good or bad, “This too shall pass.”