Measures of success

February 12, 2010

in Cincinnati: my hometown,Stockholm,Travels

The view from Skeppsholmen at sunset.

The view over the Baltic from Skeppsholmen at sunset. I live in a gorgeous city.

Thanks to Facebook. I have recently heard from a number of former coworkers in the US. They want to know where I am and what I am up to. Answering their questions has been interesting because I realized that all those typical benchmarks of American success are not part of my life just now.

I am no longer managing staff, magazines and budgets or pulling in a regular salary at all. Instead, I am freelancing and writing a book about my travels. I work about 45 or more hours a week doing what Robert calls investing in our future. And I am absolutely loving it. Plus, I feel that I have put together a pretty good book package thus far, if I do say so myself!

But I would hazard a guess that a lot of my friends would think I have lost my mind. Especially when they hear that I no longer own a house or a car. I don’t need to. I live in the center of the city in a cool apartment and get around by walking and taking the subway and every now and then, renting a car. Robert and I travel a lot, which we can do as we don’t have kids (another of those benchmarks of success). My life is so different from what it once was in Cincinnati. And I am doing exactly what I want to do. For now. In my book, that translates to success.


1 Roger February 12, 2010 at 12:55

couldn’t be better described, I totally agree 🙂

2 admin February 12, 2010 at 14:31

Why thanks Roger!

3 Kezia February 13, 2010 at 00:34

If those are the measures, then I lost my mind ages ago : ) People that “get” you don’t judge; but, embrace you, and that goes for whatever path one chooses in life. Anyway, I am super excited about your book-writing path, Sandy!

4 Antropologa February 13, 2010 at 01:50

It really depends on your social circle, of course, what is considered successful. Most of my friends are youngish mothers so they’re wrapped up in different things. Your life sounds like that of several people I know in New York City, but it’s certainly not suburban!

5 roger February 13, 2010 at 19:03

I don’t agree with last comment. I believe that everyone is in control of their own life, and that has nothing to do with if you live in NY, suburbs or on the Moon.
Of course it’s more difficult with kids, but it’s never impossible. We humans can always do much more than we think. Just go for it !!!
And Sandy, now I can hardly wait any longer for your book, it’s getting painful 🙂

6 admin February 13, 2010 at 23:54

Thanks for the insights Antropologa. As Kezia said, people that get you don’t judge. But yes, I do think that your circle of friends can influence your thinking. All I can say for my life right now is that I am having a ball.

7 admin February 13, 2010 at 23:55

Of course you lost your mind long ago, Kez! Actually, I think you have made many a life affirming choice. And that is a great measure of success in my book.

8 admin February 13, 2010 at 23:58

Roger, You are always so insightful and so supportive. Thank you. By the way, some proposals for the book should go out next week. So keep your thumbs crossed!

9 James February 15, 2010 at 18:42

Hi Sandra, this is such a great thoughtful post which resonated with me also. I’ve also “failed” to live up to a bunch of expectations about having a relationship, children and financial security. Like you, I don’t have a car because I don’t need one, and because I think there’s enough junk in the world without adding to it. I don’t know what the future will bring, but that doesn’t worry me as much as it does others. Whatever happens, so long as you have an inner sense of contentment, life is pretty good. Good luck with the book, and your future investment. To be creative, and to have created something is a wonderful gift that the latest model car doesn’t quite equate to. James

10 admin February 15, 2010 at 20:37

Wow James, that is an incredibly thoughtful reply. Thanks for sharing your own poignant insights. It’s interesting the role that expectations have in our lives and how our lives can change so wonderfully when we go to our own drum.

11 Felicia S. February 19, 2010 at 14:33

Hello and thank you!
I came across your blog five minutes ago and I do believe that I’ll be hanging around for awhile. I like your writing style. The fact that I’m contemplating moving back to Sweden helps too.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts about success. I live a similar life in Seoul but sometimes compare my life to those back in the U.S. I like my life more, the one that I’ve created not the one that was force fed to any and all.

Felicia S.

12 admin February 19, 2010 at 15:25

Hi Felicia,
Thanks for your kind words about my writing and also for sharing your own insights. I checked out your site and your photos are gorgeous – you have a nice eye, and I like your compositions.
And do let me know if you end up in Stockholm!

13 Felicia S. February 21, 2010 at 09:52

Thank you and will do, Sandra!

14 Barbi December 9, 2010 at 00:18

Hey Sand, just catching up on alot of your writings. They are wonderful and it’s so fun to read the words because it brings back alot of memories for me as well. I love ya and hope to see you soon!!!

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: