Definition of Success Poem

Definition of Success Poem By Sue Ellson - Sunflowers at Seaford Wetlands Community Garden 3 January 2024

Definition of Success Poem

By Sue Ellson


What is
My definition of success
Surely it is more
Than avoiding distress


Could it be
The courage to say no
To stay in my frame
And keep my boundaries aglow


Could it be
To see myself in the mirror
Admire the form and function
And feel my inner glimmer


Could it be
Facing every new day
With realistic expectations
In a kindly way


Could it be
A deep inner knowing
That despite so many rejections
I will just keep on going


Could it be
Ignoring society’s norms
Living my own values
In all of their forms


Could it be
The difficulties I manage
Living moment to moment
And dealing with damage


Could it be
The strength to breathe
When I’m slowly suffocating
And aching to be free


Could it be
The overwhelming bliss
Of an unexpected surprise
Or a granted wish


Could it be
An acknowledgment of learning
That even with disappointments
I can sense how I’m growing


Could it be
With both reflection and hindsight
That a complicated history
Has given me foresight


Whatever it is
For me or for you
To truly be a success
We must expand our view


This month, February 2024, it is 19 years since my 19 year marriage ended. It is a sad time for me, particularly in the relationship department.

Despite many different attempts, strategies, analysis, patience, discussion, therapy etc etc etc, I personally feel as if I have failed to find anything remotely close to what I believe is possible with a personal relationship and I find myself regularly dismissing any of the other successes in my life.

In a chat exchange with a friend two nights ago, they suggested ‘change what to measure successful.’

Then it hit me.

If I didn’t see having a relationship as the definition of my success (or not), then perhaps I could see the other parts of my life as successful.

Extending that even further, and although it is not covered in this poem, what have I added or avoided over this time to not repeat history?

When I look at the much bigger picture, I can actually see a lot more markers of success.

Perhaps it is the same for you? Anniversaries are a time to pause and ponder…and thanks to this friend’s comment, I have broadened my definition of success and I hope this poem inspires you to expand your view too…With love, Sue Ellson 🙂

Photo is of sunflowers in a community garden on the edge of the internationally recognised Edithvale – Seaford Wetlands in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 3 January 2024.

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