Parenting Pathway #150: The Measure of a Life

All my free time lately has been consumed with a couple different projects that have wrapped up this month, so I’m hoping to write about a few more factors in the Life Work equation next month. In the mean time, I want to share a poem that I wrote in honor of my parents’ 50th Wedding Anniversary. It is entitled The Measure of a Life and through this poem I aimed to capture what I consider to be the essential elements of a life well lived • of a full, vibrant, flourishing life. All of these elements can clearly be identified in the lives of my parents and I feel very fortunate to have been part of their Life Work equation.

Being Loved Unconditionally
Making Friends
Learning Things
Growing Up
Falling in Love
Sharing Dreams
Celebrating Moments
Creating Memories
Realizing Potential
Accomplishing Goals
Giving Love Unconditionally
Teaching Others
Inspiring Others
Appreciating Others
Performing Unselfish Acts
Participating Actively in Community
Choosing to Give Generously
Witnessing History
Keeping the Faith
Instilling Hope
PAUSE to Reflect

I have never sat down with my Mom to specifically discuss the challenges she faced as she tried to balance work and family in the midst of a growing revolution of working mothers, but I am the beneficiary of living through it. I don’t ever remember my mom not working. She was a registered nurse and probably tended to hundreds if not thousands of patients over the course of her career in hospitals and family practice.

My mother’s work outside the home was in addition to shepherding her own three children through dozens of colds and other infections, bouts with chicken pox and poison ivy, broken limbs and hundreds of cuts, scrapes and bruises as well as coming to the aid of neighborhood kids who fell off their bike or out of a tree and the endless stream of parents, neighbors, relatives and relative strangers that wanted the advice of an experienced health care professional. What an equation!

My father is a brilliant man who worked for essentially the same company for 30+ years. While many of his peers were discarded along the way, the byproduct of numerous mergers, acquisitions, private buyouts and international consolidations, my Dad survived and made many important contributions to lead-acid battery cell technology. His position enabled him and my Mom to travel the globe; my siblings and I were again the beneficiaries of that experience as well.

The stories they told, the pictures they shared and the souvenirs they always managed to grace us with gave my siblings and me a richer, broader view of the world. For all the sacrifices and the shared experiences, I am a richer person and I am truly grateful. I love you Mom & Dad and thanks again for being able to share in most of your 50 years together. What a blessing!

Coaching Inquiries: What do you perceive is the measure of a “good” life, a “successful” life? Do you ever stop reaching for the next plateau? Can you ever be satisfied with where you are and just pause to reflect? Please enjoy The Measure of A Life and feel free to share with me your thoughts on these questions and any other comments you may have on how one measures the worth of a life.

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May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.

Amy Haas (
LifeTrek Coaching International
Columbus, OH

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