I went to an intense high school full of bright young students eager to be the future leaders of America. The timeline was pretty much set for us at age 14– and it did not matter what type of family you came from, the point is once you actually got into Andover, expectations were set pretty high although some were far less stressed about meeting these goals than others, and I’m pretty sure that had a lot to do with the family dynamics going on in the background.

For twenty-five years, I ran on that treadmill hoping to meet everyone’s expecations– wanting to please everyone and not let anyone down. I graduated from top schools and worked at top firms, accumulating all sorts of awards and honors along the way. I also got married and produced an heir, and to everyone around it would seem I was hitting all the right points at all the right times dictated by social standards. Yet, my story this year highlights my greatest lesson of all– who cares about timelines and how others define success?

My greatest joy in life has nothing to do with my accomplishments as an athlete, in academics or as a professional. Becoming a mother and finding my family have filled an incredible void, and none of them care in the least about all the things the rest of the world seems to focus on so much. Funny thing about life is that so much of what we do is structured around timelines, and yet the one thing we all seek most in life– LOVE– follows no such rules and structure. It finds you when it is meant to happen, and this year, even though it was not according to my desired timeframe, I am just so glad it found me.