Learning not to Fear Failure

“When we begin to take our failures non-seriously, it means we are ceasing to be afraid of them. It is of immense importance to learn to laugh at ourselves” — Katherine Mansfield

In any given day, we will succeed at some things and fail at others. Failure happens to some degree every day. Over time, If we lose our sense of humor, we can begin to feel badly about our failures, letting those feelings compound into a statement about our self-worth. After all, who wants to fail?

There are times when a failure seems too big to make us laugh, and indeed some mistakes aren’t that funny. In those cases, does it make sense to continue to wallow in self-loathing, or to earnestly move forward in a new direction. Every moment offers us a chance for a new direction, and if we are mired in self loathing about our failures, we lose the chance to see the new opportunities that are available to us in the present moment.

I am resisting the temptation to see my move into a job that didn’t suit me as a failure. It was a learning experience, and I do not regret making the decision to change directions after several attempts to make it work. Resilience is one of my strengths. Having gone through much harder times, bigger failures in my life, I remain an eternal optimist, with a healthy dose of sardonic cynicism to keep me from being too naive.

Early in my recovery from an eating disorder, I had a sponsor who gave me a stuffed, quilted pig she had lovingly made for me. It seemed rather ironic, given my condition, but the words she said when she presented it to me have always stayed with me, even 35 years later. Her words were simple “Don’t wallow in it!”

I don’t expect everything in life to work out, and I don’t expect myself to be perfect. I know I will make mistakes, fail, fall down, and do dumb things. Sometimes I will be able to laugh at these things, and sometimes I will need to take a moment to cry.

Life itself fails us at times, and all we can do is decide, and decide, and decide again. Where to next?


Release The Child Within

“For in every adult there dwells the child that was, and in every child there lies the adult that will be.”
― John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things

Photo by J. Allmyer

Photo by J. Allmyer

It is a beautiful day outside and I was halfway through cleaning my house when my friend called and asked me to go on a hike. Is this a trick question? Of course I’ll go. As much as I love cleaning (not so much) I am going to break away and take advantage of the joy I experience when I listen to my inner child – you know – the one who likes to have fun. I will have plenty of time to be an adult starting next week when I’m back in school, and work is on fire. Until then, I am going to enjoy my weekend.

One of my girls’ favorite tapes to listen to when they were growing up was Marlo Thomas’ Free to Be and I especially liked this poem about housework.

Off to the woods now. Enjoy your day too!IMG_1477



Gardening Woes

Inspired by the beautiful green space surrounding me, I decided to put more effort into my gardening this year.

I even bought a fancy rain barrel.

IMG_2358The good news is that the barrel filled up right away, but the not so good news is that we had rain almost every day this summer which helped my lettuce sprout up quickly only to be gobbled up by nearby bunnies or some other type of critter. Or possibly the possum that crawled up under my deck and died, leaving a terrible stench, may have had an anaphylactic reaction to all the cabbage he consumed (do possums eat cabbage?).

As the summer has progressed, my results have been mixed.

Meanwhile, at my childhood buddy’s house the plants are flourishing and hummingbirds flutter about feasting on her flower’s nectar.


And the dog is living the life too….

IMG_1493I guess I need to face the fact that gardening isn’t my forte. Gardens need lots of attention of which I am of short supply these days.

This fall I think I’ll try planting some mums, and if that doesn’t work, there is always next year.