Tag Archives: failure

It’s OK Not To Be OK

I’ve been feeling like a failure lately.  I started off quarantine life on top of my game.  I was doing well on a weight loss plan.  I was working my way through Couch to 5K training.  I was excited about learning new technologies and working from home with a cat on my lap.

Now here we are a month later.  I haven’t tracked my food intake all week.  I twisted my foot last weekend and haven’t been able to run.  New technologies are great and all, but my learning curve is steeper than I expected.  And my cat spends more time walking across my keyboard than he spends on my lap.

I like to joke that as a Generation X introvert I’ve been quietly preparing for this moment all my life.  But the reality is that we are in the middle of a global pandemic, and life is hard!  My normal knitting has been tossed aside in favor of sewing surgical-style masks for my family. The novelty of feeling like I’m in the intro to The Brady Bunch during every Zoom meeting has been replaced with the dread of continued staring at my screen.  Buying groceries is a choice between the fright of going out in public or the frustration of trying to book a pick-up or delivery time in an overcrowded schedule.  The adventure of my daily walk out to my mailbox to retrieve the day’s junk and bills is ruined by the hand washing ritual that follows it.  Every cough raises the hair on the back of my neck in fear.

We are living in a very strange and scary time.  And I’ve been failing this week.  And you know what?  That’s ok.  It is ok not to be perfect while things are all askew in the world.  It’s ok to be not as good as was normal in “the before times.”  We’re in the middle of a huge world crisis here.  It’s unpleasant.  It’s scary.  And it’s far from over.  Expecting to be perfect, or even normal, is ridiculous.  We’re all just trying to do what we can to keep ourselves above water.

Luckily every day gives us a new opportunity to make the choices that keep us sane.  This week I’m planning to track my food better.  I’m planning to start running again now that my foot has stopped hurting.  I hope to devote more time to mastering Canvas and PowerPoint.  These are attainable goals.  But, to be honest, if I fail again that will be ok.  I’m not perfect.  Things aren’t normal.  But we’re going to get through this.

Someday we’ll look back on this and reminisce about our time in quarantine and the silly things we did to stay sane.  And things will be normal again, even though different than before.  And if we’re lucky nobody will ever have to wear real pants again.  We must NEVER go back to real pants. 😉

Failure is the Best Teacher

I feel like I’ve been failing a lot lately.  I was taking an accounting class that I late dropped because I wasn’t understanding the material.  I’ve been horrible about getting the Moneywise Tip out regularly.  My house needs to be cleaned.  My laundry needs to be put away.  My front porch needs repair work.  Everywhere I turn I see my face on a big pile of failure.

To some people this might be the worst feeling in the world.  But I like to think of failure as an opportunity to learn and grow.  Failures are some of the best learning moments in life.  It’s so much easier to learn from a failure than from a success. You can usually see pretty clearly where you went wrong.  Why wasn’t I doing well in my accounting class?  I didn’t enjoy it because it focused too much on something I don’t care about at all (I wanted to learn federal tax for individuals….not for businesses).  Why have I been bad about the Moneywise Tip?  I haven’t been assigning it a high enough priority…which is a mistake.  Why is my house a mess?  I need incentive (like a soon-to-be-erected Christmas tree!) to inspire me to clean.  Why is my laundry all over the guest bed?  Apparently, I haven’t found the obstacle of finding something to wear from the giant pile to be great enough (but it’ll be there very soon!).  And I’m sure as soon as I hurt myself on the front porch, I’ll get it fixed.  Failures make the answers so easy to find.

The important thing about dealing with failure is not to wallow in it, but rather to pivot toward something that works better.  Find the teaching point and learn from it.  When you overdraw your checking account, you have to look into why it happened so you don’t let it happen again.  When you can’t pay all of your bills with the funds you have available, you have to examine your budget to see where you spent too much.  When you apply for a credit card and you get denied, you have to look at your credit report to see what is wrong (and whether that’s even something you did, or just a credit report error).  You can’t wallow in it.  It’s important to keep moving ahead…even if that means you are moving in a direction you didn’t originally plan for.

Failure can feel terrible.  But it’s also one of the best teachers in the world.