The Face of Failure

That’s how I feel some days. Like this, I will never succeed. No matter how hard I try, I always end up back at failure. But that’s not true, so I have to tell myself that. I have to remind myself of where I’ve been, where I’ve come from, of where I’m going.

Growing up, I remember looking around at all of these people that seemed sure, like they made decisions in life and knew they were making the right decisions every time, knew that their way was the right way, yet here I was floundering, trying to do what I thought was right, what I saw as the need, and being told I was wrong. Why was I always so wrong?

I wasn’t. Well, I might have been sometimes, but not to the degree that I felt others thought I was, or others told me I was. You know what I realize, that we all have internal battles, but some of us are better at silencing our critics (internal and external). That is a skill that we all can benefit from, for sure, and one I’m glad I developed over time.

Last night, while trying to teach our oldest how to ride her bike, seeing her tears and hearing her cry that she tries, she thinks she’s going to do really well, and then she fails, and then, she hears the song “I am a looser”, or whatever the name of the song is. You get the point, and I got the point and it made me so sad for her. Here is a new area I need to work with her on, to help her through. Cue song:

I had been cranky and impatient but didn’t want to put her off any longer since she was being so patient and understanding every day that I put her off again (and there had been so many days).  So I pushed on. Maybe it wasn’t the best idea considering how grumpy I was feeling. And, I’m afraid I took it out on her by being curt and pushy about how she was riding. And then I broke her bike, well, I tried to ride it to show her and the chain popped off. I can fix that today. I will fix that today. And then today, somehow, I will take her, just her out to ride her bike, and I will try to be patient. I will tell her I was wrong last night and that it wasn’t her fault, like I did last night, because they remember our harsh words and actions more than they remember our apologies and our attempts to get it right, at least they do when they are hurting, and she is hurting.

Each new day the face of failure can be the face of success. It really is the same face, just further down the road, with a little more wear and tear.

This morning, when my internal voice and I were arguing about whether I would get up to go to the gym at 5:30, I reminded myself of what I told her: “You will never succeed if you don’t keep trying.” And when my inner voice said: “It’s only one day, what good will that do.” I had to tell it that we all have to start somewhere, one day at a time.

And I went to the gym and for a walk after I drove home. And now I’m sitting here having had my morning eggs, with coffee of course, and feeling like I can do this, this today, and this getting fit thing. And I believe I can be the mom that our oldest daughter needs. I’m claiming that. Being a bad mom is easy, being a good mom takes a lot of work, constant work. Some days are bad days and some days are good. I have to keep plugging along even on the bad days, because I can’t quit them when it gets hard. They deserve better than that.

My mantra today is “Failure is only a stage, only a day, and tomorrow can be better. It will be better.  Keep trying.”



One thought on “The Face of Failure

  1. I so appreciate your honesty. I remember being very cranky with my children and always in a hurry. “Hurry up” was my mantra. Now with my grandchildren, I am extremely patient. We stop and look at every rock, observe tiny ants, admire the flowers, splash in mud puddles… take all the time in the world! My adult children can’t believe I am the same person. But the most amazing thing is that my adult children not only forgive me and understand the hardships I had as a single mother… they appreciate all the things I did right! I can’t believe it sometimes. It is truly a miracle. So keep doing the best you can (I think you are a great mother) and remember that you just need to be “good enough.” If my kids were fed… I was doing good enough.

    Liked by 1 person

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