When What I Teach Is Failure.

I am trying to do so many things right now.  So many things.  None of them well.  My personal hashtag… #winningatlife

I am a mom.  Late to pick up kids.  Forgot picture day.  Note from teacher about late field trip form AGAIN.  Which reminds me, I need to pay a school fee.  Where is my list?  I better write that down.  Which reminds me, I also forgot…

I am a wife.  Busy.  Struggling. Trying. Will it be enough?  Relationships take work and time; but with three active kids taking the time to do the work becomes hard to find.  When did 24 hours become so short?

I am a writer.  Taking a class.  Writing a piece of fiction.  Participating in a few writing groups.  Trying to make this blog pretty…and work.  Then I go and forget to publish my 31 day pieces for the last two days.  Writing them is only half the challenge, I actually have to put them out there to meet the challenge.  I pissed off a writing group member with my “helpful” feedback.  Wrote a really, really shitty first draft and submitted it to find out it really was shitty.  Good week to test my resiliency, so I am grateful it is Friday.

I am a volunteer.  Youth sports.  Parent groups. School. Church.  Maybe I volunteer in too many places and put more time into that “work” than I should.  A clue as to why I might be overwhelmed with everything else.

It is true, I struggle with saying yes to too many things.  I want to do it all. I appear to be some sort of superwoman to those on the outside.  Not consciously, consciously I want to be laid back and cool.  But subconsciously, I want to be the best mom, wife, person, friend.  I don’t want to let anyone down.  I want to help and make it right for everyone else.  So I say yes to anything I think will help make things better.

Then I am reminded, with great humility, that I am only human.

I cannot do it all.

I should not have said yes to everyone I love and every opportunity to make a difference.

I need balance.

The only winning at life is to love well those people with whom I have been entrusted to care for each day.  The only way to do that is to be with them, to say no to involvement in every area of their life and be with them doing life each step of the way.

These are lessons I try hard to teach my three little ones so they can learn them young.  Not when they are in their 40s and exhausted.  My (not so) little ones watch me struggle to learn these lessons still.  They see the failures.  They see me stumble. They see in real time how much it sucks to be bad at something as a grown woman, to screw it up badly, to have people upset with you.  I hope they are learning.

They see what it looks like to own up to your mistakes, to say you are sorry, to try to make it right.  I hope they are learning.

They see me dust myself off after my failures.  They see me learning to speak to myself with compassion and love.  I hope they are learning.

After all, failures are just a chance to problem solve a better solution, right?  I have to keep going to get a better result.  So after a week of less than perfect results, the littlest one places this note on my computer:


She loves me enough to know I need a little encouragement today.  Dust yourself off Mama, today is a new day.  I think they are learning!

I may not be winning at all things…or even very many things; but I have the best people around me to do this thing we call life … and now you can sing Let’s Go Crazy … it should be my theme song … you are welcome!  Happy Friday.  Happy singing.

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