On failure

I experience so many failures in a day. And it begins as early as not getting up when the alarm clock rings. Failure. Leaving late for work. Failure. Losing my temper at slow drivers on the get-on ramp to the highway. Failure. On and on throughout the day till my head hits the pillow at night. Failure. Failure. Failure.

But you know what? I’m tired of feeling like I’m failing, of being mad at myself and disappointed that I’m failing and falling short all that time. Because you know what, I’m not. I’m not failing, I’m alive and I’m living. And sometimes my desires to be perfect (or even just seem perfect) get in the way, measuring myself up against an imaginary standard for just about everything — but who cares? WHO ACTUALLY CARES?

When I’m an old lady — hell even now — I will not and do not look back at my past self and think, “I should’ve really been much harder on myself.” It’s actually the opposite. I’m sad when I remember how mean I was to myself, picking on every little thing that fell short — and in turn critical of people around me who weren’t living up to my imaginary standards. What misspent time!

Because really, what was I so concerned about, so disappointed in? Do I even remember those work tasks I didn’t do perfectly, whether my apartment was clean or dirty, or how many months of the year I was the “wrong weight?”

What I do remember is the times I uplifted someone or hurt them, times I really came through for someone in need, the missed opportunities to be a better friend or better family member — and most importantly — the beautiful feelings of freedom and happiness that have come through things like travel and one-on-one time with people I care about.

So, yes. If I’m going to continue living I’m going to continue failing — probably at some of everything until I breathe my last breath. But I’m trying to remember that it’s not the falling short that I deserves the attention — it’s the living and doing and being that does.

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