Staying Afloat (when it matters most)

on January 18, 2015 in Musings

FailBoatScrewing up in my department at work can earn you the title of “Captain of the Failboat.”  It’s not a proud name to wear.  Sure, it’s meant in fun, but it still stings, especially when the fail isn’t your fault.

I started my 2015 with promises and motivation.  Then life happened, overwhelming me and pushing my intentions down the drain.  My work computer crashed.  Query rejections sprinkled into my Inbox.  I turned to food for comfort.  There was little time to spend with family and friends.  I found myself going down with the ship.

While I stood alone in my pity party, I realized that it didn’t have to be my boat.  What changed my mind?  Two little words.  They came to me while I was standing in the slowest line at the grocery store, listening to a little girl detail her day to the obviously disinterested cashier.

“I was gonna make a picture.  But he colored on my paper.”  She pointed at the slightly smaller boy sitting in the bottom of the basket.  “And then, Mommy got me a new one.  That he didn’t color on and then I made a pretty picture of our house, and then Mommy put it on the fridge.”

She hadn’t given up just because of a set back.  Her little voice echoed in my mind.  She had simply started again.  It was the power of “and then…”

I don’t have to wait until next January to start a new diet just because I cheated a few times on this one.  And then, I can rewrite the notes and outlines that I lost at work.  And then, there is still time to set my goals down on paper.  And then, I can plan a Dream Board party for February, or even July if that’s what works.

There is comfort in the ability to start again.  It is not written in stone that failure has to be permanent.  I am not Captain of the Failboat.  I refuse to stay under the waves of despair and self-judgment.

What if we stopped beating ourselves up when we falter or even fail?  What if we just stopped, took a deep breath and said, “And then…”

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