Today I’m writing about failure. My own.
When I hear about other people’s failures, I am moved to compassion. I think, they did the best they could at the time, under the circumstances, with the information and resources they had then. I’ve spent enough time in that muddle in the middle; I know what a dark and confusing place it can be. When you’re there, you’re just trying to get through each day.
“I’m just trying to get through the Christmas holidays without pissing too many people off,” I told my sister. (For the record, so far? Epic fail. And it’s only December 10.)
The holidays are so laden with expectations, it’s hard not to feel like a failure. My friend Luna Leverett (a blogger, speaker, mother of two, and all-around amazing human being who shares her wit and wisdom at www.LunaLeverett.com) says that women in particular put mountains of stress on themselves, trying to make the “perfect” plans to make everyone happy. When those plans do not go perfectly, we take it as a reflection of our abilities and self-worth. “I have failed.”
You’ve seen kids at Christmas, right? You know the sugar-fueled meltdowns they have, when emotions are running high and the sleep reserves are running low? “The wheels are about to come off the bus,” is how my brother-in-law puts it, when he sees his kids going down that road.
I had one of those meltdowns today. It was not fueled by sugar. (I wish!) I simply collapsed under the rock pile of expectations I put on myself. Must. Make. Everyone. Happy. I WILL find a way. I am up to this challenge. I can DO this!
Except when I can’t. And today, I cannot. Chalk one up in the “Failure” column. Or as I call it when I see it in other people’s lives, “that space where you put your best efforts, and remember that you are human.”