So, this idea of failure has been on my mind a lot. Why, you ask? Because my number one fear in life might be failing. Actually, I'm pretty sure it is. A lot of my focus and preparation for becoming a professional counselor has been focused in this area, because unfortunately, I think Americans struggle with this topic big time. What does failing even mean? No one has the same definition, because failing would be different for all of us...do I fail if I keep blogging or checking facebook when I'm supposed to be writing one of my papers for my final class of my masters career (true story)? Do I fail if I pick Cruz up when he wakes up in the middle of his nap (regular occurance) because they say it encourages him to continue the waking up pattern? Do I fail if I don't make dinner every night? Or if I can't exactly keep my apartment clean all the time? All of these questions are real scenarios floating around in my brain lately...there are a few things I've learned.
One - there is a difference in failing, as in not completing an obligation, and being a FAILURE. The latter is a label I often wore, but finally concluded I needed to stop calling myself a failure, unless I really wanted to be one.
Two - people are not watching me constantly to see me fail. I flatter myself too much, I am not the center of everyone's attention. And I don't want to be. The people watching me the most are also the ones who believe in me at all times, and do not see my failures as I do...my family, my friends, my God. They love me in spite of my "failures".
Three - who the heck decides I fail anyway? The experts who write baby sleep books? A professor who gives me a C rather than an A because I didn't get a few papers in on time?
You know what I decided? A little bit of fear of failing is healthy, because I think fear is a strong motivator, and Lord knows I at least need some motivation sometimes! But its really who I'm scared to fail that matters - if it's not the Lord, or my husband, or my kid, or my friends, it's probably not very important. And like I said earlier, to these people, my failing is not really failing. I am forever thankful for their grace and mercy! I also decided that sometimes I might CHOOSE to "fail" in the world's eyes...it probably is failing to some people that Adam and I choose for me to stay at home and raise our kids instead of working so we can buy a house or nicer cars - but we see that as a success. And one day if I don't get the laundry folded, but spend time teaching Cruz to sit up, it might look like a failure because there are clothes scattered all over the floor - but Cruz sitting up and spending time with Mama and Daddy is definitely a success! So, you know what? I hear Cruz crying...and yes, we are best friends with the 45 minute intruder, he constantly wakes up 45 minutes into his nap, no matter what we do. Today I'm going to fail. I'm going to go pick him up. But to see him smile when I go to grab him will feel like sweet sweet success!