Sometimes life seems to be one steady stream of dropping the bar.
- The dog eats the vacuum cleaner.
- The side-view mirror randomly falls off your car.
- Your toenails are the color of rotten robin’s eggs.
- You don’t front squat as much as you would’ve liked.
But the fact is: this is life.
I don’t think life has ever been perfect for anybody.
While the past is etched in stone, it doesn’t mean you have to tie yourself to it.
But you should look at it from time to time.
Read it. Learn from it. And move on.
I’ve been SO wrong about SO many things; and I can either let mistakes sideline me, or I can write a better game plan and jump back in.
I am working towards a goal–a dream.
And anyone who’s actually ever lived a dream knows it comes with a shit ton of hard work.
I want to stay in Germany. To live here. To work here. To become fluent in the language and be part of the community. But it’s intimidating. It’s a lot of paperwork. It’s a lot of mental work. I have fears and misconceptions to arm wrestle.
This week, I stepped foot into a German school, something entirely alien to a homeschooling mom (homeschooling is illegal here for Germans–illegal, as in: people go to jail rather than send their kids to school). So, German schools must be like prisons, right?
Not so much. At least, not in our little town.
Everyone was friendly. The staff seemed happy–laughing, smiling, joking. They brought me cake and coffee. They made me, this strange American former homeschool mom with four *gasp* kids, feel welcomed.
The Principal kept shaking his head and blowing air through pursed lips while he put our information into the computer.
“I’m giving you a challenge, aren’t I?” I asked, between mouthfuls of cake.
“Yes, yes. This is a challenge, but it will be more of a challenge for your children.”
“They’re up for it,” I replied.
And they are. I know they are–even if they don’t think they are. Moms, like great coaches, know these things.
Life is difficult.
But I truly believe that those horrible, difficult times scrawled on the pages of my tear-stained journal have been for my benefit.
I appreciate the millions of good little things better than I ever have in my life: Laughter at the dinner table. Meat on the grill. Lesson plans to prepare. Someone saying, “Hey, I read your blog!” and they don’t roll their eyes.
The hard work, the hard times have incredible value. Why NOT go for the challenge? Because even ‘failures’ help shape us into better people, as long as we don’t quit.
My son told me that I need to re-write my book (I have several manuscripts in various stages) because I’m more ‘vibrant’ now.
Standing hip-deep in this strange circumstance has made me more real, more alive, and so maybe, all of this has made me a better writer. Maybe the fact that I can’t beg, borrow or steal a full-time job means I’ll have more time for writing. Maybe I’ll look back and say, “I’m glad I DIDN’T get that job with Adidas.”
Sometimes desperation inspires greatness.
All people fail.
Some of us fail again and again.
But the key is to never fail the same lesson twice.
Pick up the bar.
Take some weight off, if you have to.
Work your way back up.
It will be intimidating. It will require sweat and perseverance and your hands won’t be quite as smooth as they once were.
But it’s totally worth it.
Just don’t quit.
Because if you quit, then failure wins.
And that shouldn’t be an option for anyone.