I’ve always been afraid of failure. I haven’t always known that about myself but now I do.
Living through a difficult time provides perspective. For better (hopefully) or for worse, you come out on the other end seeing things a bit differently. Mom’s journey with dementia has done that for me–and it’s still doing it. It’s prompted me to step back and take inventory of my life. I don’t know how or when this all went down but I know it happened. I can feel it.
I’ve learned a lot in the process–about myself, about Mom, and about what’s most important to me. I’ve learned it’s ok to be sad…and to show it. Better yet, it’s ok to be angry and there are healthy ways to get it out (this feels really good). I’ve learned about the power of a smile too. Each day I get a little more in tune with all of it.
It’s all difficult to put into words but I feel empowered by this newfound and deeper self awareness. Who knows, maybe that’s a reason I was crazy enough to think starting Ro & Steve was a good idea. 🙂 Regardless–I feel more fulfilled by trying to stay true to what I’m discovering about myself, my loved ones, and life in general.
The learning that’s helped me most (so far) in my day-to-day is learning how to be ok with failure. Definitely a work in progress, but I’m beginning to be ok with it and I feel lighter as a result. I wake up feeling more refreshed, recharged, and happier. Everything seems just a smidge brighter.
Barely Holding On But Failing
Like anyone else, everyday life was busy before Mom’s struggle with dementia began. There weren’t enough hours in the day as it was. When her diagnosis came along I was completely overrun. Initially running on adrenaline, I was furiously making lists and crossing things off. I was surviving. Barely.
It became a regular occurrence for me to have 20-30 reminders left unattended in my Outlook calendar (I live by that thing) at the end of the day. I was becoming an expert in hitting snooze and kicking the reminders down the road. At home my my desk looked like a detective’s wall covered in sticky notes, numbers, and to-do’s. It was straight out of central casting.
On the Verge
The thing is, I wasn’t doing any of it well–not for Mom, not for me, not for the kids or for Lindsay–and I felt it. I couldn’t keep up and was on the verge of a breakdown. Exhausted. I was failing and it felt awful.
A complete breakdown was avoided thanks to Lindsay and a great support system who helped me accept my new reality–failure was here to stay. It was a matter of preserving my sanity. They helped me see the ‘to-do’s’ weren’t going away. They’d never be all done no matter what I did. They helped me see that I need to ask for help (This was huge for me) and that I need to redefine failure.
They urged me to focus on 2 things:
- Prioritizing what’s most important on a given day
KnowingBelieving it’s ok if the other stuff has to wait
Surrendered & Saved
I was at my wits end and surrendered. I listened and tried. Amazingly enough, it worked for me and I’m forever grateful for this sage advice. Life’s as busy as ever and at times I still feel like I’m playing whack-a-mole. But I know I’m tackling the right stuff when it needs to be tackled–and it’s being done with the love, care, and undivided attention it deserves.
I’ve accepted failing. Who knew that it would be such a game changer for me? I didn’t…but it sure is.