Day 51 – Failure

Today I’m grateful that I failed in my goal to write here every morning.

It’s been 17 days – on day one I failed to reach my goal, and for the sixteen days after that I failed to get back on the horse.

Failure isn’t a dirty word.  It’s a reality – I planned on doing one thing, and by my own actions I didn’t get it done.  I failed.

I’m grateful that I can face the reality of the situation, and that I can learn from it.

I’m jumping back on the horse today.  But I’m not just jumping on and riding it the way that I did last time – I’m adjusting the saddle, changing how snug the stirrups are, communicating with the horse a bit differently.  If I just hop back on and ride the same way that I rode before, I’ll fall off again.  As I first learned in AA – I’m not going to do the same thing and expect different results.

I’m grateful that I learned that.

These are the changes that I’m making:

  1. The biggest adjustment has to do with the direction of the blog.  The purpose of this blog was to Amor Fati – to develop the habit of not just accepting, but loving my fate.  Loving everything that happens to me and everything that is currently in my life.  I was only focusing on being grateful for the “bad”, since that’s the part of my life that needed that most work – the positive stuff is easy to love.  Now, I’m going to acknowledge the positive as well, especially since the “good” things in our lives outnumber the “bad” by at least a hundred to one.  Our brains are wired to look for what’s wrong.  I think that the theory that it’s an evolutionary trait is right, since for our ancestors it was much more important to keep an eye out for the lion than to appreciate the beauty of the sunset.  Although it still exists, in modern, developed countries physical threats are a much smaller problem, regardless of what the news tries to tell us.  My life requires that I appreciate the good on a regular basis, if only to combat the negatives that are shoved down our throats on a regular basis so that people with power can feast on the foie gras of our fear.  (Wow, Lyman, quite the rant there… take it out or leave it in?  Leave it in for honesty’s sake.)
  2. Sometimes it’s the people in our lives that we end up not being grateful for.  To call them out publicly because of a small, silly, private slight or annoyance would cause misunderstanding and harm, and I want live my life causing as little harm as possible (I’ve already caused more than my share).  So I was avoiding writing about these things but still stewing about them, and therefore not doing the exercise honestly.  I still need work in that area, but if I choose to write about it, it will go in a private journal.
  3. I’m going to get away from using the word “thanksgiving.”  I’ve been starting most entries with the phrase “Today I’m thankful for…”; I thought I had to because that’s the name of the fricking blog.  That doesn’t feel right to me, and never has.  “Today I’m grateful for…” feels better.

I’m grateful that I’ve identified these issues, and that I can implement them and move forward.

So, to recap – today I’m grateful that I failed, I’m grateful that I got back on the horse, and I’m grateful that I’ve identified the problems that caused that failure.

Fate permitting, I’ll be back tomorrow.  I hope you’ll join me.

 

Advertisements

Day 27 – Showing Up At The Wrong Time

Today I’m grateful for when I screw up my schedule and show up for things at the wrong time.

It happened to me last night.  I thought I had an appointment at 8pm.  I got off of work at 6:15, and I’ve got a far enough commute that it really didn’t make much sense to go home before the appointment.  So I took my time, stopped off at Wendy’s for some dinner, and got there about 20 minutes before my appointment time.  I hung out in the car for about 10, then headed up.

There’s another person in the waiting room, which is strange for that time of night, but whatever.  My therapist comes out, sees me, and says “I think our appointment is for tomorrow.”

I check my phone.  Yup… the confirmation text that the office had sent me says its for the 19th, but I had put it in my calendar for the 18th.  Great.

All of that time I could have been home already.

One of the things that I’m thankful for is that I wasn’t very upset by it.  Not a big deal, just a couple of extra hours (not even, maybe an hour) out of my day.  I was a little embarrassed, had a few of the “Why am I so stupid!” thoughts, but realized just how silly those are whenever they popped up.

When things like this happen, I tend to think that, in some small way, the trajectory of my entire life was changed because of that moment.  If things had gone the way that they were planned, I would have been home earlier (maybe, unless I avoided a fatal car crash by not being on the road at that certain time).  My conversations with my wife would have been different.  I might not have read something, seen something, thought something if things had been different.

I find that fascinating.  And I’m grateful for that as well – it shows me just how different things can be if I act differently, if I decide to take a left instead of a right.  That’s happening every day, and I (generally) know which lefts will take me to a more fulfilling life, and which rights will take me away from it.  Sometimes I don’t, and sometimes I’m wrong, but there are enough of those little things that I can do that make it worth exploring.

 

Day 19 – Physically Bleah

This morning I’m grateful that I’m feeling not so great physically.

Not sick so much as “man, I shouldn’t have eaten those mass quantities of junk food last night.”  I can tell that it’s going to take a little while for my body to get moving this morning.

It’s a good thing – yet another reminder that my actions have consequences.  Specifically, it’s a reminder that when I don’t take care of myself physically, I will pay the price physically.

I’m thankful that I get these signals from my body. I would have been dead a long long time ago if I didn’t.

 

Day 18 – Thank Giving???

This morning I’m grateful that, 18 days in, the address I created for this blog contains “ayearofthankgiving” instead of “ayearofthanksgiving.”

Doh! Holy Lord Jesus, Vishnu, and Gautama Buddha!  How the heck did that happen?

Even bigger question, how the heck did I go 18 days without seeing it!

Shows the danger of copy and paste, and clicking on links without really reading them well.

But… I’m thankful that I caught it.  And I’m thankful that it’s only 18 days in.  And I’m thankful that I realize that it really isn’t that big of a deal.

I’m grateful that I did register “ayearofthanksgiving.com” correctly, and eventually I’ll move the site over to that.  For now, it just is what it is, since the effort to move everything I’ve done twice is just not worth it.  I think my three regular readers will understand! 🙂