My new balls.

You know .... I make a lot of mistakes.

A. Lot. Of. Mistakes.

I fail.  Far more than I would like.  Ok .... I fail a lot.

I cry.  I cry some more.  And some how, I try to pick myself back up and do it again.  Sometimes, with success.  Sometimes, I am too frighten to try.  And often when I try again, I am rewarded with more failure.

My moments of failure are often pointed out. Usually with a big wide red sharpie marker for all the classroom to see.

Oh, Look!  She failed again. 


And its those big wide red sharpie markers moments that haunt my spirit. 

Those big wide red sharpie marker moments are there because I no longer live my life in the shadows.  I could park myself on the farm .... and no one would know that I am here.  I could be "under the radar". But I don't.  I voice my opinion.  I tell my story.  I try my best.  But my mistakes are out there for the world to see.

Those big wide red sharpie marker moments eat on me.  I have suffered from clinical depression for decades.  And those red sharpie marker moments, take me inside all my doubts and fears.  I want to sleep the pain away.  I hyperventilate. I want to hide.  But I'm not going to.

Not. Any. More.

Yesterday ... I caught an interview with Brene' Brown. 

And she quoted Teddy Roosevelt.  This is from a 1910 speech that was given in France.  This is called The Man in the Arena quote.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Yea. It's now pasted to my computer screen.

A neighbor once told me .... I don't take on more than I know I can do well.   And at that very moment, I thought, "How do you know what you are capable of doing?"

And I wonder ... when did perfection become the norm?  Why don't we acknowledge our efforts and our failures?  The garden that didn't get weeded.  The apples that won't make it into jam.  The second sock that is still tightly wound in a ball of yarn. Why does the pursuit have to be about perfection?

I will still be a loser.


But I will still be in the arena trying.

Dirty.  Sweaty.  Stinking.

Running late.

Running behind.

But running.

Still failing for the all world to see.


fullfreezer said…
Thanks for sharing. What an inspiration. Maybe that will be my new motto:
If I fail, at least I will fail while daring greatly.

I don't think you are a failure at all- you definitely dare greatly!

melanie said…
What an amazing post. I feel so much better knowing others are struggling with the same issues. IF ONLY I could fail as well as you!!!

Let us go forth and fail greatly!
Susan said…
Thanks for sharing that Cathy - I needed to see such an inspirational quote today.
Zan Asha said…
I agree with the other posters. Also: Bah! We had this discussion the other day--we are supersensitive but it's the guts to get out there that most people can't get past.

I agree--you are the best "failer" I've met. Man, I can't even fail that well!

Keep going, Woman! You are an inspiration!
Dan Mays said…
Taking it a step further . . .
Dan Mays said…
Another step . . .
You big loser you!! No wonder you are so successful, so inventive, so creative and so copied. Keep up all the hard work you rebel woman you but please also TAKE SOME TIme OFF! (There's a farm in Central Illinois that would love to put you up for awhile)

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