We are often led to believe that if we don’t manage to achieve the goals we’ve set, we’ve failed. Have we really though? What about all the other things we’ve experienced along the way? Are we grateful for those?
To say I haven’t written in a while would be a gross understatement. My last post was in… February, I believe, back when I was consumed with the desire to work hard on my promises. I was running, I was writing, I enrolled in a coding class and I was reading like crazy. I made time for cooking AND freelancing and I loved my job. It was great.
Then a number of things happened at the same time – my energy kind of fizzled out a bit in the third month, a number of events needed my attention (have you ever organised a surprise party? Man, it was crazy), freelancing started taking up more and more time and I started shedding all my promises, like leaves falling out of season. I was angry with myself. How could you? I berated myself every night. You should have made time for jogging. You should have made time for your blog. You should have slept earlier. Now you’ll look like you had a night from hell tomorrow. And I was (still am a bit) constantly tired.
So I did what any normal human being would do in these circumstances. I started blaming everything else. It was incredibly easy, this easing of a conscious burden. But it wasn’t getting me anywhere. I wasn’t really feeling better. Days were still slipping like sand between my fingers and all I did was complain. On and on like waves beating against the coast.
Until… well, until I finally decided to take a look behind me. At why my days were not matching up to the expectations I had. And all I saw was how every week had been spent clebrating something or another. Every month brought an onslaught of smiling faces, of laughter and beautiful memories. Why was I complaining again?
I realised that, though I might have let go of some of my promises, I was making others in their stead. A promise to love and cherish. A promise to be more present. A promise to find time for the people who matter.
I realised that I was grumbling when I ought to have been grateful. And there’s something to be said about what we all fail to be grateful for, as the sun rises and sets, without us realising how many smaller miracles occur in between.
Grateful for love, for home, for work (yes, work! And great colleagues!), for friendship, for having hope in tomorrow, for family, for our dog or cat, our books, our friendly neighbour.
Grateful for the health to travel and seek adventures.
Grateful to the stranger who offered a smile when none was forthcoming.
Grateful for music that gives you goosebumps, for art, for teachers and experiences both good and bad.
Grateful to that friend for not passing judgement, and to that other who always seems to know when something’s up.
Grateful for the sunsets and the night sky strewn with stars and dreams, for hugs, kisses and all the food that feeds the soul.
Grateful for time, our most precious commodity, and the one we squander incessantly.
Grateful to be here, now.
Isn’t that amazing? To be able to say look, I have all this.
Does it matter that much now, that I fell behind on the promises that I had made to myself? When I can still pick them up as I go along? When I’ve been given so much to celebrate in return?
I didn’t fail – it was never really a matter of failing or succeeding. More about dealing with life as it happened. About being kind to myself when things don’t go according to plan. About taking different directions when they were needed and standing firm by the path you choose.
I mean, the views are still impeccable.