I envy the people who fail with grace.
They try. They fail. They look at their failure with a “better luck next time” sort of attitude, and let it roll off them like it’s no big thing.
That’s so not me. I’m no good at failure.
I’m a type-A, 4.0 GPA, “if you want the job done better do it yourself” kind of girl, so failure and I don’t exactly get along.
But not in 2015.
I’m not really down with making resolutions, mostly because, as mentioned above, I believe in action more than intention. So while resolutions might not be my thing, I really like making goals and even more making a plan, then working the plan to achieve the goal.
So you might be surprised to find out that my first goal of 2015 is to be a failure.
2014 brought changes to my life. The biggest change was that I went back to work full time, which was both a blessing and a challenge. Even though I work from home, my job is pretty demanding, so while I’m “here,” I’m not always “here,” if you know what I mean. 90% of the time my brain is on work-mode, and the time-suck of that has been a real challenge.
Mostly because my plate was pretty full when the job came along. Suddenly: overflowing plate. Like overflowing-and-making-a-mess-on-the-floor plate. Suddenly I found myself wondering how I could balance it all.
First I looked at it as a challenge that I could overcome by making a plan. Making a schedule. Working toward a goal, like I tend to do. So I set out to do just that.
Plan for 2014:
Be a devoted follower of Jesus by spending regular, quality time with Him.
Try to be a great mom. Have plenty of quality time with my boys.
Try to be a great wife. Have plenty of quality time with my husband.
Keep the house clean and orderly, and do all the cutesy Pinterest stuff that shows the world I’m cutesy and Pinterest-y.
Write. Write write write write write. Spit out at least 2 more books during the year.
Try to be an awesome teacher and leader. Work hard at my job, achieve career goals. Plan brilliant lessons for my students that show them that history is awesome, develop great plans that help my team achieve and becoming stronger teachers for their students and the school.
Grow the women’s ministry at church. Be a focused leader with plans, goals, and show progress toward growing the ministry. Plan and execute women’s ministry events.
Teach Sunday school. Lead Bible study. Use my gift of teaching for the good of the church and the community to glorify Him.
Continue to be active member of music ministry at church.
Get boys to and from all of their activities. Be involved mom in all of their activities so that they can be more well-rounded.
Be involved at boys’ schools. Room mom. Cutesy Pinterest stuff again.
Whew. Just reading that list makes me tired. It makes me sad. And it makes me embarrassed because there are several things on that list that just didn’t happen in 2014.
So my first goal of 2015: Be okay with being a failure.
Sometimes when our plates are too full we have to let something go and learn to say no. We (I) have to take a hard look at our priorities and figure out what’s really most important.
The difficult thing for me is that all of the stuff on my list for 2014 is pretty important (okay, not the Pinterest stuff so much).
So when I look at the list of responsibilities I have and realize that I have to let something go, all I see is a giant red F.
F for failure.
I haven’t been able to balance it all. I haven’t been able to pull it all off. I’m not “woman who can do it all.”
And I wonder, will the world judge me? Will they think I’m weak, or lazy, or disorganized, or heaven forbid, not good enough? Just because I can’t do it all?
Stupid, right? I know.
I know. And yet I feel like a failure because I have to realize that in order to do the most important things in my life, I’ve got to let some of the other stuff go.
And I have to be okay with that.
So I pray, I prioritize, and I decide that my first goal of 2015 is to be okay with looking someone in the eye and saying, “I can’t.” I’m going to be comfortable saying, “I’m doing my best and I can’t take on anything else.” I will say, “I tried and I failed. I’m sorry.”
I will remember that God has never asked for me to be perfect. He’s never asked me to do it all. He’s never expected me to be SuperWoman or SuperMom or SuperWife. In fact, he’s provided mercy and grace through the perfection of his son so that when I do fail, I know that I’m still loved by the One who matters.
Who cares what the world thinks? I’m loved even when I fail.
It’s beautifully liberating to know that God loves me no matter what, even when I don’t live up to my own standards. It’s stress-releasing and hope-giving and smile-producing.
So let something go in 2015. Be okay with looking back at 2014 and saying, “I tried and I failed.” Be okay with prioritizing, learning to say no, and trying again.
God’s mercies are new every morning. His strength is renewing, and his hope is unending.
2015 is going to be a beautiful year. My plan for this year is to revel in that beauty. Instead of focusing on trying to do it all, I’m going to focus on doing it all to the glory of the One who loves me.