I’m great at fresh starts. I’ve fresh started hundreds of times. And failed almost as many times.
I could say: the only fresh starts I have not failed at are the ones that are too new to have failed. Give them time! I may fail at them, too.
I could say it. I did say it. And that’s unfair.
It’s also not true.
It’s how it seemed when I started writing this. I’ve failed a lot, but most of my failures have not been complete failures.
What’s left over after I fail is success.
I have improved (and I have!) through the accumulation of small successes, many in the aftermath of failure.
Last year I wrote 107 posts. Each was a small success. I failed to write a post a day. That was my goal when I started. I’ve failed to complete hundreds of posts that I’ve started. I’ve failed to start thousands of posts.
Failure. And success.
The way I write now is better than the way I used to write. That’s a success born of many failures.
I’ve been taking cold morning showers for more than six months. Now it’s harder not to take a cold shower than to take one. That’s a success from doing The Stoic Shallenge in October. I failed a few times getting there. Like in February when I wrote about doing the hard stuff. Or not doing it.
I’ve been getting up at 5:30 AM since October. Fairly reliably. I might miss one day out of ten. That’s a success. Yesterday I failed. Who cares?
I’ve gotten rid of resentment by practicing gratitude and forgiveness. I’ve been working at it since July 2017, around the time that I wrote Thank you, Past Me. Thank you random stranger. I have a lot to be grateful for. I’ve learned that there’s no downside to forgiveness. Not as far as I can tell. I failed to be grateful and to forgive before it became a habit. Failure led to success. Since then I’ve learned about The paradoxes of gratitude and forgiveness.
The smart money says I won’t stick to it
If I say that I’m going to clean up my act, the smart money says I won’t stick with it. Bobbi is smart. I’m sure she could predict failure, but I can’t remember a time that she has. I’m grateful for that. Not the bad memory. But that it’s so long ago that I can’t remember.
I asked her. She can’t remember a time either. She’s pretty sure she’s been cynical in the past. She’s probably right. It makes sense to be cynical. But neither of us can remember a time. I’m grateful for that.
She says she’s learned not to be overly hopeful. But she says that she is hopeful every time. I’m grateful for that.
New beginnings are fragile. It doesn’t take much to kill a seed before it sprouts. I’m glad that she doesn’t tell me that she expects me to fail even if she does. It’s bad enough when I expect failure. I’m getting better at not failing, and better at getting up and going again.
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