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Considering Failures

Blink.
And a week has gone by. It was a week full of things, mostly good, nothing truly awful or unmanageable. Except there is that part of my brain that howls at me from the darkness saying that I have failed at everything.
I have lists of the things I could have done better. I don’t want to have these lists, but they show up in my head unbidden. I argue with them, but this does not dispel them. So I wield a pen, which is mightier than a sword, and write the list down.
Things I Could Have Done Better.
Those words are writ large across the top, with capital letters for all the words as is proper for a title. I write each thing, pinning it to the page in dark letters against white. It is permanent there. Others could walk by and read it. That feels far more vulnerable than keeping the failures tucked out of sight in my mind.
But
when I pin a failure to the page, it stops nibbling at me. They all do. It had gotten to the point where I felt crowded out of my own brain. Thought clutter.
The list is long. As I keep writing, my eyes wander back upward to the things already written.
I really couldn’t help that one. It seems silly to blame myself for it. And this one, yeah it would have been better if I’d done it, but the reason I didn’t was because I was managing a much more important task instead. I only have so many hours each day. There are more tasks than hours. If today I succeed at work tasks, I fail at eating healthy. Something has to give.
The ones that grieve most fall under the column Parenting Failures.
Then I cast my mind backward, and I am glad for the small scale of these failures. In the grand scheme “I forgot to make the kid do her dishes” is a failure with minimal consequences.
There are things on the list that matter. Failures I must attempt to remedy.
For now, with the failures trapped on a page, I can move onward with more space to think.

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