So, let’s see – as I think back on 2015 and goals I set for myself:
I did not read 60 books last year…
I did not lose any weight, and if anything, I have to take the stairs everywhere because even when I’m by myself, I exceed the weight limit on most elevators…
My poor bike has turned a lovely shade of rust.
I did not post on The Realist Adjusts the Sails nearly as often or as frequently as I hoped…
And I’m reflecting on 2015 a full 11 days into 2016.
I guess you could call me a failure.
But what did I accomplish in 2015? I got married, for one. And we had a beautiful wedding on board a yacht off the coast of Santa Barbara with 80 of our closest friends and family in attendance.
We went on one fantastic honeymoon to Iceland, where we spent seven perfect days reveling in the raw and wild beauty of the far north, and you know, enjoying that whole “newly married couple” thing.
I started a new job. Yes, why leave the end of 2015 at a wedding and a honeymoon? Why not throw a new job into the mix as well?? But it was an opportunity I could not pass up, and every day I come home thrilled about my new position, and grateful I was given the chance to take it. I am so happy, and so excited with this new job, I almost don’t recognize the burned-out, career-flounderin’ blogger I was 6 months ago.
I stayed sober – 490 days as of today.
And I adopted a cat. Need I say more there?
Lastly, I may not have read 60 books, but I did read 55, so I got pretty damn close to that goal.
All that said, am I really a failure? Because when I think about 2015, yes, I struggled. Yes, I floundered. Yes, I tried things, and they didn’t work out. But I tried. And to me, you only fail something if you don’t try it. Trying something and finding it doesn’t work is not failure because at the end of the day you know more than you did when that day started.
Here’s one for you: I tried to work as an animal caretaker. I was hired in July at Kitten Rescue, the incredible cat rescue with whom I have volunteered for well over a year now. I was so excited to have the job, even though it was only one day a week, because at that time I was considering a career change into animal care, and I knew this would give me opportunities I would not otherwise have.
And when I first started, I loved it. Yes, here we go! Being around cats and taking care of their needs… what could be better than this?? But then the hard parts started… the medications, which true to the stereotype, cats do. not. like. taking. pills. And there was the syringe feeding; cats who were little more than skin and bones, and shocker: don’t like getting syringe-fed any more than they like taking pills. There were cats we couldn’t save. And cats that screamed bloody murder any time you came near them.
In the end, it was too much for me. I found I don’t have what it takes to shove pills down cats’ throats, and I would rather stab myself in the face with syringe needles than give cats intravenous fluids… it was awful, but I finally resigned. I explained everything to the manager, and begged to stay on as a volunteer even though I “failed” as an employee. Luckily, Kitten Rescue has a pretty fantastic manager, and she welcomed me back into the volunteer fold with open arms.
And since going back as a volunteer, I have felt more at peace than I did any of the Sundays I worked.
But technically I failed, right? Well, I would say no to that. I didn’t fail. I tried it, and it didn’t work out. Now I know I am not an animal caretaker – at least not a medical one – and that was something I didn’t know 6 months ago. Learning something new is always a win, even if it comes at that cost.
So, yeah, I may have failed my 2015 goals, but I still say 2015 was a successful year.
And with that, here’s to failing 2016!