Monday, May 11

Failing in good spirits

"Our business in life is not to succeed, but to continue to fail in good spirits." ~Robert Louis Stevenson

I'm nervous this morning. I'm going to orientation and training to be a volunteer at the local hospital. There have already been some missed signals, some unreturned calls, some communication errors on my part and on others' as well, and I'm afraid I shouldn't have done this. The Pink Ladies have done fine without me since their inception and I'm afraid at this point maybe I should have taken this off my retirement bucket list before I tried it instead of after. But it was there, somewhere between zip lining and tandem jumping and I thought since it was something that was for someone besides myself, I should do it. Probably by tonight, I'll think it was a good idea. Right now, I'm not so sure.

I am always enthused when a project or an idea is new. I can't wait to get started. I love taking all the notes to guard against mistakes (you know, the ones I still make), deciding what to wear, or--if it's a writing project--which protagonists are going to tell me their story and dare me to get it right. I love the excitement of it.

I also love the work itself--both writing and volunteering. The actual writing, the sewing, the making copies at school are fun and, as my mom used to say, they keep the blood moving. Because I'm doing instead of thinking about doing.

But the middle part, when I'm not sure I've done the right thing or I'm not sure I'm a good fit for the volunteer position I'm trying out for or when the story won't mesh--yeah, the middle part makes me nervous. Makes me think I shouldn't do things I'm not sure of. It's the middle part that brings the Big Question inexorably to my mind.

What if I fail?

Well, okay, now that I'm there, now that I know the reason for my completely ridiculous case of nerves this morning, I can go on. This is the question we all face in the middle of things, isn't it? When we think we'll never get out of the mess we've made of the WIP. When we just know we've made a mistake even taking on this project. When all we want is for the day to be over so we can get away from it--whatever it may be. And even then, failure may be waiting around the corner.

So what? I know it's a cliche (I like cliches--I've told you that, right?) but the truth is, the only way to avoid failure is by not trying. By never being excited by something new. By never getting the blood moving. It is, in the end, a pretty exhilarating chance to take.

It's time to get dressed, to get around so I'm not late this morning. Wish me luck. And then go try something different or write some new words you're not sure will fly. Let us know how it goes, even if you fail. The fun is in the trying.



17 comments:

  1. Best of luck, Liz! You're on the right track...trying is better than sitting down and doing nothing. And if you make a mistake, they won't kill you, right?

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    1. They haven't yet--and I've already made several! It went fine this morning. We'll see how it goes as I learn the ropes.

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  2. Good luck today, Liz! I know you'll be GREAT...and I agree with you - going for it is always better than thinking about going for it...whatever that 'it' is. :D

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  3. You will be great. Besides, you look good in pink!

    Tia Catalina

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    1. Thanks, Tia. I gotta say, the pink of these particular smocks is a particularly awful shade of salmon. :-)

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  4. Great post, Liz. Just what I needed to hear.

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  5. You're going to rock that pink smock!!!

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    1. I hope so, Sandy! I have thought about doing this since I had toddlers in the hospital to have their tonsils out (we won't discuss how long that's been) and the Pink Ladies were so kind.

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  6. Best of luck, Liz! You will be fabulous!

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  7. Good luck Liz! A bucket list wouldn't be that if many of the things on it didn't scare you just a little. :) And great tie in to what you know...writing. You get past the fear and in the end all the effort was worth it!

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    1. I think you're right, Abigail. Truth is, I like a little fear--especially when I'm over it!

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  8. Good luck! Yes, you never fail if you never try. Love it!

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    1. Thanks, Angelina! It went okay--much better than my fears were letting me think it would.

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    2. I like Abigail's take on fear. I'll have to remember that next time I have to face a new, scary situation :)

      Glad all went well, yesterday, Liz. I had no doubt.

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