Poetry can be inspiring, motivating, heart-wrenching, powerful, but it always inflicts emotion. It can pull at my heartstrings or just make me laugh. Writing poetry is a hobby for me and I have decided to keep a notebook in my backpack just for this purpose. While sitting at the car wash a couple of weeks ago (why does it take them so long?) I penned this one I call The Big Fat Fail.
Enjoy and let me know what emotions you feel when reading it by commenting below. Feel free to share your stories of taking your “sucking lemons” failing moments and how you turned them into “sweet lemonade”!
The Big Fat Fail
Fail forward, they say! And I can’t disagree,
but it’s hard to focus while nursing skinned knees.
Bumps, bruises, scrapes, the inevitable aches,
the road rash of crashing, but that’s what it takes.
To live is to fail, that’s the lesson I’ve learned,
through age and experience, or just getting burned.
20/20 vision for me has ALWAYS revealed,
every fail that I’ve suffered has earned me more steel.
Failure = Opportunity! To this I confess,
I love who I am now, having passed or “failed” each test.
Be sad in the moment, scream, cry or kick,
but look for the good, and lickety-split,
you’ll find your opportunity, practice! Give it a whirl!
The Big Fat Fail can turn (I promise) into your pearl.
Want to read more poetry?
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By John Greywitt — 5 years agoDoing vs. Being
Inspired by this beautiful video from the UK, #letgo, I contemplated the wisdom of a “To Don’t Do List”.
A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to race mountain bikes. I’m over 40 and I ran in the beginner class, but I felt on top of the world (not to mention the podium) while I did it. It was an 8-race series that ran in the summer where most racers wore a bandana over their mouths to keep out the dust while racing in 100-degree plus heat.
Nothing feels quite like racing. It is tough, exhilarating, and I don’t ever see my heart rate that high. And then last summer, the race series was cancelled. I was so sad as I thought I would try the next level up to see how I could do. Bummer!
Then three days ago I got the email. My race series was back! It starts next month on May 19th. I was super excited until I started to contemplate where my life was right now. The family business was in trouble and has barely come back to life and it’s needed my help. Lauri’s Lemonade Stand is finally moving forward and the interviews are happening to launch my podcast (which has me flying on top of the world!).
This morning, I was thinking about it so much that I talked with my hubby as he’s the wise one in this family…grounded and more calm than my thinking. He supported me in my endeavor to pursue this race…he’s awesome!
Then I watched the video. I thought about “Doing vs Being”. I thought about how good I am at making to-do lists, but have never ever created a “to-don’t-do” list.
I looked at my to-do list carefully and thoughtfully. I then created my “to-don’t-do list” and here is what it looks like:
- Don’t make plans during weekday evenings outside of my family if at all possible.
- Don’t over-commit my time so much that I don’t have time for me or my family.
- Don’t focus on things that don’t matter in the big picture of my life.
- Don’t let negativity or negative people take up too much of my headspace.
- Don’t worry so much.
- Then I asked my 16-yr old daughter and here is what she said:
- Don’t eat as much junk food, criticize others, or bite her nails.
- Then I asked my husband and here is what he said:
- Don’t sweat the small stuff (and it’s mostly all small stuff).
- Don’t worry.
- Don’t be afraid to try new things.
- Don’t judge myself so harshly.
- Don’t compare myself to others.
- Then I went to family dinner and here is what a few of them said:
- Don’t procrastinate.
- Don’t make excuses…They are like ****holes, everyone has one and they stink!
- And my personal favorite from my PT Assistant niece: Don’t get poop on your lab coat while working ever again!
In the end, I decided that I would not race, but only for this year. Our businesses are in critical condition and the timing is off. So it may be on my “To-Don’t-Do” list right now, but I plan on it being a break and coming back next year to race my little heart out as it will end up on my “To-Do” list once more. It felt good to give myself permission to say NO.What can you put on your “To-Don’t-Do” List?I would love to hear from you!
By Lauri Mackey — 6 years agoBe Cheerful!Time Traveling, Smiling, ConnectingMy purpose in writing today is to help you establish some guidelines in your life that will bring you peace, enjoyment and cheerfulness. I love the phrase, “Be Cheerful!”. When I picture being cheerful, I picture myself smiling and enjoying the moment I’m in right there. No time traveling to the day or months or even years before or focusing on the days, months, or years ahead. Just being cheerful in the moment. Right now.I’d like to make three simple suggestions that if you commit to today will bring you happiness and cheerfulness into your life.1) No more time traveling. Unless you get a crazy, awesome DeLorean like in Back to the Future, time traveling is not a good idea. I’m not even sure it’s a good idea in Back to the Future, but definitely not good for your thoughts and feelings of today. Yesterday is gone. The mistakes are gone. Tomorrow will never get here so all you can focus on is today. The old adage of One Day at a Time is truly relevant for everyone, not just for those in 12-step programs.2) Smile. Make a conscience effort to smile, even if no one can see you. About a million and a half years ago I had a job as a telemarketer that lasted for about half a second. Part of the training was to smile during your call. Why? No one could see me! That was just silly and ridiculous to me. But it worked! If you don’t believe me, try talking on the phone without smiling and then smiling. Your countenance just changes…for the better. Don’t take my word for it…try it.3) Commit to human connection. And no, sitting in front of your television watching other humans does not count. Interacting with other human beings simply boosts your spirits, even if the connection is you having to call and whine to your best friend, or cry on the shoulder of that friend during a visit, make the connection. When I have been truly down in the dumps my gut reaction is to hole up and disappear like a hermit crab in it’s shell. I block out everyone and everything until I feel better. Not healthy to say the least. I still have that tendency, but have beautiful friends who can break my shell and have me standing upright soon enough.I want to write more suggestions, but don’t want to overwhelm you either. If you have a problem with negativity, sadness, feelings of being a failure, take a minute to acknowledge that moment and ask yourself how you can be cheerful about something else. I’m not saying it’s easy, but it can be done if you focus on these three things. Commit to yourself today. Be in the moment, smile, link arms with your best friend and have a beautiful day!
By Lauri Mackey — 6 years agoYou Are a Super HeroSuper Heroes vs VillainsI am a crazy movie addict. I will just admit that now and get it out of the way. I also am admittedly an OCD organizational freakazoid. That means that not only do I love movies with super heroes, but I had shelving built on one wall around my TV to house them, separated by genre AND alphabetized within their genre. Crazy, right? (Wait until you learn about how I send my birthday cards every year) Not only do I have them organized in such a way, but I have a list on my phone called “Movies”. Within that list are movies coming out that I want to see and the date they debut, movies I want to add to my collection, and a list of VHS tapes I have left to switch over to DVD’s. I love movies!
I am a sucker for a good tear-jerker, love the action films and chick-flicks, and Pride and Prejudice with Kiera Knightley is the one I’ve watched the most. Not only am I addicted to movies, but I believe I’m simply addicted to happy endings. I want to fly without wings, make people laugh like Lucille Ball, have magical powers like Samantha from Bewitched, be strong and have courage like Cinderella, sing like Queen Latifah, and kick ass like Lara Croft. That’s not asking too much, right?One of the things I’ve learned is that you cannot have heroes without villains. If the villains did not exist, super heroes would not be discovered or needed. The super heroes themselves might not ever know that they are super heroes because nothing challenged them to become more than they already were. In the latest Cinderella movie, her mother charged her to be strong and have courage. This was simply a dying wish of a mother to her daughter until the wicked stepmother and stepsisters entered her life to test her and try her. Wonder Woman (Linda Carter) was living an oblivious, innocent life in the Bermuda Triangle on an island paradise knowing nothing of the outside world until she took her invisible plane to the United States and discovered she could make a difference there and not let bad guys win. The Bionic Woman, Emma in Once Upon a Time, the latest Maleficent, the list goes on.
I believe so much in happy endings and in super heroes, that I’ve decided to create my own happy ending and become a super hero myself. A lofty goal you say? Mock me if you must, but I’m living the dream. No, not a dream…a reality. 20 years ago if you had told me I would grow up to be a super hero I would have laughed right out loud. Heck, even 10 years ago would have had me doubting through and through. But here I am, a living breathing super hero. Guess what? You are, too! Or can decide to be if that is your goal and that it’s what YOU want to be when you grow up.The good news is that it is never to late to decide to be a super hero. You cannot say, “I’m too old, or too worn out, or too many bad things have happened to me, or I’ve caused too many bad things to happen”. Those are just excuses that need to be kicked to the curb where they belong. Faith wins over fear if you will let it.Does being a super hero free you from ever having bad things happen to you again? NO! Superman had kryptonite and Lex Luthor. Lara Croft had the Luminoti, not to mention her own heart to worry about. Batman, The Arrow, X-Men, Wonder Woman, The Incredibles all had new villains to battle. I suppose that’s job security. Or, it is how you too can continue to learn that you are capable of more than you could ever imagine. I’ve watched The Flash get knocked down time and time again and still that dude is optimistic – how does he do that? Just when you thought you had learned every lesson, there was more of you to discover. Things you never knew you could do or imagined were possible. These villains make us stronger.So, who is your villain right now? For me, I might not have known I was even fighting a villain until the battle was over. Sometimes, I could see the villain coming from a mile away and I had to choose to run or stand up and fight. Other times it was a crime against my heart that hurt so bad I could barely breathe, or eat, or sleep. Others still were crimes brought to me unbidden, but had to be dealt with just the same.
Let me share one of my oldest villains with you. Teenage pregnancy. I don’t think any little girl sets her dream to be pregnant by the time she is 16, especially one that has a future as a super hero. While I do not have anyone to blame but myself, it is a fact that “most people end up in this situation in a misguided attempt to fulfill some pretty basic human needs. We all have a need to feel loved and worthwhile. We all seek to have joy and happiness in our lives.” (Ezra Taft Benson) If those needs are not met, we seek them in places that are unhealthy to ourselves and others. (Don’t ever fool yourself into thinking that your decisions effect only you…just like positive choices leave ripple effects, so do poor choices.)My villain changed my life and the lives of those around me. I was married at 16 1/2 years of age, having my first daughter at age 17. I did not finish high school and I did not attend Prom. My love for playing on the high school basketball team was squashed and my flute would gather dust for years. I had disappointed my parents and ignored all advice from people who were trying to help me take a better path and who cared about me a great deal.My decisions led me to many more poor choices in relationships for lots of years, but as I’ve told others before, I would rather change my course than be completely derailed. Because inevitably that is what happened…I was completely derailed, lying on the floor, unable to make another decision in my life, good or bad. All of my choices had led me to the side of my bed, on my knees, praying for help. Help to loosen these chains of bad habits in the area of my love life. I asked God to let me be happy with the life I had with my three beautiful daughters as a single mom. To be content with who I had become as a woman even if my relationship woes were unsightly to say the least.And you know what? He did so much more. Not everyone believes that there is a God and I’m not out to convert you with this blog, but I want to be honest in my story-telling here. When I turned my life over to Him, instead of pushing my own agenda, things changed. He was incredibly more kind to me than I ever had been to myself. He led me and guided me to a path that led to a beautiful marriage. A safe haven to figure out how to be a super hero despite any human frailties I may have experienced in my life to date. Just like SuperMan had to go away for awhile to get things figured out and learn of his true potential, I was given the gift of another second chance.
Just over 8 years ago, I married my hero, my best friend. My heart has been healed and my capacity to love has grown. While I had earned my GED as a teenager, I wanted my high school diploma because it was something I had deprived myself of. (As a side note, don’t try this at home…it is SO MUCH EASIER to pass high school as a teenager than an adult…TRUST ME!!) I went back to adult school and the math that I hated with a passion and earned my diploma. Not only was that super, crazy kind of hard, but I took graduation pictures, attained a class ring, and even spoke at my graduation where lots of friends and family were in attendance (including my tutor I had to get to pass math!). They didn’t even have the CAHSEE (California High School Exit Exam) when I was in high school! It seemed so unfair, but I passed! I graduated at the ripe old age of 41!Conquering a villain is an amazing feeling. After I graduated high school I felt like I could take on the world! I could do anything! Be anything! I took certificate courses online, became a Certified Holistic Health Coach, started teaching cooking classes locally. I just can’t stop! It is part of the reason I am writing this blog and pursuing a career as a public speaker. To help women realize their potential and to believe in this small, four-letter word…hope.There will be many more villains that will need their ass kicked and the only one to do it will be me because those villains are mine to fight. Whatever or whomever your latest villain is in your life, I want you to know that you can be the super hero in your life. You can have your happy ending. It will not be easy and may involve a lot of hard work. Learn to love work. Do something! If all you can do is just think it, think it. But then say it, whisper it if you need to. Then say it out loud. Now louder! Now take that first step. What action can you take to begin your journey?I believe in hope. I believe in faith. I believe in love.I believe in you. I believe in us.