Thursday, June 17, 2010

To fail or not to fail

I had an epiphany.

Yeah, another one. They just keep coming and coming and coming. Apparently that’s what happens when you get old. Or so I’m told.

Next month, I will have been a college student for an entire year. Wow.

I made it a year the first time too. And then life happened. Or my commitment wavered. Or…

So I got to thinking, what have I accomplished in the last year? Please imagine wheels turning, smoke coming out of my ears and then the sound of machinery breaking down.

So back to the question of what have I accomplished? Let’s see, I have made a baby blanket, sort of, I hired out my mom to do some of it, and she gave it to me, back in December. I hope I can finish it tonight. I rescued Bailey, but then again, I think he is rescuing me, so not sure if that counts. I’ve attempted to keep the DVR cleaned off. Have yet to succeed. Except for when it crashed and I lost everything.

Sure I’ve maintained a mostly A average. What can I say; Algebra kicked my butt, both classes. I’ve done my homework even when I didn’t want too. Instead of hanging out with my parents I’ve gone home and studied. Sure I’ve taken my laptop to places that I probably shouldn’t have, and times when I shouldn’t have.

Yet, I know that I will fly through next month, and I’ll wake up and it will be August and I’ll be started my last block of classes. My last 2 classes. The only thing that will stand between me and an associate’s degree is….well, me.

I’m my own worst enemy. I’m also my biggest fan.

So how does all this fall into that whole epiphany thing?

Well, I joined Wei.ght Watc.hers* a few months ago. To say that I have fallen off the wagon is an understatement. I’ve fallen off, laying face first in dirt, and the wagon periodically comes and runs me over, you know, just for good measure.

So I got to thinking, that if I had put forth as much effort, and the attitude towards losing a few pounds as I had towards school, where would I be now? I don’t want to think about that answer, because I know it, and I don’t like it.

When Algebra got hard, it’s not like I just decided to blow it off, and not do my homework, instead I put in more effort, I researched, I made sure that I allowed extra time to get assignments done, in case there was a problem. I tried hard, and then when hard wasn’t cutting it, I tried harder. I pushed and I pushed and I did everything that I had to in order to pass the class.

So why is weight loss any different? Or quitting smoking? Or going to church?

It’s not. As much of as cliché as it is, you get out what you put in. I put in a ton of effort with Algebra, and I earned a B. I’m very, very proud of that B. I would have loved an A, but I couldn’t be more thrilled about my B.

I have put a lot into school. I hardly read books for fun, I don’t cross-stitch much, or crochet, or cook a lot of complicated meals. I spend that time studying, putting effort and time in. And my reward – well, I haven’t gotten that yet, but 6 months from tomorrow I will graduate with my associates’ degree. I can’t see myself quitting now. All I can see is that piece of paper with my name on it. I have dreams about it. I can see myself out celebrating with my husband and my parents. I can taste it. Yeah, it just tastes like really expensive paper.

Maybe that’s why I haven’t been permanently successful at weight loss. Maybe that’s why I didn’t finish school the first time. Because I didn’t see the end result. I couldn’t imagine how different things would be. Granted, with my associates’ degree, my life won’t suddenly be different, I’ll be the same person, I’ll just have spent a small fortune to get it, but it’s just a stepping stone to getting what I really want. But I can still imagine what my life will be like. I can imagine having the money to buy our house, and not worrying about just getting by. I can imagine that. I can see it.

Maybe that’s what the problem with the weight loss is. I know what I want as an end result, but I want it now. I have had a hard time sticking with it because I wanted instant results. You know, weight loss inside, just add water. I didn’t have that impatience with getting my degree, so what’s different?

Me. I’m different. Maybe it’s that whole getting old and wise thing. Maybe instead of blaming various things, I’m not doing the research, not putting in the effort to finding out why.

Hmmm, maybe I’m onto something.

Drum roll please.

If you want to see any results, you have to be patient, and you have to be prepared to stick it out for the long term. (Cymbal crashing) Yeah, that was new.

Whether it is in weight loss, school, a marriage, kids, building a house, or even watering the dog. It all takes time. It all takes work. It all takes starting the task, and seeing it through to the end.

Maybe failure, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

What would you do if you knew you wouldn’t fail? What are you waiting for?

~There is no failure except in no longer trying. ~Elbert Hubbard

~One fails forward toward success. ~Charles F. Kettering

~The men who try to do something and fail are infinitely better than those who try to do nothing and succeed. ~Lloyd Jones

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