Sunday, January 1, 2012


Happy New Year! Ready to start the resolutions?

Growing up, this was one of my favorite traditions. As a family we would gather around our kitchen table and each of us would list several resolutions for the year ahead. But before we set our expectations for the year to come, my mom would unfold the list of resolutions (or we would all bring our copies), and we would go through our list the previous year. It could be quite sorrowful at times, but we were fresh with enthusiasm and vigor for the next year. We knew we could do better.

Out from under the watchful eye of my mother, I still make informal "resolutions" at the beginning of each year. They've taken many shapes and strategies for ensuring success and most have ended in some degree of failure. Still, I wouldn't say my life is a failure. I've had some great adventures, I have a loving husband (and now Little E!) and a loving family, I've been able to travel, I have my five senses and enjoy challenging them regularly. I've accomplished a lot in my three decades of existence: a full athletic/academic scholarship to play volleyball for a NCAA Division I school (ok, it was their first year in D1 and we were awful, but I did my time), received a Fulbright award to study in Germany for two weeks (ended up not going due to pregnancy complications, but the recognition was exciting), crossed sky-diving off my bucket list, and actually whipped up a few home-cooked meals that didn't poison us.

But, I'm not here to talk about the resolutions I'm making for 2012. They'll appear in a post soon. I want to talk about the big-F's in my life. Why? Because, resolution or not, they still forced me to try something new and that adds a layer to life that is well worth the risk. These aren't grand efforts of super-human variety, but they are some of my big-F's and the stories behind them. Revisiting them before launching into another year is a reminder of why I resolve, that I've failed before and survived, and that at least with a failure comes an entertaining blog post.

* Humanitarian FAIL
* Exercise FAIL (4 weeks of boot camp) Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, and Week 4
* Recreation FAIL
* Resolutions FAIL (though this post doesn't say it, let me assure you that these ambitious months did not play out anywhere close to how this post would suggest)
* Cooking FAIL

In the end, they are shared experiences resulting in strengthened relationships, lessons learned, and wonderful stories to tell. Big-F's are part of life. They shouldn't stop us from trying new things.

So, I acknowledge failure, but it does not win. Time to set some goals for 2012!

(For people who are taking this far beyond anything even I imagine, check out The Failure Club.)

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