A few weeks ago, my second daughter decided she wanted to learn how to decorate a cake. She watched some tutorials, read some cake books and got some supplies. Excitedly, she went to work, frosting her first double layer cake, with visions of adding flowers, dots and maybe even words. She baked 2 round chocolate cakes, cooled them and stacked them on her new cakestand. That’s when it all began to go downhill. Her first messy layer of frosting turned out to be more mess than frosting and as she began to frost the sides a gigantic crack formed that broke through both layers. As I comforted her, I thought about some of my own recent goals and how sometimes meeting a goal can be a lot harder than you think.
1-Paint or draw 6-8 pictures. Here is the one and only picture I painted, I did it in about 10 minutes while teaching my daughter and her friends some basic steps to painting at the beginning of the summer.
2-Read a substantial classic book. I’m still stuck on what substantial means and have not even ordered, let alone read any substantial classic books.
3-Spend meaningful one on one time with each individual kid on a regular basis. Didn’t happen. But I was slightly more open to allowing children to accompany me while cleaning or running errands.
4-Fill a journal with favorite scriptures and quotes. Here it is all ready to go:
5-Learn to make 5 new breakfast recipes. I did master the art of a fritata, that’s right, I can make a scrambled egg, put the lid on a pan and wait 10 minutes for it to cook, pretty impressive, right? I’m also sloooooooowly making my way through smoothie recipes from this site.
So, maybe, just like my daughters cake, my goals didn’t quite turn out the way I planned. Maybe you could say I failed. Maybe I took on too much. Maybe I just didn’t care about these goals like I thought I did.
Maybe I need to tell myself what I told my daughter:
Keep trying: Most first tries don’t really work out like you planned, the trick is to keep trying even when you fail. As John Wooden said:
Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.
Work hard: Many skills we are trying to develop need to be worked on for awhile before we get to the point where we can enjoy them, but it’s worth the effort.
Life happens: Sometimes, despite our best intentions, life comes along and derails our nicely laid plans and that requires patience with ourselves and a focus on our priorities.
I do wish I had come closer to achieving my goals, not necessarily because it’s vital that I read War and Peace, but more so because it’s vital that I feed my soul, while still keeping focused on my children. If I must choose between my growth and my children, I choose my children, but doing so over a long period of time does not make either me or my children really, consistently happy. It just, sometimes, is trickier than I think.
Motherhood, cake decorating and any goal worthwhile are like that, though, they take consistent time, effort and patience on the part of the individual working towards the goal as well as the individuals around them. The trick is to keep trying, stay focused on your priorities, work hard and repeat.
Side note: We did eat the chocolate cake that fell apart and it was delicious.
What about you, when you have tried to set goals and failed and what lessons did you learn from that?
Write it down in a journal, talk it over with a friend or leave a comment below or on Facebook.