Today I watched my children play in the back yard while I was trying to perfect a pattern that allows me to mow the lawn the same way each and every time. For what it’s worth, I have not yet won this pattern battle, and we’ve lived here nearly seven years.
As often happens when I am allowed to play observer with my children, I (re)learned a lesson today.
As the kids played, they laughed. A lot.
As they played, they also fell down. A lot.
Both things happened at the same time, most of the time (hey, they’re kids, after all).
Every time they fell down–even when I had a reaction of “oh crap, that one had to hurt!”–they got up, still laughing.
Sometimes they did not even bother to dust themselves off or collect themselves a bit. In fact, they mostly just kept going. And going. And laughing. And falling. And laughing some more.
I am, I think, afraid of falling just as much as any person is, if not more. I think that most people, even those of us who will say that failure is okay, do not like to fail. Falling down, well, it kind of sucks. Especially when you are an adult, or when you have eyes on you, or when you put pressures upon yourself, or when you want to reach goals or expectations, or when others are relying on you.
Or, you know, just in general.
So, while I will continue to dislike my failures and flaws, and while I will continue to hate my mistakes–and often myself for them (and for a really, really long time)–I think it is important to at least remember what my kids already seem to know:
You might just as well keep going, because you will fall again, and it only sucks if you worry so much about falling that it keeps you from moving forward at all. And, you get to get back and and keep moving, anyway. There’s always something else/more to do.