Failing Safely-Day 13 in My Year of Living Abundantly

My parents’ dog is absolutely spoiled!  Her favorite spot is in front of the fire. She loves to eat anything so my parents don’t put up a Christmas tree.  She isn’t like the dogs I see on social media.  Once she wore a sweater but as she’s gotten older, she refuses to do anything she doesn’t think is awesome.  My parents have reinforced the things she’s best at. They have learned what not to do when it comes to training puppies.  Learning from failure is an important life skill.

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In and Out Burger now has a location near me.  Since it opened last week, the line for the drive through snakes through a place where my son learned to drive.  It’s been several years but the news reports have brought back vivid memories.

Back in 2014 I was watching my son drive one Sunday morning when suddenly the tail of the car started fishtailing.  He was clearly losing control.  The fishtailing turned into full on spins and the squeal of tires and brakes wasn’t really loud enough to cover my screams.  On I-5, semi-trucks zoomed by but the car my son was driving came to a stop 200 yards away in the Volcano Stadium parking lot (now the waiting area for In and Out Burger).  Check out this 40-second clip for a better understanding of my experience. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sB7wT6wqLks

Luckily, his out of control spins took place in a parking lot.  Instead of hitting other cars (with even a small ding costing hundreds) or being plowed over by a semi-truck at a high rate of speed (costing a life), his driving errors resulted in knocking over cones.   The consequences were affordable.  When cones on the course were knocked down, the car would come to a stop (sometimes in a Dukes of Hazard fashion), a teen in the back seat would get out, lope over to the cones and set them up again, then my son would start over.  Each time he had more control over the car and he time he failed (by hitting a cone) he learned from his mistake.   He failed, then failed better and failed again but even better.  While he is not yet ready to be a stunt car driver or even be on a snow covered road with other cars around, he now knows what it feels like to lose then regain control of a vehicle.  Practice makes proficient and this extreme driving class was a great use of his time.

Several times in the past few weeks, I’ve had opportunities to remind myself about the importance of  learning from failure. When I am able to identify mistakes  I’ve made, figure out where I got off track, make plans for correction, practice the new way and then readjust and refine with the focus being on continual improvement, I learn important lessons.  The best part about learning these lessons now is that consequences are affordable.  

When I met with a doctor 13 days ago, I wasn’t yet ready for medication for my blood pressure, blood sugar or cholesterol.  My knees, hips and ankles didn’t hurt enough yet to to medicate.  My choices when it comes to eating and exercise, slow me down and make life less comfortable but I’m getting the results I should expect based on my choices.  If I want to live with more energy now, I need to make a course correction now.  

I’m tracking a few things in an effort to live life more abundantly.

Success Indicator Updates:

Body Mass Index:  Nearly two weeks into it, my weight is higher than when I started.  

Blood Pressure: My blood pressure is about the same as when I started.

Healthy Fuel:  Today I tried to focus on protein for breakfast and lunch.  We had dinner at a friend’s house so I didn’t have as much control over what we ate there but I was able to control the size of my portions.

Not so Healthy Fuel:  The raspberry rhubarb pie with vanilla bean ice cream at my friend’s was AMAZING!!!  I wonder if this is what it’s like thin people treat themselves.  I had a small slice with coffee and that was it.  Had I been at home, the rest of it would have been gone after the company left.  I’m learning new skills.

Earlier today, I got rid of all the candy that had made it’s way into my home over the weekend.  One hundred mini-candy canes, fudge covered gingerbread men and Lindt milk chocolate balls were donated to a food drive.  It seems silly that I’d get rid of candy I don’t even like (candy canes) but my self-control is so poor right now that I needed to eliminate anything with sugar.  Without thinking, I can unwrap a piece of candy, put it in my mouth then as hard candy gets stuck in my molars, I remember that I’m not eating sugar.  Sadly, one piece makes me hungry for another and another.  By getting rid of it all, I’m setting myself up for success.

Quiet Time:   I started the morning with three different devotional books.  This week I’ve focused on filling myself up with God!  The Secret Power of Speaking God’s Word by Joyce Meyers has sections on self-control and one’s body.  Jesus Calling also spoke about leaning into the Holy Spirit.  My Utmost for His Highest is scholarly and I have to work really hard to understand but it was also motivating!

Nature Parks Explored: Today I explored Trader Joe’s but I didn’t visit a single nature park.

Spinach Salads:  The salad I enjoyed at Mike and Amy’s was amazing!  When other people make salad, it always tastes better!

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Beverage High in Antioxidants: I enjoyed several cups of coffee throughout the day.  

Walking with My Grand Dog: My granddog is so amazingly cute but I didn’t get to spend time with him today.

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Sand Castles with Cute Kids: I didn’t build sand castles with cute kids today but I got to  spend time reading.  Doug the Dog, There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed…, and  Counting Chicks were among the titles we enjoyed today.  The future of our nation was in school today and they are thinking critically and creatively while learning how to treat one another with respect and kindness!

Gratitude:  My husband called this morning concerned about his car’s battery being iffy.  My schedule allowed me to go to his work place (two towns over), get his truck and take it to Les Schwab.  Because I’ve been following principles learned in Clutterfree byKathi Lipp, I was able to pick up and go almost immediately.  I had meaningful work packed and a prioritized list making it easy to use time well as I waited.  I had done my morning routines so my sink was clean, my laundry done, and the house was clean enough that I didn’t feel guilty leaving.  I am grateful for great authors.

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