I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all felt like we have failed at something or another during our lifetime. Yesterday, for me, could easily be one of those times. So, I thought about it and decided that “failure” is simply a matter of perspective.
I have a 1958 version of the Thorndike Barnhart Dictionary on my desk and consulted it for the true definition of the word. Here’s what it had to say:
Failure: 1. a being unable to do or become; 2. a not doing, neglecting; 3. a being lacking or absent being not enough, 4. losing strength; becoming weak…
So, let me start at the beginning. As most of you know, I write for Buddy Magazine. Yesterday, we had the opportunity to have a presence at a Dallas event, Lake-A-Palooza. As part of the exchange for me working a booth, I got to bring my books.
I have everything needed for an outdoor event. I have a pop-up canopy, an 8′ table, a 6′ table, card table and chairs. So, of course, I offered my setup.
Unloading was easy as I could drive my car in, unload, than go park. Setting up the canopy required help. Thankfully, the nice folks setting up next to me offered to help.
Take a look at the lake white capping in the background. The wind blew so hard that I had to put the easels away and lay my books down flat on the table.
Long story short, I was at this event for 12 hours and walked away with $76. Was it a failure? This is where my musings come in. Financially, yes it was a failure. That is not much money for the amount of hours invested.
Physically, it was a failure. I had to do the entire setup and tear down by myself (thank goodness for kind neighbors). Because the event was not over when I decided to leave, I couldn’t drive my car back in to load everything. I had to carry it all one piece at a time to the car. When I left around 8:30 last night, there was not one part of my body that didn’t ache.
BUT, in another way, it was a great success. I got to tell so many people about my stories and put my books in a few new hands.
So, how do you define failure? To me it’s all subjective.
Would I do it again? NO! Not by myself. That was the lesson I took away from it. At 67, I no longer can handle the big stuff alone. So, next time, I take someone with me or don’t go. 🙂
All-in-all, everything turned out okay. The wind finally laid and it turned into a beautiful day with lots of music and people.
The opposite of failure is success. And who knows – maybe next time I’ll sell out of books and go home with a pocketful of money!
At any rate, I LOVE this quote!