Thursday, March 3, 2016

Remember: Failure Is An Option

One Sunday, I was driving my son to his test-prep tutor when we got detoured because of the Houston Marathon. Oh no, oh no, oh no. After much fretful and fruitless driving around in circles, it became apparent even to me (policeman directing traffic that way) that the only way left open to get where we were going was the freeway. And then it became horrifyingly clear that the only way out of the little loop of marathon I had blundered into was the freeway.

We ended up finding a restaurant (thank God), calling the tutor to explain my ridiculous predicament and having a leisurely breakfast till the marathon was over.

Well, last weekend, we were driving to his tutor again, when we got detoured because of the Houston Rodeo.

Part of the rodeo is people doing old-fashioned trail rides, coming into the center of Houston on horseback and in wagons.

Oh, yeah, well, great.

My palms were already sweaty as the GPS recalculated to an unknown, and therefore scary, route.

And that’s when my son, seeing that I was barely keeping it together  – and OK, maybe thinking breakfast is more fun than doing ACT math problems – said:

“Remember, Mom, failure is an option here.”

I have been thinking about this ever since.

Don’t get me wrong: This isn’t about not trying. In fact, this is all about being able to try, because it’s OK to fail. Nothing bad is going to happen. You can just pick yourself up, maybe have a nice laugh about it with the tutor, who confides her own imperfections, and keep going.

By the way, there was a non-freeway route to the tutor this last time. So, yay.

1 comment:

  1. I got sweaty palms just reading this. I haven't driven a freeway almost 20 years, but I used to drive them in CA. You haven't lived until you go from 0 to 70 from a dead stop on a Pasadena on-ramp that was constructed for tin lizzies in the 1920s. But I agree with your premise that failure is OK. I'm retraining myself to learn a new swim technique, and as they say, teaching an old dog, etc., etc. But I keep trying!