Day 7: Free to Fail.
Have you ever had a day that starts unravelling the moment you wake up? Where you have one set of plans, and then a slew of curveballs (thank you, life!) throws those plans completely off? Welcome to my day.
The post I had slated for today got bumped until tomorrow, and I woke up scrambling for inspiration on what to write. My original intention for the day was to blog from 7:30 - 9:30 a.m., head to the grocery store, and spend the rest of the day recipe-testing. And hopefully – if all went well – make it to a yoga class later. (It all sounds so perfect, right?!) I made the mistake, however, of checking my email first thing, and was confronted with a slew with fires I needed to put out ASAP on several freelance projects. Many hours, emails, and phone calls later, I'm sitting at my computer (still in my PJ's) finally writing my blog post. I'm thankful we had eggs, spinach, and cheddar in the house – at least I was able to whip up a 5-minute omelette for lunch!
When plans go awry, and I suddenly fall behind my own schedule, my tendency is to berate myself. I heap the guilt on, and feel worthless because of my lack of productivity. I felt this way all morning, but then I stopped and remembered something that I read yesterday in Daring Greatly. (I warned you all that I'd be referencing this book a lot as I read it - Brené Brown is seriously rocking my world!) "Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough. It's going to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn't change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging."
How freeing!! To know that no matter what gets done, and what is left undone (which today might end up being a lot!), it doesn't effect my identity. To embrace the fact that I am imperfect, and no matter my best intentions, I'm never going to "get my act together" or check off every item on my to-do list. (And frankly, I probably wouldn't even like that person with a perfectly checked off to-do list!)
Rather than seeking perfection, I want to focus on being authentic. Instead of berating myself for the things I haven't done, I want to start celebrating the things I actually have accomplished. I get so caught up focusing on the finish line, but I'm learning through this day-by-day process of creating a cookbook, that it's the journey that's important. It takes courage to run a marathon – especially when you aren't guaranteed a medal at the end. And when you run long stretches where nobody's cheering. Rather than measuring my achievements in praise or success, I want to focus on being present and engaged, on growing and learning, and on creating something beautiful. I will finish the race – but it's up to me whether or not I'm going to enjoy the process!
One last quote from Brené that stuck with me: "When failure is not an option, we can forget about learning, creativity, and innovation." I love that. Given that, in this project, failure is absolutely an option, I'm going to take that as a good sign. We're all in this together, and I feel so much better just being honest. Nobody's going to benefit from any of us trying to pretend to be perfect. It just hurts us all in the end. Be your beautiful, authentic selves, and don't run from failure. It's often the greatest teacher.
Big news: one of my all-time favorite stores, ABC HOME, is supplying props for the book! I spent some time browsing through their incredble collection of vintage and artisan place settings, cookware, glasses, cutlery, and linens yesterday. Total bliss. I feel like I won the lottery!
I have an intern! Elise is a college senior, and a writer/photographer/foodie who is working on her own cookbook for her senior thesis. She's going to be helping me out the next few months with everything from recipe-testing to social media to photo shoot prep. Thrilled to have her on board!
The page above from my Cookbook Diaries journal just so happens to be on authenticity vs. perfection...and I wrote it weeks ago. Guess this is a concept that really resonates with me!
The hightlight of each day? Enjoying a glass of wine and cuddling with these two. Our other cat, Pipa, doesn't like to be photographed. :)