Friday, May 31, 2013

Measuring Success When Things Flop

It's hard to believe that it was already one month ago when I started the May Creativity Challenge started by Una of Good and Perfect.  Time certainly flies when you are having fun.

It's Day 31.  The challenge is SUCCESS.

At the beginning of the month, I knew this would be today's challenge.  I anticipated that I would have some awesome project finished and I would post it as my success story.

You see, I bought this chair at an auction.  I've never reupholstered anything, but this one, I thought, would be an easy starter project.

So I purchased some upholstery fabric at our local Salvation Army Fabric Fair and got to work on the chair. 

 After removing two layers of fabric and lots and lots of nails, I got to this.  It's apparently the original cushion.   

A very smelly cushion made of horsehair.  

Ohhhhhhhh . . . yuck.  

I really like the way the back looks, but it has to go.  It smells.  And there are some black areas.  I read about that.  Ick.  (Spell check says that isn't a word.  We all know it's a word.)

I pulled more nails and staples.  This cushion is tight.  It's wrapped in burlap.  I got the utility knife out and cut away at the burlap and strapping.  

It's been a couple of weeks.

It still looks like this.  I'm stuck.  No success.

It is now standing on it's feet and under the porch roof for protection from the rain we've been getting lately.  It's hard to work on it with rain showers . . . or cold and windy . . . or 90 degree heat.  I'm thinking that any of those weather conditions and horsehair flying around could get ugly.  

Add to that the fact that school is ALMOST out and there are a few things my cyber schooler and I are trying to finish up (ok -we are cramming).

So the topic today is SUCCESS and I failed to SUCCEED in reaching my goal for this chair.  

How do I talk about SUCCESS when I, myself, seemed to have failed?  Good question.  

I spent some time today looking up quotes about SUCCESS.  This one seemed fitting for my situation:
"Success is falling nine times and getting up ten" Jon Bon Jovi
I missed my goal.  It's true.  I can, however, set a new goal and try again.

A few years ago, we had the chance to tour Thomas Edison's summer home in Florida.  We toured his workshop where he worked on his inventions.  We learned about one thing he said that has stuck with us and our older son ever since.  At one point, he had been asked about the inventions that never worked.  He said:
"I didn't fail, I just found 1,000 ways that don't work."
I LOVE that.

Our society likes to measure success by social status . . . job title . . . net worth . . .  grades in school . . . even the type of car we drive.  While all of these things can be signs being successful by hard work, we can sometimes get discouraged if we don't feel as if we measure up.

I believe that we are successful simply by not giving up.  Things don't always work out the way we anticipate.  Life gives us a lot of detours that can sometimes slow our pace or even, at times, have us going in circles.  It's life.  I believe that we are successful when we learn from our mistakes, find our starting point, refocus on the goal, and try again.

So  - after I get through this next week that we call "The Last Week of School", I will take another look at that chair and try again to tear off that cushion.  I'll also set other goals for the summer months.  Some will work out fine.  Some might not.  It's okay.  I can always try again, and next time I might be successful, because I can cross out the way that it doesn't work.

Before I close, I just want to say:

THANK YOU to Una from Good and Perfect for such a fun challenge this month 
THANK YOU to my readers for following my attempts at these challenges from day to day.  

Remember - You ARE successful simply because you got back up again!

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