The gift of failure


Failure is something I know a lot about.

In fact, I’m kind of like  Rosalind Russell who once said, “Flops are part of life’s menu and I’m never a girl to miss out on a course.”

I was floored yesterday when a friend confided in me that she and her husband were splitting up after almost 38 years of


marriage.  You’d think after making it that long they’d stay the course.

But then, I remembered that my own marriage ended after 29 years. Aside from the sad disintegration of the family, it was the best thing in the long run.

I would never have been able to return to Starkville which I love as much as any man, and I can’t imagine the experiences I would have missed with old friends from the nearby “Point” where we grew up.

I would never have met new friends who mysteriously showed up at my door when I needed them most.

The old home I rescued would be in shambles by now and  wouldn’t even have Rebel and Lucky Dawg!

Each of us is terrified of failure, but whether we risk it all or play it safe, we cannot avoid failure in our lives says Sarah Breathnach in her wonderful book “Simple Abundance.”

The thing to remember is that we can survive and will come out the other side with more pluses than minuses.  The worst thing that can happen isn’t the failure, it’s not having taken the chance.

“I didn’t fail the test, I just found 100 ways to do it wrong.” ~Benjamin Franklin said.  So there, go ahead and dare to have a failure – you’ll be in good company.

5 thoughts on “The gift of failure

  1. Thanks Emily I too took an inventory some years ago and realized this journey has been an adventure and who doesn’t love adventure. The blessings are easier to count in hindsight. At this age counting helps us remember that things do work out for the best when the next “hit” happens.


  2. Emily, I have also learned. My worst fears have rarely happened and when they did, they were not nearly as bad as what I had imagined. Another part of the journey.

  3. And, Lordy, of all people, Yvonne, you are one of the biggest risk takers I’ve known. Look at it, you earned a well deserved retirement then, turned around and accepted an extremely important position at another university, sold your home, bought another, and moved your family to the hinterlands. I can see you shaking your fist at failure and daring him (notice I made him a man) to invade your space.

  4. Did you see the latest Yvonne – couple featured on Today Show announced they won’t reveal the sex of their baby to anyone including the baby. Going to let the baby decide what gender he or she wants to be. I just wonder how well adjusted the child will be if he/she decides on a sex he/she isn’t equipped for. I guess the Guvment will have to change all its forms to read: ____animal _____human _______alien

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