“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor”

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The subject line of this post is a quote by Truman Capote.  I have always believed that not achieving instant gratification is a necessity.  Failure is life’s way of moving you in another direction and truly allowing you to appreciate eventually achieving that success you have been striving towards.

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“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
―     Thomas A. Edison

(image credit: enchantedlearning.com)

I think of myself as a success because I have failed.  My failures have given me a true sense of self and pushed me to want to attain that success that I covet.  Failure is not an end, it is only a beginning.  That defeat makes me rethink my original plan and construct a new plan, pushing me in a direction I may have not originally intended.

My failures do not define me, they strengthen me.   I can accept falling short of a goal but I could never live with myself if I gave up trying.  Just one line in the sand on the success side of my life is worth all of those hash marks in the failure column.  A few dashes of inadequacy and a sprinkling of botched attempts make that main course of success that much tastier!

Going on a Scavenger Hunt

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DJMatticus over at The Matticus Kingdom is having a Scavenger Hunt.  I am having a rather quiet afternoon at work and thought ‘what fun!”, so I’m sharing this with all of you in hopes that you’ll join in the merriment!

Here is what he’s after:

Let’s do a scavenger hunt!!  Doesn’t that sound awesome?  I have no idea how it is going to work!!  And, yes, I’m so excited about that I am using the double exclamation points on purpose!!

How about this:

Go forth, using whatever methods you like, and bring me back whatever you think best represents:

1) The Jester (he obviously had to be writing!!)

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2) The Queen

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You’re the best friend
that I ever had
I’ve been with you such a long time
You’re my sunshine
And I want you to know
That my feelings are true
I really love you
You’re my best friend

3) The Little Prince

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4) The Kingdom (couldn’t live anywhere but a mountain top)

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5) The End of the World… or, for bonus points, The World NOT Ending (it may look like the world has ended, but there is always a soft place to land.)

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6) Silly

Roses are red,

violets are blue.

I f&*king hate winter.

The End.

~~~

Well, now that WAS fun…..hope you all take a minute or two to participate!!

100 Word Song – Route 66

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(image credit: outpostusa.org)

I have to admit, I am loving the 100-Word Song Challenge at My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog.  This week, after experiencing some unexpected snowfall, Lance and Leeroy have chosen “Route 66” as this week’s song.  Here is my 100 word interpretation.

~~~~~

There was something charming in the way he pursued me.  If my soul were a road map he would have traveled from one coast to the other exploring every nuance of the highway that led through the heart of my existence.

He stopped to admire the things he would see only on this road.  He fondly recalled the route that brought him to me, it was the road less traveled but the road that was meant for him to follow.

It is now a direction we pursue together, an open avenue to our future.  It winds us into our reality.

Her chosen path – Trifecta Challenge

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The decision made so long ago,

for her child to be given a better life.

She watched her from a distance,

hidden in plain sight.

Never being her mother, only a vague reflection.

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(image credit: Thomas Leuthard)

~

Written for the Trifecta Challenge – On to this week’s Trifextra challenge.  This week we’re asking for 33 of your own words inspired by the following picture.  If you use the picture on your  blog, you MUST give proper attribution to the photographer by providing a link to the photo, not just to Trifecta.  Failure to comply will eliminate you from the challenge.

Good luck and have fun with it!

Showing signs of happiness

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A few days ago I attended a business meeting and encountered a woman I haven’t seen since I left my old job last May.  Our hotel properties used to be side by side so we had a fairly regular occasion to bump into each other but I haven’t seen her since I began my new job.  We exchanged the usual pleasantries, took our seats and the meeting began.  After an hour of brainstorming, the session adjourned and we were able to chat a little more and catch up.

We, of course, commiserated with each other about the roller coaster of weather we have been experiencing this year.  We talked briefly about how the hospitality business has been for each of us this season and then the conversation changed completely.

She looked at me quizzically and said, “I’m not sure if this will come out the way I mean it to, but your face looks so much lighter.”

It was an odd statement, certainly, but one I have been hearing more frequently.  It wasn’t in reference to my pallid winter flesh color nor was it meant to infer anything about weight loss.  She simply observed my happiness.

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(image credit: myvintagejewelbox.com)

When she had seen me last, I was working at a job that I no longer enjoyed.  The stress that I faced each day was etching itself into my face and I looked, and felt, like a different person.  It was a tough decision leaving that job because it had once been a place I considered to be a second home and my fellow employees were like family.  When that home was bought by a corporation, the feel of my job evolved into something foreign. It was no longer a warm and inviting place to be and, although I had to leave some great people behind, I made the tough choice to get happy again.

I was fortunate enough to be able to make the decision to be happy, and if my face is any indication, I made the right choice.

A Word a Week Photo Challenge

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I haven’t participated in this challenge for a while but A Word In Your Ear has a great challenge where she opens a page of the dictionary and chooses a word.  You can opt to submit a photo, a poem or story, whatever genre you choose to help you describe the word.

This week the word is undulate.  As soon as I read the word, I was taken back to one specific moment in my youth that I have never been able to do justice with words.

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(image credit: ecopedia.com)

We lay on our backs on the dock at our cottage staring into the beauty of the night sky.  The world seemed to stop to allow every bit of life’s energy to be absorbed by the Aurora Borealis.  The lake was a sheet of glass and, while the ground lay breathless, the green hues undulated against the backdrop of the atmosphere and reflected off the water.  Although we were perfectly still, our bodies felt like we were surfing on the movement of the Northern Lights.

This photo, although beautiful, does not do justice to that night sky so many years ago but it does give you a glimpse into the beauty that we had the chance to absorb.

Say “holy s&*t” to the dress

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One of my guilty pleasures is to watch the TLC show “Say yes to the dress”.   I find it a perplexing notion that I can spend hours watching women from all walks of life find their perfect wedding dress when my real-life experience was so monumentally terrible.

I was never the little girl who dreamed about her wedding.  I didn’t have a clue what style of dress I wanted when I said ‘yes’ to the proposal of marriage.  I DID know I had no desire to stand in a bridal shop looking at countless styles of dresses while five pairs of trained eyes bore into my soul, annoyed that I couldn’t make a decision.  So I began and ended my wedding dress shopping online and I was thrilled with my choice.  It really spoke to the casual style wedding I desired and to the fact that I would be wearing sandals instead of constricting, mutilating high heels.

wedding dress

(image credit: alfredangelo.com)

This was my vision.  This dress, in all its simplicity, spoke to me and truly conveyed the feeling I wanted to have on my wedding day.  It was fun, it was carefree, it was casual, in essence, it was me.  I knew there would be alterations required and I did my due diligence in researching a seamstress to make the necessary adjustments.  What I failed to factor into my wedding planning was that, although numerous people gave this woman a glowing recommendation, there was a chance that this clothier would do everything in her power to derail the possibility of this dress being on my body on my wedding day.

The initial meeting gave me no foreshadowing feeling that there would be any cause for concern.  Measurements were taken and discussions were had about removing the zipper and creating a corset-style back with just a hint of green under the lace to match the golf theme of the wedding.  Everything was going as planned but the seams of this agreement began to rapidly unravel.  Phone calls went unanswered, fitting appointments were rescheduled due to her personal conflicts and time marched ever so quickly towards the wedding day.  Appointments I arrived for were met with a closed sign on the shop and a promise that she would be in touch to reschedule.  It never happened.

After one fitting and no communication for weeks from this seamstress, my dress arrived at my mother’s house five days before my wedding.  My mom called to say the dress had been delivered and I was dumbfounded.  First of all, I had no idea how this woman had access to my mother’s address.  Second, I had never had a follow-up fitting and I had never seen any of the alterations, but my dress now hung in the hallway of my mom’s house awaiting my inspection.

With trepidation, I closed the door to the bedroom and eased myself into my dress.  My mother could hear my sobs on the other side of the door.  She let herself in and did her best to lace the corset at the back of the dress.  The loop holes were so far apart that, upon tightening the lace, I began to look like a ridge-back dinosaur.  The top of the dress had been taken in but had been sewn in loops over the outer part of the dress making it look like a Grade 9 Home Economics project that had failed miserably.  The dress was a write-off.

I quickly scraped up what was left of my hope and began to make panicked phone calls to any other tailor’s in the area.   As bad luck would have it, it was the end of September and the most popular time of year for Muskoka weddings – not one person had the time to fix my dress.  The butchered, lifeless dress hung in my closet and I fully and painfully cried myself to sleep for the first time since I was a child.

The following morning my best friend arrived with a coffee in one hand and a rainbow in the other.  She dragged me out of my house, took me into town to the fabric store and there we chose a pattern and some fabric.  In four remarkable days she and her mother measured, they cut, they pinned, they measured again, they sewed and they created the dress that I wore as I walked down the aisle four days later.  They are angels.

After the wedding dust settled and life got back to normal, I eventually got the money back for the alterations as well as the full cost of the wedding dress from the “alleged” seamstress  (a few threatening phone calls and face to face meetings from my then hubby may have expedited the process).  I can only hope she is enjoying the career path she chose, the career path that led her to inexplicably close her business without notice and decimate the lives of the customers she left hanging in the balance.  After she hastily locked the doors to her alteration shop, she began her career as a Parts Manager in a plumbing store.  There has to be some “fitting” joke about her “flushing” her reputation down the toilet, but that would seem like a “common vent”.    I shall take the high road and wish that the only “snake” in her life is no longer her but the one used to clean out clogged pipes!