Dad’s Field of Dreams Doesn’t Recognize Failure

There were different words here. Just a few moments prior to the entrance of those that you read these spaces were occupied by others and then they weren’t.

That is because the cyber field of dreams they wandered among was not populated by great big splashes of yellow sun flowers set against a bright blue sky.

Nope, they were black and white dips and dots that were swallowed by the technical failure that took place. One moment they were here and the next they were gone.

Sometimes words are like people- expendable, replaceable and temporary and sometimes they aren’t.

Dad, I Can’t Sleep

These children of mine sometimes ask me if I ever have trouble sleeping and I say no. They burst out into gales of laughter and say that no one can sleep around me because I snore.

I assure them they are mistaken and laugh. I laugh because their laughter spreads joy and is infectious.

But my claim to sleep is not false nor exaggeration. It is rare that I find myself challenged by the trip into the land of nod. I can sleep anywhere and at any time.

Some have said that this must because of time in the service but that would be false. I hold no rank or MOS other than “civilian.

These restless moments that the children refer to are predicated upon fear and insecurity. It is a fear of the unknown and or a fear of failure.

I understand it because I have my own share of fears and concerns. I believe myself to be my own biggest critic and my greatest adversary. Some of the most challenging situations I encounter are created because of the mental boundaries and blocks that I erect.

Not because I am not capable because the reality is that I have proven that there are relatively few things that I can’t do. It is as I have shared elsewhere in the blog, I stand in my own sunshine.

Ok, I borrowed that quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson but it is still true.

Small Victories

I often remind my children that the name we call ourselves is the one that is most important. It doesn’t matter if someone calls you fat, dumb or stupid unless you believe it to be true.

What you believe about yourself comes out in your interactions with others. That doesn’t mean that I advocate teaching our children to be arrogant, pompous asses who move about based upon illusions of grandeur.


Balance is what I work towards with them and myself. That balance is based upon small victories. It is based upon being able to look at what we have done and know that we always pass our math tests and that social studies has never been a problem.

It is based upon knowing that a good work ethic and our ability to get up when we get knocked down are critical.

Failure is not to be feared.

Failure Sucks

Let’s not play games, failure sucks. I hate it. I don’t like losing. I don’t like falling short of the mark and I don’t ever want to grow accustomed to failing.

But there is a difference between not fearing to fail and accepting it as your reality.

Some of my former employers are categorized as former because they fired me. That was their mistake and I will argue from now until the dawn of time that it wasn’t always based upon logic and or performance.

The world isn’t fair and it doesn’t operate based upon a system that resembles that. We have tried to change that and in some areas we have done a good job, but it doesn’t change the underlying reality that the world isn’t fair.

My children and I have talked about this. I shared these experiences because I wanted them to see that these experiences don’t define me. I didn’t like them and won’t say that I am proud that they happened but I am not ashamed either.

That is because I can point to a record of small victories. That is because dear old dad knows that his life story involves far more tales of success than failure.

Dad’s Field of Dreams

Some of the seeds are still being planted in my field of dreams. I am still out working on the back forty trying to produce that bumper crop that pushes me over the top. I see progress, not as much as I would like but it is coming along.

Forward motion is forward motion. The new design of the blog is solid and I am very pleased with it.  My community continues to grow and my book continues to develop. These are all small victories that will lead to bigger ones. They make me happy because they tickle the personal side in a good way and dear old dad looks like a good role model.

What do you think? Are you willing to take a risk or does the fear of failure prevent you from taking a chance?

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  1. TheJackB April 2, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    @AmyMccTobin Hi Amy- thank you for the RT, I appreciate it.

  2. Janet Callaway April 1, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    Jack, aloha. Hmmmm. Noted your post on fb about the Triberr Global Commenting System so came over to read it. Then, I came over to this post to see if you had responded to the comment I left yesterday, however, my comment isn’t even here. Now I am wondering if I left my comment through the commenting system.

    In thinking about it, I don’t think I did because one my comments in my comment to you was that I loved the image. Since I don’t think I would have seen the image on Triberr, I must have clicked the headline and come here. Very puzzling.

    After lunch I am going to go into Triberr to see if I can find your post with my comment.

    In any event, I loved the post. Happy Sunday. Aloha. Janet

    • Jack April 1, 2012 at 5:20 pm

      Hi Janet,

      Actually you did leave a comment on my post and I did reply to it. However I did it using the Triberr Commenting system as did you.

      Both were live on the site until just a few hours ago when I decided that it wasn’t working well for me and I turned it off.

      Once the kinks are worked out I expect to turn it back on.

      Thank you for the kind words and I hope that your Sunday has been great.

  3. Bryan March 31, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    Jack, I recently found your blog and love your writing. Your grounded self-awareness, sense of balance, and contentment makes me feel like I’ve found a kindred spirit.

    I’ve failed at enough things in my life to know that failure is never the end result. It’s merely the end of a chapter in which the experience gained and lessons learned better prepare you for the next. I try to not dwell on the failure, just the lessons. That way, there’s no negative end result to fear.

    • Jack April 1, 2012 at 10:53 am

      Hi Bryan,

      Welcome to the blog. Thank you for the compliment on my writing, it is much appreciated.

      We’re in agreement about failure not being the end result. It only stays that way if you let it. I really like the way you describe it as the end of one chapter and the beginning of another.

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