I Refuse to Fail. And Why Failing is Not an Option.

Ever come to a situation where you are looking for a particular end result and just keep hitting a roadblock? I know I have.

refuse to failAll the way back in high school, I remember all of the preparations needed to go to college. Junior and Senior year was filled with trips to local universities and not so local ones. Applications and decisions about college was all that was on my mind. And as soon as I set foot on campus at The Ohio State University, all I could think about was how to make sure that I ended up a Buckeye.

I lived just under 400 miles away out of state and tuition to a state university is not all that affordable. Okay, it wasn’t affordable at all. I wasn’t a stellar student with any free rides or scholarships. But, I was a student who refused to fail. I asked my parents for help, cosigning loans was the best they could offer. No big deal. I decided that I would move to Columbus to gain in-state residency. Yes, all by myself. I researched what it would take to truly be on my own. I needed a place to live before classes began in the fall when I would move into the dorms for the year. I needed a job. I needed a reliable car. With the amazing and wonderful support of my mom I made that move happen, just four short weeks after graduation.

My friends came to me with mixed thoughts: How can you move to a big city all by yourself? Aren’t you scared? Why not wait until classes start? That’s awesome! I could never do that. You are brave.

I just refused to fail. I was stubborn and steadfast to my decision to attend Ohio State. I was so sure of myself.

Today, I have come to a situation where the end result is not, well, happening. I have put up my own roadblocks or excuses.

Here it goes… it’s a big part of my job as a mom and wife… it’s an integral piece to everyday life… it’s… meals. How can I not be any good at this? How is it that planning and creating healthy meals for my family have become such a stressful endeavor?

I can cook pretty well. In fact, I made a turkey this year for Thanksgiving, my first, and everyone loved it. I even had the stereotypical mom in law (who isn’t generally the stereotype, she is absolutely wonderful) who was quietly apprehensive but pleasantly impressed with my efforts. I know what meal planning is and when implemented I don’t do too badly at getting food on the table. I know generally what a good price is at the grocery store and I know generally the foods that are in season.

I won’t bother confessing all of my excuses to this miserable failure, there are too many. And I won’t bore you with what it really looks like around here come dinner time. But, I will say that I am seeking that young, strong-willed person in me who was once determined to venture out on her own. I feel her in there somewhere saying “I refuse to fail.”

I refuse to fail to bring a healthy meal to the table. I refuse to fail at accepting this responsibility.

Failing is not an option here. My family is depending on me to provide nutritious meals (just as we are depending on my husband to provide the money). This is part of my job. I have to be the example to my children: what it means to cook for my family. I need to teach them everything from how and where we get our food, how it is prepared, to why we choose nutrition over convenience. I have to be creative – for budget purposes and so we don’t get “bored” with our meals. This doesn’t come easy for me (even after ten years plus “experience” in my own kitchen), but I won’t be able to accomplish these goals if I am not willing to learn or put forth the effort.

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Join me as I learn to find a way to make meal planning work for me and my family and as I transform meal planning from stress and anxiety to a delightful and a deeply gratifying adventure.

Let me know in the comments where you refuse to fail. What did you do to accomplish your goals?

Watch for my What I Have Learned: Meal Planning series.