“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” -Thomas A. Edison
This is one of my favorite quotes because why not? I have felt like this more than I can remember. The message behind it so poignant – don’t give up. It is a great pick-me-up for when I feel I have given it my all. It doesn’t allow me to succumb to failure.
There have been times I have felt like giving up but figured I could try one more time. As a fighter jet maintainer it was this dogged approach that helped me troubleshoot. Personally, I felt it made me a better maintainer because it forced me to learn.
When it comes to parenting, same thing. My husband and I learned more by trial and error than reading a book. Our success wasn’t always immediate but that wasn’t the point, we kept trying. When they couldn’t breathe in the middle of the night because of the congestion, when they were colicky, when they had diarrhea, when they were teething, when they were so tired they cried and cried, when they had the worst diaper rash – we survived it because we didn’t give up, as parents we couldn’t.
“If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.” -Oprah Winfrey
I personally love this quote because I find it to be especially true. The way I interpret it is if you are not happy with what you have, you’ll never be happy with more. My husband and I both come from humble beginnings. When we met we both had our own one bedroom apartments and we were as happy as clams. As our relationship grew serious we decided to move in together. We settled into another one bedroom apartment and we felt so blessed to have the little things we did. As time went on we bought our home and started a family. We have always been grateful for the things we had in the moment, not thinking it would increase with time.
The opposite is true for my mother. I have often explained to her that she is impossible to satisfy. She is only temporarily happy with the things she obtains. She is always pining to go on vacation or get a bigger home. Our conversations are almost always related to money in some way, shape or form: how she doesn’t have enough or wants more of it. The stress of not having enough always drives her to ask to go on vacation so she can forget her financial debts. Or she is asking for a bigger home when she complains about having to clean the house she has.
One of my life goals is to teach my children to enjoy and appreciate what they have instead of focusing on what they don’t. I want them to be successful, yes – but above all, I want them to be happy human beings.