Making Compromises Isn’t the Same as Failing

Allison Burney

Balance is the key

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Aaron and I spent the weekend at his family’s cottage, hanging out together and relaxing.

The cottage is beautiful any time of year, but with the snow here now, it takes on a whole new level of beauty. There’s a soft blanket covering the ground and a deep silence that permeates the whole area. It’s like there’s nobody else up here, for miles around.

And that may well be the case. This area is mainly cottage country. Most people don’t live up here, but instead, come up every weekend all summer to enjoy life by the lake.

We went for a walk in the snow yesterday, the bright white blanket sparkling away in the sun. It was so peaceful and calm, our boots crunching below us the only sound. We passed animal tracks of all shapes and sizes in every direction we looked. The place may seem lifeless, but the abundance of footprints proved otherwise.

When we got back to the cottage, we walked down the many steps to the dock to get a better look at the water. From up in the trees, we couldn’t tell if the lake was closing up yet or not. A thin layer of ice had already begun forming, reaching all the way across the channel to the cottages on the other side.

The beauty of it all really struck me. Sometimes you forget how perfect nature is on its own. It just does what it does at its own pace, and everything is right on time, regardless of what we may think or feel about it. Nature doesn’t care about our opinions. The snow comes when it comes — not when we’re ready for it.

It’s humbling to be reminded of this.

Sometimes all you need is a little change of scenery to put things in perspective and remind you of what’s important.

Decide What’s Important

We spent the rest of the day hanging out, having dinner together, and watching a movie, all cozy by the fireplace.

The early bedtime I’ve been trying to establish for myself over the past few weeks got thrown out the window this weekend (as I’d expected) — but that’s okay.

Part of this whole adventure is learning what I’m willing to compromise on, and what I’m not.

And what I’m realizing is, as long as I get my writing done and publish every day, I can be satisfied with that, because I know that I’m making daily progress on the thing that is most important to me.

I will always aim to be up at 5 am, because having a morning routine sets the tone for the rest of my day, and helps ensure that I get my writing done.

But as this weekend proved, there will always be reasons why I get off track.

There will be people to spend time with who are on different schedules than me, late dinners and movie nights to enjoy, and evenings to spend chatting with family and friends around the fire way past my ideal bedtime.

So I will have a decision to make: stay on my schedule, and miss out on that time and those moments, or make an exception when I feel it’s important. I have to decide what’s most important to me, and then be willing to be flexible.

What’s important may change sometimes, and I just need to be open to receiving it in the moment and following the inner prompting.

This weekend, I made the decision not to wake up at 5, because I wanted to enjoy more time with family in the evenings instead.

My Main Goals

I’ve set four main goals for myself this year.

The things I want to do every day are:

1) Wake up at 5 am

2) Do my morning routine

3) Write at least 1,000 words

4) Publish an article

When I first started this challenge, I had it in my head that I absolutely had to do all four of these things every single day, or it wouldn’t count. If I missed a day, then I’d have failed.

That was my old perspective. And from my old perspective, I’d set out to do something, and I did not succeed in doing it.

Like most people, I hate failing. I tend to be very hard on myself when it comes to “failing.” If I start something new and miss a day, it’s hard for me to let it go. I feel like a cheater and a fraud. That’s often how I treat myself.

But that way has never really worked for me, because as soon as I get down on myself, carrying on despite the setback becomes a lot harder, too.

And that’s really all it is — a setback. Waking up at 8 am instead of 5 am on a weekend isn’t the end of the world, and I can’t look at it that way. The important thing is that I keep moving forward from there. As long as I’m up at 5 am again when Monday rolls around, it’s all going to be okay.

Sometimes, other things are more important — like family. It’s not every day that we get to see family and spend a weekend just being together.

Balance is Key

I guess this is why they say that life is all about balance.

If some days, I compromise on one important thing (waking up early) in order to take part in another important thing (time with family), is that really failing?

Not to me.

I’m starting to see how “failing” in one area can actually mean you’re winning in another.

So, going forward, I’m going to be kinder to myself. No matter what I think I’ve failed at, there is probably some good that has come out of it.

I’m going to focus on the good.

And then I’m going to keep moving forward.

Photo by Genessa Panainte on Unsplash

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Writer & proofreader. I love travel, reading, coffee, and exploring nature. On a mission to keep learning, growing, and enjoying this adventure we call life.

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