#46 What is a Failure that You Are Proud of?

At the end of 2018, I had a new years resolution for 2019: post 52 blogs.

2019 has passed. I posted 42.

The turning of the calendar means that a new year has come. It also marked my official failure of this new year’s resolution.

Today, Jason looked at the 45 blogs I posted (3 were posted in the first 3 days of 2020. he was amazed by how much I have done.

Table of Contents

This is about 45,000 words, about 300 pages, equivalent to a short non-fiction book.

If I didn’t have this audacious goal of writing for 2019, I probably wouldn’t have written (and published) 45,000 words.

In one sense, I failed at achieving my goal of posting 52 blogs, but in the other, I succeeded at writing a lot more than I thought I could.

That is the magic of having audacious goals.

The next audacious goal

Since I have personally benefited so much from having this goal in 2019, I have been thinking about what audacious goals I should have for 2020.

The overall theme of 2020 will be families. Among my 14 new year’s resolutions, a lot of them are about families:

  • Be a better step mom
  • Strengthen relationship with my in-laws
  • Have a wedding meaningful to us and our families and friends
  • Go on a trip with my dad
  • Go to a foreign country with Jason

Without spreading myself too thin, I would like to have an audacious goal related to families. So here is what I came up with:

Question Mark, Pile, Question, Mark, Stack, Symbol

I collected 100 questions to ask my step children. I would like to ask them while we spend time together, carefully write down their answers, and put these questions and answers, with photos of them into a booklet. This will be a gift at the end of the year for their parents, grandparents, and families who would like to witness their growth, and maybe themselves when they grow up.

This goal will help me become a better step mom (more details are written this blog) – this way, I am leveraging my strength (asking questions) on my weakness (being a step mom).

This goal will help me strengthen the relationship with my in-laws. Since they don’t live close to Seattle, I really couldn’t do much for them. By recording the growth of their grandchildren, I hope they will be able to share the joy.

This goal will make our wedding meaningful. My step children will be the ring bearer and flower girl of our wedding. We getting to know each other better will make this moment even more beautiful and meaningful.

This goal will help strengthen the relationship with my dad. Being a “part-time” parent makes me see how hard being a parent is, and this has made me appreciate my parents more. When me and my dad go on this trip, we will be able to talk about life in a new perspective. I would like to ask my dad: How is it like to raise me when I was little? What do you think I should do in xxx situation? My dad has a step son and a step grandson who he really enjoy raising. So I think we will also have many shared experience.

This goal will certainly strengthen the relationship between me and Jason. I told Jason that (even though he doesn’t like me thinking about this way) since the day I knew him, I knew that I will never be his number one, his children will be his number one.

This seems to be a bitter pill to swallow, doesn’t it?

I thought so. I no longer think so.

The statement that “I will never be the person he loves the most. His children will.” assumes that a person’s love is finite. As if you have 100 grams of love – the person you love the most gets 30 grams, the second gets 20 grams, and everybody else share 50 grams. Is it true though?

So far, the weekends we co-parent has made us love each other more, not less. Love doesn’t work that way.

How does love work? Love is not finite and fixed. It can expand (and shrink). Love expands in shared experiences, especially going through hardships. This is almost cliche, but you can go through good times with almost anyone. The people that can go through hard times with you are who means more to you.

Four ideas about my audacious goal

I have collected 100 questions. But some of them I am not super excited about. What makes a good question? There is a fine balance between what is meaningful to me and what is meaningful (or interesting) to them. Since we grow up in very different times and culture, and we are in very different life stage. These two things could be quite different.

Idea 1: crowd source questions: I want to share the link to the google sheet of my questions, and open for any friends of mine who want to contribute, “What do you want to ask a 4 year old and a 8 year old?”. In fact, I have another resolution – be more social. I would like to reach out to my friends who are parents, and hearing about what questions have fostered good conversations between them and their children. I believe this will help our friendship grow.

Idea 2: rather than sharing with the families all 100 Q&A’s at the end of the year, I should share real-time.

Idea 3: write a separate memo about my journey being a step mom. After they grow up and with their consent, I would love to share my journey with future step moms.

Idea 4: learn to learn from them, such as imagination. It is real thing that after a certain age, our interest are more fixed in a certain range. I’ve felt that I lack interest or capability in imaginations. My step son likes to play “choose your own adventure”, which is a role play game where you choose your character usually with some buzzard super powers – I really struggle with that – I just want to be me… lol.

In 2020, I started reading science fiction (for the first time in my life). I am now reading Exhalation: Stories. The first story is about Alchemist.

I can see that reading science fiction and strengthening my imagination will benefit my writing: once I go beyond “What is”, and start to think about “What if”, the sky is the limit.

Are you willing to help me?

Would you help me achieving this goal of 100 Q&A booklet by reading and improving my current list of 100 questions? What are you curious to hear from a 4-year-old and a 8-year-old?

If you are willing to help me, leave a comment or text me. I would love to have you in my journey.

Thank you for reading! What is a failure that you are proud of?

girl standing near plants

If this blog interests you, here is the Table of Contents of the rest of blogs in my #52WeeksOfWriting challenge.

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