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True confession: I’m not really in a “happy birthday” mood

unnamed-75With a birthday so close to Halloween, I’ve had more than my share of Halloween-themed birthday parties. I still love Halloween… but birthdays? Not so much.

Today’s my birthday. I don’t say that because I’m looking for birthday wishes; truth is, I’d rather ignore it completely. I’ve been feeling rather out-of-sorts lately. Getting older despite my best efforts to do otherwise is one reason, but there are a couple more.

For starters, I don’t know for certain yet, but all indications are that I did not repeat my victory last year in the Best of Western Washington contest in the “Best Local Personality on Twitter” category. Now, in the grander scheme of things this definitely rates a “no biggie,” but I am still disappointed. I put in my best effort, but somebody else was way ahead going into the last few days of voting and I’m quite sure I didn’t overcome that deficit. Winners aren’t announced for a couple of weeks, so I’ll know for sure then.

Achieving this was important to me because I want to raise the profile of my healthy lifestyle message, and frankly because I’ve got a book to sell and I need publishers to see that I have a platform from which to sell it. To demonstrate that people care what I say, as they say in the book world.

As I seek to put the loss in perspective, I remind myself that I did everything I could, and that sometimes – even though we put in 100% effort – we still fall short of our goal.

“Maybe my ego was too tied up in this thing,” I tell myself. “Maybe it’s good for me to be humbled a little bit.”

“Maybe the other guy’s funnier than I am.” Jury’s still out on that one.

Ah, well. I did still come in second, after all.

But a loss is a loss, and while we can tell ourselves it doesn’t matter, it is important to acknowledge and grieve it. Admittedly, “grieve” may be too strong a word to describe losing a silly Twitter contest, but I think you know what I mean. It’s important to give yourself permission to feel the disappointment and not diminish what that goal meant to you.

The impact of my weight loss journey seems to have left no part of my life or my psyche untouched. The lessons I learned from transforming my body and committing to living a healthy life affect everything I think and do. One way my life is impacted is by attempting to accomplish things I would not have striven for in a bajillion years before. When you reach for things that are new and difficult, you risk failure. But what I learn from the effort is that I am resilient. I failed, but I didn’t die. In fact, I’m quite fine.

Resilience is a skill that comes in very handy when it comes to healthy living. Obstacles, set backs, even failures will happen. But summoning the inner strength to bounce back from those difficulties and try anew is what ultimately leads to success.

After all, there’s always next year … and I’ll still be 29 :0)images-311

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