No. I didn’t head to the lake to watch the sunrise today. I shudder to think how many of these blogs start like that and in a way I apologize.

Being a morning person (and I definitely am) there is a resurgence that normally comes in my spirit with a visit to the lake and the chance to watch another sun rise as I sip on my first coffee of the day.

It is like nectar to the soul in so many ways and in tough times I milk it for what it is worth.

Yesterday and the day before, I went down there but not today. Today was a pause in the proceedings, mostly a circumstance of being over-run with kitty chores. Although it is difficult to use the word “chores” with a straight face as the first couple of hours of my day today involved being smothered in hugs by Tetsuo in particular and then being crawled all over by the six four-week-old kittens that have suddenly decided to explore their surrounds.

Life is tough lol

Anyway, the first of those visits was met with disappointment. I had gone to Lake Mirror and wanted to play with water against the backdrop of the brightening skies.

I brought some bottled water with me, and a DVD to act as a shiny surface. I brought lights and a couple of other props that never made it out of the bag.

I was only about fifteen minutes into it, when I splashed the lens (see below) and that’s when I realized I had no cloth to dry it and my clothing was material that didn’t really absorb, just smeared.

So I actually had to walk away and call it a day.

Apart from that sense of failure, even the shots I did get looked more like I was relieving myself than anything artistic. So, that thought didn’t translate well at all from my mind to reality.

(I did go to Lake Parker the morning after btw and those shots are at the end of the blog too. No relieving oneself involved.)

It was a definite sense of disappointment that consumed me as I drove home from Lake Mirror that first morning. And the disappointment was solely on myself. There were no other factors involved in the failure.

It was this aspect of disappointment that created this train of thought for today.

You see, we are often disappointed in life and in events and even in others. When we experience that disappointment, we may attach anger or excuse things or even just acknowledge that life is often outside of our control.

So this behavior softens the disappointment … mitigates the damage, I guess.

But when the reason for failure is solely our own, we can have no excuses.

Many times, the disappointment is because of an error we have made. In this case, I was half-assed in my preparation. I was also careless in my pouring/splashing. And I also didn’t envision that the shot could be construed as a urination.

In a situation like this, the learning process requires that you examine how you have failed and develop answers to prevent such lapses in the future.

Thankfully, none of these were actual limitations of my skills and so solutions are possible.

But oftentimes we fail because we are not good enough. We don’t have the skills we think we have. Or perhaps the correct approach to succeed. What then?

Well, there are really two options in that situation. We can either lower our self-expectations or develop our skills or approach.

Forward looking people will always choose the latter and they will succeed in areas that they have previously failed.

I believe that this should always be our first response.

However we should also be realistic on what we can accomplish within our own set of limitations. Limitations such as resources might change and perhaps we can overcome these over time. But if you have lost both hands, then tying shoelaces is quite frankly out of your reach. Time to buy slip-ons.

Repeatedly disappointing yourself is destructive in the long run and recognizing your limitations is a key ingredient to happiness in adverse situations.

As I drove away the other morning, I was singing that Kenny Rogers song “You gotta know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, know when to run …” and we do have to know.

Accepting defeat is not just gracious, it allows you to move on and it is an adult response to a failure. Throwing a tantrum or claiming that you won by a landslide, is not just destructive. It is pathetic.

As we look at ourselves, we need to see who we are. Not who we want to be. We all want to be young, beautiful, and Irish but some of us are old, ugly, and OMG … I’m Irish!

But seriously … know yourself and leave your conceit at the door. You can put it back on as you leave.

… just a thought!