Daring Greatly

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
~ Theodore Roosevelt

Brene Brown references this quote time and time again in her second Ted Talk, her book which I am currently reading which was a #1 New York Times Bestseller and in almost every speaking engagement she makes.   She spoke at my school two years ago and now she’s back again.

Everywhere I look I hear this quote.

And tonight, as simply as I wander downstairs staring at the pile of magazines I haven’t sat down and read, look at my counter cluttered with homework and mail that needs to be packed and addressed I am struck that today, on this day I am daring greatly.  A day that started at 4:40 in the morning for a one hour workout that is as much for my mental health as it is my physical health. A day that included teaching, meetings, drop offs, appointment scheduling, feeding, bath herding and reading, I am struck that this is what is means to be daring greatly.  Trying to do something, everything, and so often coming up short and erring in some way.

I am in the arena.

I am daring to be a change maker in education who refuses to believe anything but that every single day it is my job to change one students experience for the better.   I am daring to be the mom that I had growing up who loved me and gave me her full attention regardless of what else was going on in her life.  I am daring to be a wife that gives her husband the attention he deserves and the support he needs for us to parent together.  I’m covered in sweat, dust and blood and just trying to hang on.

I am the woman in the arena trying to have it all. And you know what, I still don’t.   And it’s not for lack of effort.  It’s not because I don’t try and want to do better or be more.  Some days I come up short as a mom.  Hell, most days I go bed telling myself I will be better as a mother than I was the day before.  Other days, I walk away wondering if my husband deserves better.  A better partner and bigger cheerleader.   And every day, I walk out of school thinking how I could inspire more, lead better and teach with more passion. And I feel like I failed.

But you know what?.  So what if other mom’s judge me because my kids go to daycare.   Or I don’t get a perfect meal on the table every night.  Or that I still have a couple pounds to lose. I am here. In the arena.  And I am daring greatly.  I’m daring to be in the arena “marred by dust and sweat and blood” to be here.  To live in the today.  To love hard. And be me.

{This post has sat in my drafts folder for 1.5 years.  It’s funny how much and how little things change in 1.5 years.}

 

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