Monday, September 15, 2014

Failed: Pumpkin Snicker-doodle Cookie

Failure is a part of life. Sometimes failure can be big, monumental, life changing. Take, for example, a failed marriage or a failed business venture. These failures can be crushing and, for some, absolutely devastating.
Other failures aren't so life altering. Sometimes the failure can be as simple as a batch of lousy tasting pumpkin snicker-doodle cookies - my failure of the day. Thankfully this failure isn't the life-ruining variety but it still isn't enjoyable to put forth time and effort only to be left with a lousy cookie lacking in flavor and short of sweetness. What is a cookie supposed to be if not deliciously sweet and flavorful?

My snicker-doodle snafu could keep me out of the kitchen. Let's face it, failure has a tendency to do that to do that to people, bakers and non-bakers alike. We fail, screw up or fall short of our goal and we become paralyzed to give it another go. Failure isn't fun. Failure is embarrassing - like delivering a lousy batch of tasteless cookies to a dinner party!
Unfortunately, failure in life is inevitable. It happens and it happens frequently. Sometimes in big ways and sometimes in small ways, but in every life failure is inescapable. The key is to not let failure ruin you but renew you!
Over the past four years of searching for an answer to my health dilemma I've tried so many different doctors, therapies, supplements and alternative treatments. I've gone from one side of the country to the other looking for a successful approach to treating what has plagued my body.
But for four years I came up with nothing but failure. One doctor after another would try different approaches to treating me and one after another would prove ineffective in giving me any lasting, permanent relief. The flare ups still came. My body remained on the fritz no matter what anyone tried to do to provide answers and healing.
Now, four (almost five) years later, I have a piece of my puzzle. I have a diagnosis. It is a step in a direction of healing and wellbeing. It isn't the "answer" or a "cure." It is a label and a name but it is also a big flashing billboard along my journey shouting the words, "Exit now!" After all of the failed attempts at finding some kind of answer I am just thankful to have success in the arena of test results, no matter how upsetting they may be.
But the journey isn't over yet. There is bound to be more failure to come as I begin down the road of finding what will provide my body relief and healing. There are so many options when it comes to treating MS. Therapies, supplements, diet plans, exercises, drugs, surgeries… the list of options runs the gamut. The trick is that not every treatment works for every person. This is not a one-size-fits-all disease with a one-size-fits-all pill to make it all go away. It is individualized in how it attacks the body and therefore the approach to treatment is just as personalized.
As I search for what will work for me I have to remember the lesson in the failed pumpkin snicker-doodle: don't give up when you run into failure.
There are going to be treatments that I will try and will prove be be entirely ineffective. I could spend months on a particular medication or supplement only to find that it made no difference at all. I could spent hours researching therapies and alternative treatments that will render useless for my personal case of MS. But I must not let those failures cause me to give up, reason to throw in the towel and stop searching.
With every failure I can choose to become paralyzed, worn out and depleted of the emotional stamina to continue on or I can pick myself up again and keep pursuing the health and well being God has for me.

If and when I run into failure I am determined that I will not let it crush my spirit. I will get back to searching for a new way to treat my muscles on the fritz just like I will get back in the kitchen this afternoon to bake up another batch of pumpkin cookies (not eggless snicker-doodles this time around, I can guarantee you that!)

Thankfully, failure is never the end of the journey. It may be a twist in the road or a complete U-turn, but it isn't the end. Failure is a lesson in what doesn't work and a directive to try another path. It is a fresh start, a new beginning.
So when you fail (which you will because you're human) don't let it keep you out of the kitchen. Clean off your counter. Wash out the dishes. Put your apron back on and get back to baking. Because there is a recipe out there with your name on it and if you search long enough, experiment with enough different ingredients and quantities and recipes, I guarantee you will find your home-run success of a snicker-doodle. And who knows, it may even have pumpkin in it!

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