Friday, July 22, 2016

Failure


We have these pigs.



My family had a few animals when I was growing up, but they were mostly the responsibility of the older kids (or Dad and Mom, most likely).  I never really learned how to raise animals.  

The girls are raising 4-H pigs and, although they are doing most of the care on their own (cleaning the pen, feeding, watering, exercising, etc.), there are some things they cannot do without a parent's help.
This is where I come in.  I picked a seller on Craigslist (the ad seemed so promising), I made decisions about food, I have to transport the things and I have to try to guide the girls through 4-H booklets, paperwork, and fair prep.

Tiny baby piglet trying to nurse off of it's older pen mate.  I don't think that's normal.

I leave every 4-H meeting not necessarily in tears, but frequently on the verge of them.
We were sold terrible piglets.  They were WAY too young to the point where, in one case, I don't think the piglet had been weaned an hour before we arrived to take her home. Only one of the three has any chance of making weight before fair time.  You don't need every detail about how ignorant I am, but you can know that I am ignorant and constantly feel like a fool.
Raising pigs is fully outside of my comfort zone.

Anyway, I've been pretty hard on myself and ashamed at how I was taken advantage of.
Until I watched this:


The re-framing of failure is a pivotal idea for me.  I am still mightily ignorant, but I know more now than I did two months ago.  When we raise pigs again next year (which we will in order to take advantage of our new, hard-earned  knowledge), I won't make the same mistakes.
Did I fail?  In some ways, YES!  
But I did TRY
and that counts for a lot.

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