Where have you failed?

I’m a busy person these next few days, but I wanted to write when I could. Here’s what I’ve been wondering: Where in life do you feel you’ve failed? Raising your kids? At work? With money?

I’ve failed at romance. I’m not good at it.

Feel free to sign in anonymously. (For the eighty hundredth time, you don’t need to sign in with name or email to comment.)

Failure-ly,

Joooooooooon

50 thoughts on “Where have you failed?

  1. It’s a day late, but I’ve been thinking about this question for the past 24 hours so Im’a answer anyway. In my fifties, and no man I’ve ever loved has ever loved me back. I’ve failed to make anything else more important than that.

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  2. Oh man, where do I begin???
    ~ My biggest regret is that I changed from Spanish class to French in 10th grade. I loved Spanish and was very good at it but I wanted to try French and somehow once I was in, I couldn’t get out. I even majored in French in college, which was completely stupid because I do not live in an area where French is spoken at all (and now I remember very little of it anyway). If I had stayed in Spanish class and then majored in Spanish, there would be SO MANY opportunities available to me today. Which brings me to my second biggest regret…
    ~I’ve been an administrative assistant my entire adult life. I didn’t know what else to do because I had a completely useless degree. I also wanted to study psychology but my parents talked me out of it – “you’ll never make any money with a psych degree” – Hey Mom & Dad, guess what? I’m not making any money now either!! (still a little bitter about that one)
    ~I’ve been 50-75 pounds overweight my entire adult life and I just can’t do one more diet…but I still want to lose the weight.
    ~I really regret getting involved with that married guy in college. I got totally played by him. I’ll bet his wife wasn’t even as terrible as he made her sound. I feel bad about that whole thing.
    There are more things I regret but I’m too sad now to dig them up.

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  3. (Thanks for letting me know I don’t have to leave an email and sign-in and all that nonsense to leave a comment)

    I’ve failed at managing my money. This has been going on forever. It doesn’t help that I work in a career I love but one that’s notorious for struggling. Oh well….I can still keep trying to do better, but it would help if I earned more.

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  4. My dear fellow commenter, find a good family therapist. Start going “for you.” Maybe…maybe one day your daughter will join you for a family session. Or maybe not. But at least you can find a light at the end of the tunnel by going to talk out your hopes, fears, and goals. Not to change your daughter (as we can’t change other people), but to learn and bring on change for you!

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  5. Hmm. Let’s see.

    I let myself get fat.

    I spent too much money in my youth and am still paying for it.

    My dogs, I love them so, but they are so bad. One will try to kill any other animal simply for existing.

    My husband, I love him, but I’ve let him control too much.

    I didn’t finish college.

    I still live in Ohio. I should have left for Vegas after m divorce when I was hot enough to just get a job cocktail waitressing and figuring it out from there.

    I buy tons of craft stuff for crafts I know I’ll never start because I’m afraid they’ll turn out terrible. Failing by failing.

    And I’m a terrible housekeeper. Anybody need any dust and dog hair? I’ve got loads.

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  6. I have failed at sooooo many things because I have a fear of failure so I NEVER try anything if there is the chance I won’t succeed. I have no self-confidence when it comes to “putting myself out there.” So, while I believe I have succeeded at marriage, parenting and financial issues, I am HUGELY disappointed with where I have ended up in life, but it’s all my own fault. NONE of my successes will ever outshine the fact that I feel like a huge failure at life.

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  7. We all have failures, and successes. Live your best life, try to do better, but don’t beat yourself up over the supposed “failures”, which may just be “differences”. Nobody’s completely satisfied with their life, at least not if they’re thinking hard enough.

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  8. Maybe trusting a man for 32 years.
    Giving and caring, to be tossed. Yet, not tossed because he wouldn’t go unless he took everything, no halves there. 4 lawyers had he, and litigated himself to ruin. Not my failure, per se, but a failure for sure.
    Not sure how that happens in a life, but it does. Sometimes failure shows you success. Or at least knowledge that you are empathic, fair, and kind.

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  9. I wish I was better with my finances. I think about money constantly and wish I knew what it felt like to not have to worry about it everyday.

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  10. I regret not quitting booze sooner. I was 39 years old when I went to rehab.
    Best thing I ever did. After getting sober, I went to college, started a new career and have really excelled. Every decision made sober, is a better choice.

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  11. I could have done a lot better with my career. I never wanted the responsibility or travel that it would have required and I certainly didn’t want to be a supervisor. I had the potential but more money just wasn’t enough incentive.

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  12. My husband and I stopped having sex a few years ago. Mostly him, bit I had a hard time with menopause. I’m sorry we have it up at 52. Other than that, I’m doing okay. I’m too fat but willing to live with it. Most days.

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  13. I’ve failed to stay in touch with extended family. My husband was awful, and I didn’t want anyone to know. I didn’t want anyone to feel upset or responsible when I couldn’t leave him. So I just kind of dropped off the radar. Now 20 years later and separated, but we’re all strangers now.

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  14. I think I define failure differently than most people. I made some life choices – got pregnant young, married early, quit college – that some people might consider failures. But to me it’s more like “here’s two paths – pick one”. As many times as we heard that we could “have it all”, it’s really not true. I made the best out of my choices and got really lucky in some ways – picked a great guy to marry when I was too young to know what to look for – but also worked really really hard and did the best I knew how to do at every turn.

    Now if you want to talk about being overweight as a failure, I’m right there. But until the day I die I don’t consider myself a complete failure in even that area… I’m just a work in progress.

    Go easy on yourselves friends. When we know better, we do better.

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  15. I’m late but I am here with all of my financial irresponsibilities. I have an amazing job that pays very well but I like stuff. It’s kind of ridiculous how I can not control my impulse to buy what I want. But dang, I have some really cute purses and shoes. I regret it but only because my husband is so very frugal.

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  16. I have failed at being a grown up. I feel like I am an imposter adult. I am alone now, not good with money and fearful of the future. I have huge decisions to make and I am frozen in place, stalked by terror. My husband took care of me and provided, he died and I am lost. My grief is better but the need to make financial decisions makes me want to vomit. I need a job and a roommate and it’s been forever since I’ve had either. My health is SLOWLY improving.
    I DID have a long marriage, I’d say 65% good. I picked a man I felt would only leave by death. I was correct but now he’s gone and it’s very hard. I have a new man in my life but it’s brand new. I wish I could relax and enjoy this new joy but the financial worries are infringing on it right now. I wish he could just move in and help with the bills but it’s much too soon for anything like that. I do have loving friends and family. I just stink at self confidence. I am brave at love, I wish I could have been that brave about myself and education and a career. I also kind of wish I could have had children, that adoption wasn’t such an expensive mess when we were looking to do it. I love my pets dearly but some kids and grandkids would have been great. Also I know I am a food addict and an internet one too. The food has to come first, then the screen time addiction.

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  17. Career. I never feel like I have lived up to my potential. And part of it is that I don’t *want* the big responsibility that comes with big titles and big paychecks.

    And time management. I am never, ever, ever caught up fully in any area of my life.

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  18. I chose to study (including grad school) subjects which wouldn’t get me a good job, and I really, really regret that. Hence, failure at making a living.
    I also truly regret not moving to Canada or Europe when I was still young enough to become a citizen, because of health care.

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  19. I’m hoping that it won’t seem like a failure in a few years, but right now, I’m a failure at parenting. The divorce was my decision, and the children blame me. They’ve decided to live with their dad and the younger stepmom, the “Bonus Mom”. I miss them terribly and get to see them every Wednesday night and every other weekend, but that isn’t enough time to give them all the mom I have in me to give. I don’t regret the divorce, but I regret the bitterness that my kids feel towards me. One day, they will get it, but for now they are Team Dad.

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  20. I’ve made mistakes with my kids and my marriage. The kids have turned out really well and I would have swam the ocean for that man. But that didn’t happen. Got a job I love and considering I was a stay at home for 20 years I’m not doing bad in the finance area. What I am struggling with is a not healthy relationship with alcohol. And that is a close as I will get to saying that. Once was addicted to pain meds after an accident. Another time I was addicted to smoking. There’s a pattern. My health? Ugh. Add in a dash of anxiety and depression to be managed. Dayum.

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  21. I think I’ve overcome them, but I’ve certainly had them. I picked a husband based on perceived earning potential, which was dumb, but despite his extreme fear of success (yes, really) we have settled into a pretty good marriage based on being one of the 50% instead of the 1%, and that’s great by me. I spent way too much time agonizing over this for 20 years, though. Fitness, man. Wish I’d been on the fitness train earlier. Do y’all remember how it used to not be ladylike to sweat? For my dad that lasted into the 80’s. I was able to take one class in a think for cultural education but not continue or compete. One class of ballet, one of ice skating, one of disco dancing, one of gymnastics. He was horrified by leotards but more horrified by short shorts. I became an accidental cheerleader (tried out to support a friend) and had to wear a mini skirt with a wool sweater and knee socks.

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  22. Hi June and other commenters.
    Here’s a list of things I’ve failed at:
    1. Putting myself first.
    2. Letting life and crap get in the way of falling in like/love.
    3. Lack of attention to my savings and retirement savings.
    4. Avoiding getting stuck at a boring job.
    5. Following my heart/passions (see 1., 2. and 3. above).
    6. Topping off my History / Anthropology B.A. degree with a Master degree (see 1., 4. and 5. above).
    7. Telling annoying relatives that I can’t stand their political yapyap.
    8. Limiting myself to “a few” cats…as I have four and love them dearly (see 1. above).

    This was fun. I feel much better. Now I will skip back to my cubical where I am tethered to a headset.

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  23. Financially for one, for sure. I grew up spending if I had it and not budgeting. Wants are not needs and now I’m paying (ha) for it, in more ways than one. I do have retirement savings but no where near enough. I have a coworker that pinches dimes better than anyone I know, has a great house, pool, paid for vehicles, vacations etc close to a million in retirement and savings >$100,000.00. I too, could be like her if only I had budgeted. I barely have $2000.00 in savings. Just out of curiosity, what do you think the average middle-aged woman has in savings?

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    • And I turned 50 this year so it’s not because I’m young and frivolous with my money. Just old and frivolous with my money. No good reason other than that I’m terrified of money (oh also breast cancer’s robbed me of $1000s over the past year but really the problem was before that – and I actually HAVE good health insurance. The $1000s are from deductibles, copays, and coinsurance.)

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  24. Relationships with men is my area of failure. I tell people my picker is broken. That’s supposed to be a joke but it really isn’t. I think I’m an anxious attacher like June (I think that is what it’s called), and I tend to go with whatever type Ned is. There’s no one on the horizon and I’m getting old and I don’t want to be alone.

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  25. I married the wrong man. Married him in 1990. Did not realize he was carrying a LOT of baggage from his asshole of a father. Things were never easy. He was/is highly defensive if you even THINK about questioning something he is doing. And I’m a people-pleaser, so I just traveled the path of least resistance. We haven’t had ‘relations’ since around 2002. It’s a marriage in name only since then. I hate my life. I hate my marriage. I can’t afford to leave. Too old and too tired. I’m so sorry, EVERY SINGLE DAY, that I chose to marry him. We have one child. And they have told me that even though they love him because he is their father, they do not LIKE him.

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  26. I feel as though I’ve done pretty well with love and kids and family. Not sure how . . . I think I just fell into them but they’re all pretty great.

    But money. Oh money. I see my mother be an idiot with money and I’ll be damned if I don’t turn around and do the exact same things she does. I hate myself for it. I fuss at my husband for spending $50 at the hardware store and then I’ll spend $500 at Old Navy. We actually were debt free 25 years ago (yes, we’re old) and have managed to dig ourselves deeper and deeper into debt ever since. It makes me sick to think about it. I watched June get out of debt with her side hustle and I was SO JEALOUS!!! I wish I knew how to do something that someone would pay me for.

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  27. Boy, this is a cheery little post, isn’t it?

    I have my regrets, but without those, I wouldn’t have the kids and grandchild I love. I made several mistakes and think often about what I should have done. Alas, I have no time machine. And what would I change? My husband and I are happy, and if I occasionally think of the York Peppermint Patty commercial where the woman ends her daydream in, “and this time…. I said no,” then that’s just on me.
    I gained weight, lost a bunch, found it again. I’m too tired at the moment to get on that roller coaster again.
    I work too much and don’t stand up for myself enough.
    I’m too rigid and afraid of taking chances.
    I’d like to be a better person in a half dozen ways, but I’m friendly and nice to most people and all animals. I have hobbies I love and a few friends and relatives I mostly tolerate. I’m introverted all day long, and don’t regret that one bit.

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  28. I failed to keep up with family beyond mother/father/sister/brother. There is a wonderful family out there of lots of cousins raising great kids, of a nephew with a wonderful wife and 4 kids but I haven’t kept in touch and none of them know me–I’m the oldest of the lot and moved away. I have one child and because I didn’t keep in touch with my extended family she has no extended family, not even my brother and sister. She has me and her husband (I’m getting older and he’s not good) and a couple of friends. When I die she won’t have any family.

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  29. I had a chaotic, dysfunctional childhood. Because of that my biggest fear was some how damaging my kids. I put raising them above anything and everything else. The positive outcome is that I am raising/have raised great kids. That success has come at a price though. I haven’t been the kind of wife I should have been/should be, or the kind of friend I should have been/should be. Relationships with others would be my failure.
    My financial life has been a shaky mess since I was out on my own. Slowly I’ve been trying to get it together and feel like I’m finally making slow, but steady, improvements.

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  30. Married twice, divorced twice, now living in the same house with a man I don’t even like for the last 25 years, due to lack of inertia. To a man, they needed financial support, wanted control, and were/are basically a-holes. I could pick ’em.

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  31. I failed raising my daughter, I think. She’s almost 40, lives with me, can’t hold down a job, is completely broke. She has mental health issues and is really struggling but won’t let me pay for any treatment (although I pay for EVERYTHING else). Weirdly, I have a son who is doing really well, so I wonder where I went wrong. It’s got to be all on me as their dad died when they were small. I’d like to be able to retire someday but at the rate I spend money on her, that’ll never happen. I can’t kick her out or cut her off. It’s just not in me, but I would LOVE to figure out a way to help her.

    Also, saving for retirement – see above.

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  32. I feel like my biggest failure was choosing to marry my ex-husband. I feel like I failed my kids because they have him as a father. That one big choice 18 years ago messed all of our lives up forever. And I suck with money, social life, and romance.

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  33. Wow. I am such a failure in my own mind. Here’s what I see:

    I’m divorced, unemployed for two years now after having been laid off from the job of a lifetime at a dream company overseas with unbelievable benefits. Turning 50 in Dec. I’m living with my parents, in love with someone totally unavailable back overseas (so I haven’t said anything, although they probably know and pity me as an idiot, that would be my luck), and gradually running out of money. I got two job rejections just yesterday, and have I don’t know how many applications out at companies that I’ll probably never hear from at all. (Pet peeve: companies that just let you sit in limbo forever.) I miss my expat life and my friends and having my independence without having to justify every little decision (OMG yes mom I had *two* chocolates today, STFU…).

    I made a series of bad choices going back to around 2007 that have led me here, and I don’t know how to turn the tide. Not knowing if it will ever end, or even if it will turn around, is the worst part.

    Thank god for antidepressants.

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  34. Wow, I can certainly claim a few…

    Work. Never have really found my “thing” and some can be attributed (by me, anyway) to getting diagnosed with ADHD at age 49. That’s a lot of years of never quite getting it right, experiencing failure, and never living up to my potential. Even went back for a certificate program in public relations & marketing, and got straight As. Loved it. Did so much better than my undergrad. Still trying to figure out the why/how to make that leap. Fear of failure, fear of success seems to be my stranglehold.

    Romance. Just hasn’t really happened in a meaningful way. No kids is fine, not really mother material.

    On the upside, I do have good friends, which is a comforting support system to have around, and a very small amount of family left. I did my very best with both parents when end of life stuff emerged, and I do miss them both.

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  35. Where have I failed???
    HA! Throw a dart, man…
    ~Job Decisions
    ~Leadership
    ~Romance
    ~As a husband
    ~As a father
    ~Financially
    ~Athletically

    Friggin’ just keep trying because I’m an idiot…

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  36. I’ve given this a lot of thought the last couple of years and more so as I head into yet another holiday season sans a man.

    I had a marriage once upon a time and to quote Rhett Butler I threw happiness away with both hands. The grass was not greener.

    So for the last 15 years I’ve suffered some hardships. I got into a five year relationship much like what you described with Ned, I also got into a brief second marriage with a man that swept me off my feet and changed before the ink on the marriage certificate was dry.

    I did manage to raise some kids, but because of my mistakes I had to work a lot and missed out on having more fun with them. Now they’re grown.

    So now I am cautious about my choices and spend time just trying to build friendships. My life is stable, yet lacks excitement.

    I’ve tried dating, but the men I’d want to date aren’t interested. I feel like I’m living my karma for the past!

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  37. I’ve failed in so many areas. I’ve failed as a daughter to my mother before she died. I’ve failed in managing money and will probably never be able to retire. I’ve failed as a mother to my children so many times over. I’ve failed as a wife for picking a man that ended up being just like my father. I fail at work all the time. There is really no area that I haven’t failed in at some point of my life. The end.

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