Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fairs and Failure

When I married Shawn 11years ago, I did it because I simply couldn’t imagine spending another day without him in my life. Honestly, I just loved his company. Marriage was a scary prospect to me at the time because my parents’ relationship was always tumultuous and I didn’t want to end up in a failed marriage, but I took the plunge because Shawn was too lovely to pass up.

And honestly, I still feel that way today. I love him being around. While some women sigh a breath of relief when their husbands go away for a business trip or a weekend with their buddies, I get all sad and anxious and weepy like a 5-year old missing her favorite teddy bear. I’m sure my feminist self back in my college days would be thoroughly embarrassed by my behavior, but it is what it is. He’s just plain old good fun, and who doesn’t like to have fun, right?

So every year in September when Shawn leaves for 10 days to help his parents’ run their PA Dutch Foods stand at The Great Frederick Fair, I get a little melancholy the few days beforehand, but then the thought of those delicious ham and cheese sandwiches and hot, buttery Auntie Anne’s Soft Pretzels that I get to eat when I go visit him take the blues away and replace them with excitement. You all know I love to eat, and the fair is an eater’s paradise.

But this year, now that our children are getting a little older and are less dependent on me, I ended up going to the fair to work with Shawn and also to try to sell some of my homemade cookies at the stand. This was my first year trying this little venture, and I have to admit, I was really nervous about it. “What if no one buys any?” I kept asking Shawn. Thankfully, he comes from a long line of optimists, and kept replying, “Don’t worry, hon. They’ll buy ‘em.”

So I lugged a big black plastic container down to the fair with all my Costco sized ingredients and Kitchen Aid mixer in it and got to work. During the slower hours in the morning and mid-afternoon, I mixed up dough and baked giant cookies and kept pressing my fears down into my gut. “It’ll be fine,” I’d tell myself. “If no one buys them, then you are out $150. That’s not so bad.” But what I learned about myself is that losing the money wasn’t the issue; it was the thought of failure.

I don’t know about you, but I hate to fail at things. I tend to only do what I know I can succeed at. That’s all fine and well if you want to live a boring, no excitement kind of life. While failure completely sucks, you also can’t deny that it always has an element of thrill to it because when you step out and take a chance, there is always the possibility of success. So, completely out of character for this play-it-safe kind of girl, I took a chance.

And someone actually bought a cookie.

In fact, 440 someones bought cookies, and I was giddy as my 2-year-old when she gets a stick of gum. But you know, I think I would have been just fine if no one had. God showed me that failure isn’t nearly as bad as never having taken a chance in the first place. Heck, if 11 years ago I wouldn’t have taken a chance on Shawn, I wouldn’t have this decade plus of wonderful memories and adventures with my best friend or my 4 beautiful little babes.

Lesson learned.

But I must say a heartfelt “Thank You” to my parents for taking on the task of watching my children while I was away at the fair. Without them I couldn’t have chased this silly little baker’s dream. Thanks so much, Mom and Dad. I love you both more than words.

And I know there was some mention earlier this week of the infamous Butterfinger Cookie recipe making an appearance. Well, I’ve decided to keep it secret a little while longer. In celebration of my tenth cooking class participant, I will post the much coveted recipe. So I would greatly appreciate if you could help me in getting the word out about my class by simply telling your friends and family about it or by sharing the link to my blog on your facebook page. You could even put in a couple kind words about me and my class if you’re feeling extra generous. Thanks so much for all your help and hope you all have a great weekend!

1 comment:

  1. I love your honesty and your cookies!

    Here's to stepping out and stomping on the fear of failure. :) Keep it up! :)