How many cool things could you accomplish if you allowed yourself to suck?
In raising our first brood of chickens here at Three Dog Farm I’m making every mistake possible. I didn’t move them from house to barn soon enough and they pooped all over our workout room. And by everywhere I mean it necessitated the purchase of a shop vac and a gallon of bleach. I didn’t know that they’d sit on top of their food and water dishes and poop and poop and poop. I thought chain link fence and a bit of wire across the top of their run would keep the predators away, until The Man of the Place and I saw a fox kill a squirrel twenty yards from their open pen. I failed and only put one window in the hen house so the girls are spending days by the light of a sixty watt bulb until we can get some more ventilation holes cut.
I’ve wanted to raise chickens for years-it feels good to pull weeds and feed them to the girls knowing that they’ll reward us with eggs this fall. They gather at my feet and when I hold them I can feel their blend of fragility and resilience. When I told my dad he said, “Well, you weren’t raised on a farm, you really don’t know what you’re doing.” And he’s right. I am boldly daring to suck at raising chickens.
We adults forget to allow ourselves to be bad at stuff. But it is actually the necessary part of learning to bring our dreams to reality. For each mistake we should celebrate and know that we are doing the difficult work of walking through our vulnerabilities. Each step, each mistake, each blunder is an opportunity to make a distinction, learn something new, and advance towards our eventual success.
So get at those dreams, the funky thing you’ve aways wanted to try. Dare to suck.
If you need me I’ll be the one installing wire mesh over the top of the chicken coop.