DEALING WITH FEAR OF FAILURE

Violence is never the way but sometimes I want to throttle my husband for his unwavering ‘look on the bright side’ attitude at life’s setbacks and disappointments. Sometimes I just wanna wallow in self-pity, you know? Like throw myself one big pity party where I can mooch around in my comfy pyjamas and eat a ton of salted caramel ice-cream. Maybe while watching trashy reality TV so I can laugh at those poor suckers and their life choices. You know, the usual way people deal with these things. But my husband’s eternal optimism and blunt honesty has a way of making me feel guilty for wasting energy on emotional angst and despondency.

“Go for a walk for school pickup. You’ll feel better with fresh air and exercise.”

I would but you know, I have that thing, with my shoulders and my ankle. Also my hip. Most importantly, I have an allergic reaction thing to sweating. It’s just out of my control. Exercise is not meant for me.

“Drink more water. You shouldn’t be drinking alcohol.”

This statement certainly has merit. I don’t drink enough water. Last time I drank a glass of wine, my daughter made an observation. Pointing to the wine label, she exclaimed “Mummy, it says here that women with big tummies should NOT drink this!”

“I don’t think you need to eat that bag of chips.”

I feel it should be a major faux pas for partners to comment on snack habits. I’ve heard the late-night pantry door opening and the sound of bag crinkling. Pot calling the kettle black much?

Recently, an editor from an overseas online literary magazine commented on one of my blog posts and suggested I consider submitting my work for publication. At the time, I was hesitant to send anything. My last attempt at literary publication saw the obliteration of my confidence in writing due to the callous way in which one of the editors ripped my work to shreds. But my husband encouraged me to follow through with this submission.

“What have you got to lose?”

When the blog post was accepted for publication, I was ecstatic. I couldn’t believe that someone from around the world would come across my work and actually seek me out for publication. I didn’t think my writing was good enough. Instantly, I commented that perhaps they were short on submissions and I only got in to make up the numbers. My husband reprimanded me for such negativity.

“What does it matter how you got accepted? It’s pointless to ponder. You know you have gotten better each time you write.”

I let myself feel a little proud of the achievement. Unfortunately, there was a misunderstanding with requirements on work previously published on blogs and so the accepted blog post I submitted was withdrawn. To say I was disappointed is an understatement.

“What are you going to do about it?”

What can I do? It is what it is, right? Surely, now is the time I reach for the ice-cream tub and tuck in.

“Write another piece. Don’t sabotage yourself because you are afraid of failure and rejection.”

For someone who grew up feeling deep shame when I failed at something, it’s a difficult task to realign my thinking. The intensity of negative feelings like frustration, insecurities, defeat, anger, remorse and disappointment are unappealing to cope with, let alone shame thrown into the mix. But at some point in life, you have to make changes if you want to improve your quality of life and grow as a person.

So what can I do? Own my fear. Be conscious of my actions and efforts so not to sabotage myself. Believe in my self-worth and build a resilient me. Put my best foot foward and write a piece for submission! What have I got to lose?

Copyright © 2020, KN J Tales and Snippets. All rights reserved.

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WELCOME TO MY BLOG!

Thanks for stopping by to KN J Tales and Snippets! Let me tell you a bit about myself and how this blog came to be.

I started journal writing as a form of cathartic release from all of the stresses of being a mother of two young children, working, and day-to-day living.

I found that many of my journal entries were funny snippets of my day spent with my two adventurous and cheeky cherubs. Oftentimes, I’ve found myself in rather amusing and outright unbelievable situations. Of course, there have been times upon self-reflection where the entries speak of the darker moments in my life, like my struggles with mental health issues and parenting.

Journal writing re-awakened my love for creative writing and storytelling. I found a desire to share my words with others. And so after much deliberation, this blog was born. My very own blog journal!

If you choose to join me on my journey, you’ll probably read short stories based on my personal experiences in life and as a parent. Most of the time, they’ll be funny and relatable, maybe even inspiring! Other times, you might read some words that are hard for me to write but find the courage to share.

I’ll aim for a weekly post. Maybe even two! (very unlikely at this stage in life)

Subscribe to my email list if you want to be informed of new content as my posting regime is best described as erratic.

I hope you enjoy reading my words as much as I love writing them.

x Kathy

KN J Tales and Snippet

MY BAKING JOURNEY

Every year I give my children the option of getting a store-bought birthday cake made by a professional or having me attempt to bake and decorate a cake based on a Google image of their choosing. So far, both have wanted me to bake their birthday cakes more times than not. Now, I’m no Nigella Lawson. It’s taken years of practice and many cake fails to get to a point where I don’t cringe doing the big cake reveal.

To give you an idea of my baking journey, here is my first attempt at creating a birthday cake:

It was supposed to be a baby dragon laying on green grass. As I lacked the tools to make perfect circles, I decided to roll the fondant into balls to hide the appalling gaps at the bottom of the cake. In doing so, I ran out of green fondant for the green grass and had to improvise. It became a blanket. And yes, it had zombie eyes. Obviously, eye anatomy was not my forte.

I’ve had many cakes, and cupcakes fail. Some rather epic. Oreo two-layered cake, anniversary mud cake…

and unicorn cupcakes…

Buttercream consistency has been my biggest issue to date. It tends to lean towards runny. I’ll admit that sometimes I cheat and get Betty Crocker’s help. Whipping store-bought frosting that’s been pimped with vanilla essence and cocoa powder makes a great alternative for frosting between cake layers.

Sometimes I feel like these picture perfect Instagram and Pinterest cakes are there to make us mere mortals feel bad when reality doesn’t match expectations. At least my attempt at a mango cream pudding ended up tasting better than it looked.

The cakes have gotten better over time. Probably because I realised the importance of exact measurements, sticking to a recipe and watched many YouTube videos. I learnt how to crumb coat, which is adding a thin layer of frosting to seal stray crumbs before a second layer of something else. I bought a cake leveller so my cakes no longer looked unbalanced.

I became more confident in working with fondant.

Fondant is magic! It covers unsightly bits, seals the cake and protects it from drying out. This means you can make the cake in advance and not fret the day of or before the party.

For an amateur baker, the last few birthday cakes have turned out alright! Frozen was a popular theme in our house.

Last week, I veered from my usual fondant covered three-layered buttercream cake to a four-layered chocolate mousse cake. I am a glutton for punishment.

I hadn’t quite allowed the mousse to chill enough before spooning it between the cake layers. Luckily, I had caught the cake before it toppled over and hit the floor. I doubt I could have applied the five second rule!

So there you have it folks! My baking journey for the last eight years since becoming a parent. Some of my best and worst creations!

Isn’t it better to have tried and failed than not have tried at all?

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