Midlife Monday: Dusting Off After Failure

This morning I got a big NO to a major question in my life.

It took me aback. It launched a momentary pity party.

I got quiet, I felt small and I felt like my dreams were dashed.

It’s not the first time I’ve heard NO. I didn’t get into my first choice for undergrad, Syracuse University, yet I went on to have a successful Emmy award-winning career in TV.

I’ve applied for jobs that I thought were the perfect fit because I’d be living and working in a cool city. But I heard NO.

Feelings of FAILURE overwhelmed me.

What could I have done differently?

Did that decision a few years ago screw up this opportunity?



If I could just get a do-over, could I fix this?

In midlife, major questions like where you’ll live and where your children will attend school can rock your world (or at least really feel like it).

It’s what I’ve heard in countless mommy groups:

“Someone outbid us on our dream house.”

“We didn’t get into the pre-k lottery.”

“Our contractor says it’ll be two more months before they finish the project.”

As a mom who faces depression, I knew I had to dust off this funk or it would overcome me. It would become a big, comfortable quilt I’d wrap myself into for a day or a week.
The big, comfortable quilt would also become heavier and heavier.

Because I knew only God could help me see the light in this darkness, I turned to these Seven Confidence Building Scriptures for Moms.

[Tweet “7 Confidence Building Scriptures for Moms”]

Self Confidence Scriptures


And I reminded myself to be gentle and forgiving TO MYSELF. In case you need it, here’s a printable letter of forgiveness to yourself.

Letter of Forgiveness


I wish I could say I immediately felt better after reading my own encouragement. It took a moment. But I feel like I won’t start down the slippery slope of depression.

Talk back to me in the comments: How have you bounced back after failure? How do you encourage yourself?

I hope you join me each week for a Midlife Monday topic. You can catch up on the rest of my Figuring Out 40 journey here.

About Joyce Brewer

Creator & Host of Mommy Talk Show. Emmy award-winning TV journalist.Wife & Mommy; Mom Blogger; Social Media Coach; Long Island, New York transplant living in Atlanta, GA. Follow Joyce on Twitter @MommyTalkShow Author of Use What You Know: A Business Idea Guide for Moms featuring interviews with mompreneurs who created businesses using their skills & backgrounds.

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  1. Joyce. I swear you just wrote my life in this post. The series of “No!”s that I’ve received lately have been so had but you know what’s helped me? Seeing mini’s attitude as she deals with hand foot mouth disease. She’s so positive and singing and really actively trying to make a better situation out of what she has.

    As adults it’s so hard to forgive ourselves for things so this letter is spot on.

  2. I needed those verses today, especially #7, as my 18-y.o. son is showing me that I have, indeed, raised a prodigal son. Nobody plans to do that, do they? And yet, here we are. Lots of questions, wondering “what ifs” and feeling completely exhausted from battling him for years. I’ll never give up hope for him, because I know God can do anything. It just sure would be a lot easier on me if he didn’t insist on learning every life lesson in the most excruciating way possible. Anyway, thanks for sharing. This life after 40 ain’t no joke! 😉

  3. The older I get, the more I realize sometimes a NO is really “not yet”…or in hindsight, not what I needed, thought it would be or the path that would eventually make me happy. That being said, I tend to be my own worst critic and NOs have made me doubt myself and feel like a failure….but with age, comes wisdom. People laugh when I use the term grieve, but grieve that no and move on…something bigger better and more fulfilling most likely awaits you..that the NO thing would have gotten in the way of. 🙂

    • Yes, I am grieving a bit. I allowed myself to put one foot in the pity pool, then move on.

  4. You’re welcome. Here’s a hug until I see you at LTYM rehearsal.
    Also A.J. got HFM disease 2x so don’t be surprised if she gets it again.

  5. This was an insightful read. It’s nice to know that I am not alone.