Sure, there might still be 4 days left of the Top 30 Countdown challenge, but I’m calling this one early.
I will NOT be completing challenge number 16, ‘Court-side tickets at Madison Square Garden‘.
This isn’t due to a lack of desire to complete the challenge, nor is it due to a lack of trying on my part. It is just down to a basic lack of fundages.
I actually won the lottery twice in my attempt to secure the funds to get me to New York. On 24 March I won $11.70 and on 14 April I won $31.35. A whopping total of $43.05 (which I later spent buying more lottery tickets!)
That’s the cool thing about putting yourself out there I guess. “Reach for the moon and, if you miss, you’ll land among the stars” as they say. (Although the opposite would make more sense, if we’re being pedantic, since the stars are MUCH further away). I didn’t “land among the stars” who frequent New York Knicks games this time around… but in the process of attempting to, I had my first ever (and second) lotto win! I’ve always wanted to win the lotto! That’s a life achievement I’m very excited to have ticked off… even if the total earnings were less than the expenditure.
My rather happy-go-lucky challenger might admonish me for giving up on this challenge before my time is even up, but the truth is, the American basketball season finished way back in April. The orange, dimpled ship sailed months ago and I wasn’t there to catch it.
A lot of people have asked me if I’m disappointed that I’m not going to finish all 30 challenges… The answer is, “Yes, a bit”. I’ve come so agonisingly close that it’s hard to let this one go. But, you know what, at the start of the challenge I thought travelling to India and Nepal and living and working overseas were going to be impossible too. I actually became physically ill in the face of the half marathon challenge! But I did those things and many more besides! Falling short by one is okay with me.
Plus, there is this very small part of my brain that is blinking like a little red navigation light and telling me that there’s a lesson in this for me. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve always been a bit of an “achiever”. Maybe it’s time I learned how to fail gracefully. It is, after all, just meant to be a bit of fun. Better to have challenged and lost than never to have challenged at all! It’s been an epic year. The List has put far more “ups” on my life roller-coaster than “downs”. It’s given me more to think about than my upcoming wedding (which means I’ve successfully avoided becoming a bridezilla) and it’s certainly taken my mind off the looming three-oh.
“Failure is not an option”. It’s a quote from the Movie Apollo 13, which was based on the true story of the US spacecraft that was meant to make it to the moon, exploded on the way, but managed to safely return to Earth, against all odds. At the end of the film, Tom Hanks provides the following voiceover: “Our mission was called a successful failure, in that we returned safely but never made it to the Moon”.
So, yes, with 3 challenges still to go and 1 in the “no go” basket, I have failed.
But, moon, stars, wherever it is I end up landing… it’s a “successful failure” to me.