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Slice of Life March Challenge. No. 14.

I failed
I didn’t reach my goal
Failure is okay
It means I tried
Trying is what
Really counts

I was in Miami –en route home after two weeks in Ecuador, waiting to board a flight– when I saw the link on TWT. The picture of a gift-wrapped box and the word “Giveaways” hooked me. I read the challenge rules, and thought, No problem; I can do this!

So, while I relaxed in the American Airline Admirals Club, I clicked links, read slices, and made comments, keeping count with tally marks. By the time I had to head to Gate D23 to board my connecting flight, I had nine tally marks. I knew I wouldn’t be able to read and comment on any more slices that day, but I wasn’t concerned. I would have enough time after I got home for the remaining 51. That was before our travel plans were turned upside down and inside out. (You can read about that in my Sunday slice, Gained Three, Lost One.)

Late Sunday afternoon, after I’d finished my slice for the day on my blog, I settled in to read and comment on other slices. I clicked a link open, read and commented, made a tally mark. Then I clicked another link open, read and commented, and made another tally mark. And so it went as my old kitchen clock noisily ticked off the seconds and its minute hand traced the circle of its face.

Our kids dropped by for some welcome home hugs.

Then I moved from the kitchen table to a recliner. In retrospect, perhaps that was a mistake. Anyway, I was on slice #41 at 7:30 –an hour and half to go before the deadline which was 9 pm on the Pacific coast.  It would be close, but I was sure I could do it.

I opened Slice #42. My eyes closed. Then my head jerked, and my eyes opened. Twenty minutes had passed, and strings of letters had appeared in the comments box. I willed myself to continue, but I couldn’t. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t. Not one more slice. Not one more comment. The full force of jet lag combined with sleep deprivation and general travel exhaustion had hit me. I closed my laptop, 18 short of 60, climbed the stairs, and tumbled into bed.

When the challenge closed a half hour later, I was fast asleep. And when I awoke, I felt like a winner.

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for hosting
2017 Slice of Life Story Challenge