This is a tough one :p
This will be a short blog. Not because I haven’t made mistakes, in fact, I’ve made many mistakes. The reason this blog will be brief, is that I am working on being more positive. Weeks and weeks of lockdown can send you down a dark rabbit hole and I’m choosing an upward path.
Objectivity is way more challenging than most of us care to admit. For me, everything is always personal. The former president signs an executive order to ban immigrants from several Middle East countries and I take it personally. It’s not terribly healthy, but I recognize the mantra, “It’s not about me,” is worth repeating often . . . very often.
Big Mistakes Versus Tiny Ones
I often say regrets are a waste of time; therefore, rehashing bad decisions would be futile; except in at least one circumstance: if you can learn from your mistake.
For example, and I’ll avoid a personal recounting for a change, you purchase oysters and put them in the refrigerator. You plan on opening the oysters that evening, but something comes up and you tell yourself you’ll shuck them the next day. Life happens and the next day comes and goes. On the third day you remember the oysters sitting in the refrigerator. You think about the $26 you spent on them and you wonder how long they sat in the fish market stall before you bought them. You ponder their freshness for another 30 seconds and then you say, “Oh, heck, I’m sure they’re fine, I’m going to have Harry shuck them.” That night you and Harry end up with food poisoning that almost sends you to hospital. I think it’s safe to say that you will never make that mistake again. And who the hell is Harry?
For me, the biggest mistake one could make would involve badly hurting another person. There are so many examples of this: having an affair, killing someone (accidentally or on purpose), pinning a crime on an innocent person, driving drunk and paralyzing someone for life, and more.
Hard to fix a big mistake, in fact, in many cases impossible. You end up having to live with the mistake and live with yourself. So why do we make big mistakes? No easy answer here; however, there is something we can do to preempt big mistakes:
- NEVER drink and drive
- When you get so angry you want to use your physical power against someone, walk away
- Play the worst case scenario game and if the outcome is dire, don’t go with that plan, choose another
- Ask friends for their advice
- Write a pros and cons list (my favorite past time)
- Use protection prior to sex with someone you don’t know very well
Small mistakes are quite different. We make small mistakes nearly everyday. Beating yourself or someone else up over a small mistake, is a waste of good energy (as are regrets). Instead, why not apologize to someone or use it as a teachable moment. No major damage was done and a lesson might be learned. Repeating bad behavior is inexcusable.
A mistake I made this week: I walked into the dog park in my neighborhood with Paco. Please keep in mind that I have been going there with him for seven months and there has never been an issue. I asked the two people in the park if it’s okay to take Paco off-leash. We were all three wearing a mask and the two individuals were fairly far away from the entrance. I believed I had been given the go ahead. Unbeknown to me, one of the two women, is tried to tell me that she didn’t believe our dogs would get along. I didn’t comprehend this until Paco charged her dog and attacked him. The owner screamed and lifted her dog off the ground with his leash. Paco grabbed his tail and he was literally swinging off the dog’s tail. I pried Paco off and tried to grab him, but he was angry and rabid. I held the woman’s dog high in the air so that Paco could not harm him and she managed to put Paco on his leash. I learned that this poor woman has heart problems.
I anguished over this mishap for several days. I have since learned that you cannot not expect a neutered male (Paco) to play with or interact with a non-neutered male (her dog). Lesson learned and I hope it never happens again; it was extremely scary and could have ended in the spilling of blood or even the death of her beloved pet.
Side note: There was an unneutered male dog at the park yesterday and his owner assured me that there would not be a problem. She was right, Paco played beautifully and happily with this dog. She told me that it is not the neuter factor, but a scent that dogs give off. It is this uncertainty that concerns me. Is there a clear cause and effect answer?
Recommend an excellent podcast, Obama and The Boss
Question of the Week:
I’m getting some great feedback on and off-line and I want to let you know how much I appreciate it.
Have you done something in the past that haunts you? Is it time to let it go?
6 thoughts on “Admitting Your Own Mistakes”
Thanks for another great blog!! I have been too curious in my life so far. Curiosity kills the cat, as they say. So I make A LOT of mistakes, but I have now learned to stop & think about what could go wrong before I act. Living alone has also taught me to think about the other person before I say or do something (that I think is perfectly OK). 🙂
It’s great to think about the other person first; I don’t know many people who do that Cheryl. Don’t stop being curious; cats have nine lives 🙂
Am I going to see you and Paco on Judge Judy one day??
Yes, I have something in my past that haunts me, even 40 yrs later. It’s something I have to live with and much too personal to share with strangers here. I just pray that God will forgive me when I am on my death bed.
Well . . . He is supposedly a forgiving God. Forgive yourself and the rest will follow. You’re a good person Linda.
I have always tried to be “a good girl”, follow all the rules, etc. However, some things are bigger than we are. As I get older and not sure of how much time I have left, I am getting nervous about being forgiven. I can’t even bring myself to go to confession which I know will make me feel better, but I don’t have the nerve.
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I”ve know you for a long time and I know that I cannot tell you what to do. But. . . . you know what I would tell you.