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Friday, September 21, 2007


Mistakes, I've Made a Few

"To err is human, to forgive divine". Cliche maybe, but oh so true. I'd just like to know why when a mistake is made, so many of us are incredibly hard on ourselves?

I know I feel sick when I err.

This week I did two fairly large goofs. No excuses-I did wrong. No one cared that I was worried about my daughter and her complication-filled pregnancy. No one cared that the barometric pressure changed and I had to down a couple of mind-hazing painkillers.

Both mistakes, when discovered, made me cringe and formed knots in my stomach. I was able to safely and deftly correct one.

At the "day job", one of my things to do is make client specification books. I do not know how I did this, but I somehow put a totally different item in than what was supposed to be. Now you would think after checking it out 5 times before assembling this book, I would have noticed I put in a rectangular configuration where a round one should have been. I could have and should have changed it quite easily-problem was it was the client who caught the error. Oh dear. Except for sheepishly saying sorry and cringing, what else could I have done at that point?

The second snafu-a little number problem here-I switched out a number in a zip code. Thankfully it was caught, corrected and no harm or extra time was tagged on to the delivery.

If I hadn't been going over the purchase order for the umpteenth time and discovered it-a delay of 2 weeks would have been the outcome. EEK!

I think my stomach and the knots in it lasted the rest of the day.

This isn't a gender or age thing either. I've asked and witnessed this for myself. My son won't eat when he pulls a boner of any merit. My husband, Mr. no-room-for-a-margin-of-error, would probably not recover for weeks if he found out he had done some sort of major goof.

On the flip side-there are the people who either won't admit to imperfection or "clean up their own messes". They are much harder to live and/or work with. Those fun humans are always blaming and someone else. Forever insulting and alienating all in their personal path.

My own parents each had a parent that qualified for this category. Both wound up being totally estranged from the family years before their actual demise. Right now, we have a family member that, through the extent of their misdeeds,lack of humility and ability to own up to what they've done wrong have basically outworn their welcome. Period.

To err is definitely human. If there were nothing but perfect personalities, this world would be a very boring and priggish place to live in.

To admit, apologize and correct those mistakes and then be forgiven-that is truly what is divine.

Carine - nice post! I loved the point you made about not being an "age or gender" thing. Too often we put things in age or gender boxes. Just this week I heard a story of an older woman who went back to college with her daughter and how her daughter was twice as fast and twice as smart. Now it could have been an age thing or maybe her daughter inherited her brains from her father. :)

You're so right about people needing to take personal responsibility - without beating ourselves up. And it's up to us to expect others to take responsibility for their own issues and not take it on ourselves.
thank you Kathy. I hear way too often from people who make mistakes and refuse to just say "I goofed, let me fix it if possible"
I probably am too hard on myself, but better that then shoving the blame onto someone else!
You can't get through life without screwing up...accept it..fix it if you can and get on with life.
I've made many mistakes...some I could fix and some 'fuhgedaboudit'...and I'm sure I'll make more. You have to be big enough to apologize and laugh at yourself.
Have a great week.
believe me, I do laugh Matty, but I just hate doing the big booboos, even if I'm well aware it isn't the last one!
hi, I feel the exact same way. My husband and I may be literally splitting and I feel like it's my fault and am sooooo hard on myself for the mistakes I've made. If I can't forgive myself, how can he, right. So, I'm taking this time in my life to learn that we all make mistakes, and the only way we can do anything about it is try to fix it and hope that we are forgiven!
Marina, so sorry you are going through such a tough patch. My hope is that everything turns out the way you want it too. Welcome and I hope you've enjoyed my musings.

Great. You are so right about taking responsibility for our mistakes and lives. Why is that so hard for so many people to do?
dawn, I think it's b/c too many of us hate to admit we're not perfect.
Hi Carine,

don't dwell on your mistakes. Look at them as something you can learn from and try it again.

After all, you're human and without mistakes there is no learning.

how true Christina-
and w/o learning, life, I believe, stops
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