Real Simple is a magazine I get from time to time. Last month it included an collection of stories by notables about mistakes they'd made that they would recommend as a learning experience. Go here to read the on-line version Real Simple: 5 Mistakes Everyone Should Make
It got me thinking about the mistakes I've made in my life. There have been a couple (shut it). Of all the mistakes I've made, there are very few that I would recommend. Sure, I've tried to learn from all of them. And the ones I did not learn from I was doomed to repeat (some of them over and over again). Here are my favorite mistakes:
1. Gluttony. Please don't argue with my semantics. It may be a sin (and one of the seven deadly, at that) but at it's heart it's a mistake. It's probably the mistake I've made most often in my life. I'm not proud of that fact. However, the over-eating, over-drinking, over-spending and over- anything has given me a depth of perspective. I know things now that I could only have learned through these mistakes. Wasn't it Aristotle who said the path to enlightenment is through debauchery? Maybe not.
2. Foot-In-Mouth. Any person who is enthusiastic about communicating with other people will occassionally do this. I am no exception (wow, am I not an exception). However, if you don't break a few eggs you'll never make an omelet (with tomatoes, onions and green peppers). If you are willing to put yourself out there, you risk that you will say something wrong sometimes. The pay off is that you get to interact with people in an unguarded and often humorous way. This opens you up to some criticism. This also means you will sometimes accident ly say something wrong. So what. Ask for forgiveness and move on to the next person who will be charmed and delighted by you.
3. Naivete. One of the down sides of being raised in a bubble is that you assume a few things about people. They don't lie. They don't cheat. They don't want to hurt you, at least not intentionally. Unfortunately, once you have contact with the real world you start to realize that other people seem to be playing by different rules. People will try to take advantage of you. People will hurt you intentionally. People will look out for themselves above all else. However, it really makes you appreciate the people who give you a fair shake....and the people from your bubble.
4. Laughing the Loudest at My Own Jokes. I think I'm funny. I think my mother is funny. My mother thinks I am funny. I am raising three girls who also think my mother and I are funny. They are also funny. I'm digressing..... The point here is that I say things for my own enjoyment (and the enjoyment of my mother and daughters). I love to laugh at what other people say, but when I say things it's usually because if I didn't say it out loud people would wonder why I was snickering to myself. It could be creepy.
5. Sloth. I was once told that you are either a rabbit or a cat in the way you use your "down" time. I am a sloth. I like to lay in bed with my computer on my lap and the television on.....all day. I like to nap. I like to luxuriate in the fabulousness of a comfortable pair of pajamas and my jersey sheets. I like to rest. Sue me.
These are the favorite of all my many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many mistakes. Don't try these at home.