Archive for April, 2018

Today I want to talk about mistakes. I make a lot of mistakes. I make promises I can’t always keep. I talk without thinking things through. I forget things. I take on more than I know how to do. I don’t work hard enough aka I slack off. I make unrealistic deadlines and then can’t meet them.

We all make these types of mistakes and many, many more. It’s okay. When you make a mistake own up to it. Hiding from it or lying about it makes the mistake so much worse. It is very hard to admit when you have made a mistake. We are human after all.

Humans have this fundamental need to be right. That is why even in the face of evidence that they/we are wrong people will still hold to their argument. It is silly and is causing all sorts of strife in our country right now.

I think one of the reasons people make mistakes is they don’t listen all the way through. As soon as the other person starts describing what they want or need we think we have the answer so we quit listening. We start to solve the problem in our heads without having all of the facts. Even when we have all of the facts in front of us we don’t always pay attention.

We have built in biases that make us think we know what other people are thinking/wanting/needing. The bias is because we think they want the same thing we do. So instead of doing it the way the other person wants and needs we just do it our way. (Now if this were a movie the song “My way” sung by Frank Sinatra would play.) And that is how mistakes are made.

Another reason I make mistakes is because I get excited by the prospect of solving a problem and then go too fast and make my own mistakes. I don’t proofread my work closely enough, or I use the wrong picture or I just get the information wrong. I am lucky that what I do doesn’t cause anyone any bodily harm if I make a mistake. I need to slow down. Getting things done right is as important as getting them done fast.

Let’s say you do make the type of mistake that hurts someone. You are playing a game and throw the ball just as someone walks between you so you hit them, or you are swinging your arms around and you hit someone. These are simple mistakes where you can apologize, make sure they are ok, get help if they are not and genuinely say you are sorry.

One of the hardest mistakes you can make is to let emotions take over a conversation. When you feel passionate about a subject you can feel attacked when someone else doesn’t agree with you. Not everyone is going to like the things you like or the people you like. That is okay, everyone has an opinion and if they were all the same we would not be people.

There can be disagreements on perception. One person sees an event and says it was awesome, another person can see the same event and say it was terrible. You think how can they think this we were both there. Every person is shaped by their environment and by their personality. Two people from the same family living together can experience the same event and feel completely opposite about it.

The mistake comes when we get angry at the other person for not seeing it your way. If you only see terrible things, you would get angry with the person who thought it was great. They in turn can and probably will get angry in return. This is where personality comes in.

Some people are just negative; the mistake comes in from both sides when you don’t give the other the benefit of the doubt. We can’t understand the other person and so we get angry. We get angry and mean words are exchanged. That is the mistake. Instead of walking away and agreeing we each have our own perspective we insist we must be right. Hurt feelings are so hard to overcome.

I know it will be hard, but try to understand the other persons perspective. If you have deliberately hurts someones feelings . . . shame on you that isn’t nice. Please apologize, learn from your mistake and try not to do it again. If you have inadvertently hurt someone apologize for the mistake and hopefully your acquaintance/friendship can continue.

What do you do if they won’t accept your apology? They say time heals all wounds. I hope that is the case. I have some mistakes that I am hoping time will take care of. Otherwise, apologize, try not to do it again and move on. Time will tell.


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There is no one way to grieve the loss of a loved one. If you Google “stages of grief” there are 30+ million sites and of course none of them agree. Are there 5 stages of grief? or seven? or none? I don’t know. I just know that the way I feel it is different than the way my siblings feel it and is different than the way my kids feel it.

One thing we all feel is a hole. We can’t pick up the phone on Sunday or when we are driving or because we have news.  We can’t go visit for the weekend, we can’t, we can’t, we can’t. This isn’t the first time we have had a loss but this one . . .

We are now each the head of our families. Before we had Mom and Dad, then we had Dad. Someone we could look to for advice or just to point to as the center. Now each of our branches have a new trunk, five separate trunks. We are still entwined because we are family but each of us have to turn our focus towards our children and grandchildren because now we are each the center of our families.

In some ways it has fractured our bonds. We are all struggling to come to terms with our new reality. Some of us are doing better than others. As I said at the beginning we all grieve in our own way. I can’t feel what the others are feeling and they can’t feel what I feel. All we can do is have empathy for each other. And some days that is so much harder than you would think it should be!

My grief manifests in a mild depression, a funk especially around days like birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. There are days where I will cry and I find it very unsettling still that I can’t pick up the phone and call them. My Mom and Dad and then my Dad had the same phone number for 30 years. I have a couple voicemails on my phone from my Dad. I don’t listen to them very often. They make me sad. But I am glad they are there.

The five stages of grief are listed as: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance

The seven stages of grief are listed as: Shock & Denial, Pain & Guilt, Anger & Bargaining, Depression & Reflection & Loneliness, Upward Turn, Reconstruction & Working Through, Acceptance & Hope

Looking at the two I think the seven stages are closer to how I would put it. I have definitely felt shock, pain, anger, and depression so far. I may even be slightly into the upward turn, somedays anyway, maybe not all of them, but more so than not. Not all of us are that far, and some of us have moved on to hope.

Eventually we will all get used to this new normal. We will remember the good times, laugh and cry at the bad and find the silver linings like our Dad did. I hope that we will anyway.


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