For 2017 I have joined a book reading group and am currently reading Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. So far this is my favorite quote from the book:
“I am a man because I err! You never reach any truth without making fourteen mistakes and very likely a hundred and fourteen.”
This is the ring I bought at a craft show toward the end of last year. The woman making the jewelry was crafting bracelets, necklaces and rings from old silverware or flatware. When I was looking at the rings she explained to me that this one was the first ring she had made. That was why it was not perfectly round like the rest. I bought the ring because I immediately wanted it as a reminder not to get frustrated with myself when I make mistakes.
Prior to that I had started making sleep masks and was frustrated because in effort to produce more at a time I miscalculated and ended up making slightly smaller masks. Not the end of the world, but I wanted them all to be the same. (Another previous mistake has taught me that too much choice in size and color sometimes paralyzes customers and they end up not making a purchase.)
Not only do I make mistakes when crafting, I also make mistakes at work. I make mistakes when I’m baking. I make mistakes when helping my kids with their homework. Most frustrating of all, sometimes I make mistakes when I hear someone’s idea and think it is true and believe it for a while letting it influence my actions.
For instance, I once believed the idea I heard or read when I was younger not to write about your own life because people don’t want to read about your boring life. Now I can see that obviously that is not true. We have reality shows all over the place and blogs of ordinary lives sometimes go viral. I can see some truth in the idea, but at the same time I can now allow myself to use ideas and scenes from my own life in my writing.
I purposely used a couple of harmless examples, but there are many more I could remember that had worse consequences. However, I have also learned not to dwell on mistakes.
The best thing I can do when I realize I’ve made a mistake is to own it, fix it if possible, and keep moving forward. Hopefully I won’t have to make a different version of the same mistake 114 times, but if I do I’ll have to accept that the cookie crumbles that way sometimes.
Sometimes mistakes aren’t even noticeable to others. People can’t tell my ring isn’t round when I wear it.