The kids and I talk about the importance of learning from our mistakes and how they can be growth opportunities.
I tell them there will never be a time in our lives when we don’t make them and say there are very few life-altering screw ups.
When they ask me to share some of mine I name a few but intentionally don’t mention some of the ones that jump out at me.
Some of it is because there are boundaries between parents and children and they don’t want to or need to know about certain things.
After I graduated from college I was hired to work as a writer and salesman for a publishing house.
It didn’t pay much but it was enough for me to have my own apartment and to cover all of my bills.
I have very fond memories of this time but there is one moment that sticks out as the sort of mistake you never want to repeat.
Her name wasn’t Kathy but that is what I called her and it happened after midnight during a moment when she had my full attention.
Don’t ask me why it happened because I can’t tell you. It just slipped out of my mouth and it didn’t take more than a moment for her to let me know how unhappy she was with me.
I didn’t try to cover or pretend I had called her Kathy because her name wasn’t close to it. Didn’t use the same first letter or rhyme, it was different.
She blasted me and I apologized…more than once…with sincerity.
Eventually she forgave me and the night continued but two or three days later our dating life came to a swift conclusion.
“I can’t forget what you did and flowers won’t fix it. It is time to move on.”
The Agony Of Stupid Mistakes
I wasn’t happy when she ended things but I got it. Besides it didn’t take long for me to realize that I didn’t really miss her which made it clear to me that we probably weren’t meant for the long haul.
But today what I am really focused upon is a mistake I made in a professional email.
It is not something that will kill my career or create huge issues and it might not even be noticed by most people.
Still it bothers me because it is such a dumb error on my part and the little niggling mistakes tend to irk me more than big ones.
That is because I see them as being so obvious and so avoidable I want to kick myself in the butt for being so foolish.
Since that is not possible nor useful it won’t happen. I’ll make a mental note to remember not to repeat this one and move on.
I stumbled across a couple of parent blogs who were running sponsored posts and wondered again how they got this business.
Their writing is poor and in desperate need of editing.
If that was me I would never hit publish because I would be embarrassed to have my name attached to that crap.
I know that is not nice and people can find errors in my work too, but the number of mistakes relative to the amount of content I put out is pretty low.
I suppose it bothers me to see that junk out there because we occupy the same space and their work reflects poorly on the rest of us.
That is a good segue into saying how disappointing it is to see writers devalue the work of other writers by giving content away for free or for almost nothing.
Exposure doesn’t pay the bills and in many cases it does nothing to advance your career other than to convince others that they can hire free labor.