Making the Most of “Mistakes”
It\’s so easy to feel embarrassed and humiliated by the dumb stuff we
all do. You\’ve no doubt tried to hide the evidence that would expose
you. And every one of us has lied to cover up our mishaps. But what
about turning moments that might be thought of as mistakes into part of
your intimate family history?
The other day Judith decided she would make lamb stew. But she didn\’t have any flour to thicken her
concoction. So she thought by mashing up some of the cooked potatoes
and putting that into the mix it would do the job. Well, it didn\’t. So
what she ended up with was a pretty runny mix.
She told Jim about her experiment and then served him what was a kind of stew and sort of like soup.
So Jim started calling it “stoup.” Lamb stoup.
Now “stoup” is part of our intimate history and an endearment that will be with us for a long time.
And then another time Jim used an antique piano stool he\’d bought for
Judith as a step stool to fix a window blind. Oops! The mahogany seat
cracked and it now wobbled when Judith sat on it to do her make-up.
At first she couldn\’t understand what had caused the damage, but then
she put two and two together — and voila! — she\’d solved the puzzle.
Now, she had to reconcile her anger at the broken piano stool with her
compassion for Jim‘s naivete about how delicate some things can be.
The answer — to remember that it all came from love — both the gift
of the stool and the crack that happened while Jim was lovingly fixing
the blind. So she decided to get it fixed so it won\’t wobble anymore
but keep the crack — because every time she sees the crack she sees
how much Jim\’s behavior is motivated by love. And so the cracked piano
stool is also part of our family\’s romantic lore.
How can you see your foibles as simply human, sometimes pretty funny,
sometimes a lot of aggravation, but just human–and love your humanity
while you fix the problem as well as you can? And how can you get
creative and make the most loving tribute out of your sweetheart\’s
mistakes? After all, they\’re just “mistakes.”