Day 489: Mistakes and Consequences

Wow!  That’s quite a title: “Mistakes and Consequences.” I wonder if that sounds too grim or lecture-y … and might scare some readers away.

Since I don’t know (1) what I’m going to write here or (2) how other people are going to react, why should I wonder (or worry)?

Okay, I won’t!

So, where did that title come from?

This morning,  before I began writing this, I made a mistake on this blogging site. It’s a mistake I commit quite regularly, in This World of Living Non-Judgmentally.

Here’s the mistake: When I am trying to respond to the latest comment on a post here, I often erroneously create a new comment, instead of creating a response.

Here’s my theory about why I repeat this error so often: The layout of my blog page invites me to make this error.

I am actually a bit embarrassed to confess these multiple mistakes, today.  Why?  Because I believe I’m capable of learning from my mistakes, and this kind of on-going erring might seem to contradict that.

And based on past evidence, I can learn from mistakes. However, for whatever reasons, there are certain errors I make over and over again.  And this Response-Misplacement Mistake is one I’ve been making since I started this blog, and it’s one I just …can’t …. seem …. to shake.

I continue making this mistake even though I am aware of it — that is, I’m vigilant about my tendency to make it.

I continue to make this mistake even though I am aware of the consequences and consider them important.

Ah, the consequences.  And what ARE the consequences?

Well, if I create a new comment — instead of replying to a reader’s comment as I intend —  then, the commenter will not get a notification about my reply. To the reader who made the comment, it may seem like I have NOT noticed nor responded, even though I really have.

So what?

Well, this is one of my major concerns — here and elsewhere — which is related to communication and connection. I dread a disconnection. I worry about responses that go unheard or received.

Why?

Because, based on personal experience (and clinical research1), I know this:  When somebody communicates something and there is no response…. that can cause the reaction of shame.2

I’m not saying that my (1) responding (2) not responding, or (3) not seeming to respond to a comment is necessarily that important to anybody else. Also, regular readers of my blog probably know that I avoid shaming anybody else, if possible.  So chances are that people would understand and forgive this mistake of mine.

Nevertheless, I spend a lot of time and energy — here and elsewhere — trying to NOT shame people.

Why?

Because I know how much shame can hurt.

So, where do I go from here, with this post?

I will declare these things, to be evident:

  1. I do my best to respond back to comments.
  2. I am prone to making a particular mistake3 here, that might create an appearance or impression that I have NOT responded (even when I think I have).
  3. When I discover this mistake, I fix4 it, which means readers might get a notification about a very old comment.
  4. When I make that kind of fix, I wonder how that appears to people, too.
  5. I am working on letting go of concern about what other people think, in general.

Well, as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I don’t know what reactions this blog post might evoke in others, but … it sure has helped me, to write it.

What now?

Well, I may have made another mistake here, today. That is, I wanted to show you some pictures I took yesterday, and I’m not sure whether I’ve created a framework where those photos will fit in.

But looking at declaration #5, above …. who cares?

Let the photo sharing begin!

IMG_3880

I took that photo, yesterday. Possible mistake? Going outside. Possible consequences? Slower recovery from my pneumonia.

I’m going to pause the photo sharing, for one moment, to declare these things, which may (or may not) be evident:

  1. Subsequent photos may share the same mistake and consequences.
  2. I believe I am okay.

Where was I?  Oh, yes … photos from yesterday.

IMG_3881

That’s the same location shown above, with a different perspective.

.

IMG_3886

This is the refrigerator door belonging to my son’s piano teacher.  As I was taking this shot yesterday, my son asked, “What’s Whirlpool?”  I realized, at that moment, that my son has yet to descend into the World of Major Appliances (unlike his mother, who is still dealing with an Evil Stove-Top).

.

IMG_3890

I had to return to the dentist yesterday.  I saw the above doorway, nearby. I am not making this up.

.

IMG_3892

Something else I noticed, near my dentist‘s office.

.

photorania

Now, isn’t that the perfect concluding photo for this piece, about mistakes and consequences?  I mean, it shows me getting ice cream on the same day I had to go to the dentist, people!

That’s not why I took the picture, though.  Rania (pictured above, with cone) complimented me on my t-shirt, which was this one:

IMG_2339

That t-shirt is a direct outgrowth of my blogging.  So, I told Rania about this blog and she kindly agreed to appear in a  post. Thank you, Rania!

Hmmmm.  Maybe that’s NOT the perfect photo to end this piece about Mistakes and Consequences.

What about this one?

IMG_3887

Why is THAT photo a good ending for this post? Because when we introduced our second cat, Harley (left), to Oscar (accustomed to ruling the roost for many years) last October, we thought it might be a mistake. The possible consequences? Two unhappy cats.

Equally possible, as I realized back then: No mistake and no consequences.

What do you think, dear readers?

Thanks to people who make mistakes, to all those brave enough to take action (despite fear, shame, concerns about what other people will think, and other obstacles), to those who comment (here or elsewhere), to anybody who has experienced a blogging mistake of mine, and to you — of course! — for reading today.


1 As usual, I am not citing any formal articles or research.  This is MY blog, people, and I’m not in school anymore, so I don’t NEED to back things up with other people’s writings. Yippee!

2 Other posts I’ve written about shame include here, here, here, and here. Yes, I have no shame about linking to my own writings.

3 If you don’t know what that mistake is, you might need to start reading this post over again, from the beginning.

4 Here’s how I fix that mistake: (1) I copy what I originally wrote (sometimes many months ago) into the correct “response box” and (2) I trash the original comment. Hey!  I never promised that my footnotes would be particular (1) illuminating or (2) interesting.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 59 Comments

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59 thoughts on “Day 489: Mistakes and Consequences

  1. We all make mistakes! It is cool!

    • I agree, Rajiv! Thank you for this unmistakably cool comment.

      • Yeah.. I made many, many mistakes in my life, and have done many, many stupid things. At the least, they caused me shame. In one case, almost depression, and in another, caused instability. As my hair greyed, I learned -am learning – to forgive myself

      • That’s one of the advantages of grey hair, Rajiv! Thanks for your wise (and much appreciated) comments.

  2. You make me smile from the inside out — we have snow. Lots of it. Amazingly neough — I think it’s pretty even if it is May!!!! 🙂

    Love that doorway! I have never had that problem at 5’3″ 🙂

    • Hey, Louise! That’s something else we have in common (our height, not your response to the snow).

  3. Reblogged this on rebloggobbler.

  4. That is an ominous sounding title for sure haha.

  5. Another great post ! No, the title did not scare me away 😀 .It is nice that you care ,your replies are always awesome :).

    Let me confess one of my mistakes . I got a comment on one of my blog post , I was so excited to receive a comment I wanted to respond with the perfect and grateful comment ( well if there is any such thing ) so I didn’t respond immediately and later on I forgot about the comment . I am embaressed to admit this . After around 6 months I was reading my old post at that time I saw that comment again and replied . 😦 I still feel sorry for not responding immediately .

    I am feeling very excited today and don’t want to end my comment on a sad note . Yesterday , I have drafted an email in which I have suggested one of the leadership course instructor of my university to include the topic of “Quiet Leadership ” in the course . I hope it is not a mistake and will have positive results . 🙂

    Wish you a good day :). Sorry I am feeling very chatty today and have written such a long comment .

    • First of all, mk, your comments are always appreciated. I never see them as “too” anything — too long, too chatty, etc. They are always just right.

      I think we all do the best we can, here, in posting and commenting. It helps me to read about your embarrassment about your commenting imperfections because — as sad as I am that you feel that — I then realize I am not alone with that, and can more easily let the concerns go.

      And congratulations on your bravery in writing that email. No matter what happens, that is a good thing, I believe.

      Thank you for making my day better, mk.

  6. This post made me smile! I’m glad it wasn’t’ as serious as it sounded! I make blogging mistakes, too. My most frequent is forgetting to “like” a post. I usually always leave a nice comment, but pushing that “like” button escapes me. Then there are those times that a post has a horrible theme, like rape or infidelity. If you click “like” will the reader think you are a fan of rape or that you agree with their husband’s cheating, or will they recognize that you’re “liking” the post in support of them? I just wish “like” buttons didn’t exist!
    I truly like your pictures and post and will click the little button to prove it! 🙂

    • Thank you, very much, for the “like.” If I could “like” your comment, I definitely would. I think we’re all doing the best we can with those dang-blame “like” buttons (as well as with all the other communication technology, here and elsewhere, we deal with).

  7. The mistake I keep making is to lose my temper with inanimate objects. The consequences are that sometimes those objects end up getting broken. I know it’s stupid, I know it never helps, and I know I’m going to end up feeling bad from all those toxic temper chemicals racing around my bloodstream (not to mention the expense of replacing a broken object) but I still keep doing it.
    I also keep resolving not to do it again.

    • One way to look at this, Annabelle: better with inanimate objects than with animate objects. I don’t know if calling your reactions “stupid” helps you. Does it? Maybe there are a certain number of inanimate objects you are going to break in your life, and you are working toward the end of that, as best you can. No matter what, this animate object is very grateful you read and commented on her post, today.

  8. OK, about consequences and mistakes and feelings and apologies and all that entangled stuff: My reply to your gracious compliment to my post today just had to, for some reason in my mind, include an apology for the fact that I had not read your post yet. Now I think: Yikes. Why am I like that?

    OK, about the comment box thing. May I offer the way I do it? I reply to comments from the little box up top of my reader or stats page. I click on the drop down to read friends’ comments, then click reply. No chance of staring a new thread instead. Now, why must I offer a suggestion? Why am I like that?

    OK, I loved your outdoor photos, and the fact that you went outside in recovery, and that you ate ice cream on a trip to the dentist, both showing that you are at least a tad rebellious. I root for that side of you. Why am I like that?

    Thank you for making me wonder about the consequences of my personality, make no mistake about it, Ann.

  9. Just a suggestion: Is it possible to change the layout of your blog so that the cause for these mistakes is eliminated?

    • Possibly (although I doubt it). In any case, I am quite attached to the layout here. So I will keep trying to do my best in this environment. Thanks so much for your caring comment.

  10. That ice cream cone looks awfully good!

    I am with you on the comments — I don’t think people notice if you don’t respond once in a while, but there are blogs out there where folks never comment. I don’t stick around there very long It seems rude to me to not respond. Plus, that’s part of the fun.

    Mark’s suggestion is a good one — responding in the bubbles. I find that responding on my phone is no longer a good idea — the app now doesn’t include my comment, only the response. So generally I have no idea what I said, and not infrequently end up leaving completely nonsensical responses.

    • I wonder how you did this comment, Elyse? However you managed it, it’s completely sensical and much appreciated. Thank you!

  11. A mistake I make a lot happens when I send messages on FaceBook. I start typing and when I get to the end of the line I hit the return button, which sends the message before I’ve finished typing. How embarrassing. Sometimes I’ll do it more than once for the same message. The consequence? It takes longer to get my message out there and feeling a little foolish. I can live with that.

    • Good point, Carol, which I very much appreciate. We can definitely live with these mistakes, because everybody makes them! Thank you for this wonderful comment today.

  12. Mistakes are constant for all of us – just laugh it off Ann! 😉 ❤
    Diana xo

  13. Niko

    What a nice photo 🙂
    Byeee

    • Niko comments and runs, and I wonder which photo he especially liked? It doesn’t matter, Niko; I’m so glad you dropped by.

  14. Niko

    😀 😀 you’re right Ann, sometimes I’m in a hurry and try to “flip” quickly through WordPress posts, by the way I love the first image, that with the lake and railing. Lovely and poetic

  15. I made the same mistake on my blog but I am more careful now and seem to do it right!
    Love that door picture with the ouch on it, I might say that being fairly tall…. I think it is a great idea! Sweet post! Hope you are well Ann!

  16. I think mistakes are different that deliberate intentions to hurt.
    It is the intention behind anything that is the important thing and we (your followers) know that your intentions are always sincere and heartfelt.

  17. The Dancing Rider

    Ha, ha I got a good laugh. I wondered at first if it was a parody, but then I really laughed because I’ve made the same “mistake” many times over! 🙂

  18. Lots of good thoughts in your post here Ann, and your right about comments going unheard and people feeling disconnected…. though I’m hardly the authority on blogging, I do know from personal experience that unresponded comments is the best way to lose readership

    • Kenneth, if YOU are not an authority on blogging, who is? Thanks for your encouraging and helpful comment.

  19. I love this post and your declaration Ann! As I was reading I was saying to myself. Me too.. me too .. me too! Funny how we are more forgiving of others mistakes but still get tangled when we make them.
    Val x

  20. Your diligence in replying is one of the most noticeable things about this blog. I have never noticed the error you describe but it seems unavoidable. This is one thing you should never worry about — or else we may be too afraid to reply in case we caused you stress! We all want you to be happy.

    • As I want you to be happy, too. How about this? I’ll do my best to not be stressed, worried, or afraid about anything that happens here if … you won’t either. Deal? Actually, I’ll work on this anyway, but that would be a bonus if you didn’t worry at all, too.

  21. I had to laugh because I make the same mistake (and the same correction) though to be honest I haven’t worried too much about whether people received my comment or not – probably because I hadn’t worked out that they would only know about the feedback if I put it in the right place. I nearly always forget to tick the box about receiving email follow-up comments. When I have, I have found the consequences too tough on my in-box, so now I usually check back if I am curious about a response to my comment, but otherwise leave be. So you can cross me off your conscience list (and maybe others like me who enjoy your posts, comment, but don’t expect more). Love the photos – particularly the OUCH!

    • Thank you, Hilary, for this comment, which is inspiring me to not only cross you off my conscience list, but also to rethink that whole list, entirely (which is causing me way too many OUCHes, I think). Glad you enjoyed the photos and I’m very glad that you are not worrying about these things!

  22. Now I’m worried that my failure to check responses to my comments might hurt you, or others… but they wouldn’t know so… I’d better not start a new worry.

    • Thank you again, Hilary, for that super demonstration of how to quickly let go of a new, unnecessary worry.

  23. We all make mistakes as has been said. But it is better than not trying.

    This post made me think about my own blogging errors. You are not alone!

  24. Pingback: Day 612: Not the only one | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  25. Pingback: Day 630: Stolen Moments | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  26. Pingback: Day 1500: Mistakes | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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