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.
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.
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.
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:
- I do my best to respond back to comments.
- 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).
- When I discover this mistake, I fix4 it, which means readers might get a notification about a very old comment.
- When I make that kind of fix, I wonder how that appears to people, too.
- 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.
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!
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:
- Subsequent photos may share the same mistake and consequences.
- I believe I am okay.
Where was I? Oh, yes … photos from yesterday.
That’s the same location shown above, with a different perspective.
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).
I had to return to the dentist yesterday. I saw the above doorway, nearby. I am not making this up.
Something else I noticed, near my dentist‘s office.
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:
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?
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.