Things I have done in the last 24 hours:
- Dropped an entire cake onto the floor (and had to re-bake it at the last minute)
- Fell down the cement stairs on my porch twice
- Threw the remote on the floor and the batteries rolled somewhere I cannot find
- Kicked over the garbage can in the kitchen and then tripped over it, causing garbage to scatter across the floor
- Walked into the same pole at Wolfgang’s school more times than I would like to admit (four)
- Kicked the cat off the couch because she jumped up onto me and surprised me while I was falling asleep
- Fell asleep sitting up at the auction
- Dipped my chest in chocolate frosting while arranging desserts at an auction and didn’t notice for two hours
Plus so so many other things…it’s embarrassing.
Why am I telling you this? Because this does not define me.
I am not like this all of the time. I had a bad day, sure. I am not my mistakes.
I used to punish myself for every mistake. Late at night, mostly. I would run the “highlight reel” of what I had done wrong for the week. It also came around when I was feeling low (to kick me while I was down, of course).
One day, I just was done.
I was tired of watching everything I had ever done wrong parade by as I closed my eyes at night. I was SUPER tired of comparing my mistakes to everyone else’s highlight reels on Instagram (a really ill-advised thing to do when you are tired or looking down on yourself).
So I read a mess of books. I talked with my therapist. I bounced ideas off my friends and I came up with 3 ways I deal when things are all going sideways at once:
- Slow the heck down. I screw up a lot more when I’m trying to do everything at once. I cannot drink from a fire hose, why do I expect that one will clean up my messes? I have to stop, meditate and figure out my next steps. If I keep going, more things are going to go sideways.
- Practice gratitude. Stop. Name 4 things that you are grateful right now. If you can’t find four things, you will. Just take deep breaths and close your eyes and take a moment. It will come to you.
- Get grounded. I start screwing up everything when I haven’t grounded myself. Nature helps me a lot, especially putting my bare feet in the grass. Just getting fresh air helps so much. Swimming in the ocean is another good one – but I don’t get to do that very often because it’s freaking freezing in the bay here. Just find your fresh air and breathe it in slowly.
These are things that work for me, and may not work for everyone.
But not one single person reading this is defined b their mistakes. So let them go and learn from them <3