When we were at church today, the priest gave his homily on the first recorded statement of Jesus in the gospel of Luke. He went on to talk about how we have many instances of Mary’s words. Mary spoke to the Angel Gabriel. Mary spoke to her cousin, Queen Elizabeth….
That just rolled right over the heads of the congregation, and the priest simply continued on. I am not sure if he noticed himself. I asked my wife after the service, and she didn’t notice either. Of course, these things become more pronounced if you point them out. Or… you could just keep on going, mistakes all in.
I have come to appreciate that mistakes are inevitable. The best approach is not to call attention to the error, but to remedy it in the moving forward. Mistakes all in. Your other alternative might be to abandon a venture altogether. Some people do that with life when they make a mistake or reach an impasse. But like the priest, it becomes inevitable as you go along to realize that you are a part of the human comedy. We all make mistakes. Your perception of this may be skewed by those people who never admit it. It’s not that they do not make any errors in life, it’s just that they don’t broadcast it to people like you. Maybe not table talk like my mother used to say. It’s like airing your dirty laundry. Not proper decorum. Perhaps if we all wore our mistakes on the outside, the world would start to look pretty much like a Jerry Springer episode. Sometimes it is a blessing NOT to know. I have learned over time that it is wise not to over-share.
I have an admission to make however. I made a mistake and I am really happy about it. I am happy because the person most likely to notice, has not realized it yet. That is my wife. She lives with me and is first to see all my blemishes up close and personal.
We had a set of tables that were becoming dinged up and out of style. Instead of buying new, I sprayed the bases with black paint and made new tops from some large walnut boards I had out in the garage. Of course, I was doing this, while trying to do other things at the same time. This was just a side job. Maybe I was tired. For whatever reason, I made a mistake. After calculating the size of the skirt and allowing for even overhang on all the edges, I ended up cutting my board short and I was three quarters of my way through the job. Disaster. What to do? Toss everything? Go buy a new board? Large and wide walnut board are expensive, and hard to get.
I did the only thing I COULD do. I inserted a close row of dowels all along the cut on both ends, and glued the thing back together overnight in a set of strong clamps. After sanding and finishing, the joint was almost imperceptible. It is not easily noticeable to the eye, and shows up only under close scrutiny with the right angle of light. I am happy because my wife, who dusts the furniture has not yet noticed. She does not like to see mistakes at all. They knock her off the mark. She thinks that mistakes simply should not be… ever.
So I guess I have answered my own question. What do you do when you cut the end off an expensive board and ruin something? You glue that piece on again and hope to God that nobody notices. Especially your wife. If you read this, don’t tell her. I want her to think I am perfect.
This is my advice for the new year. Keep on moving. Mistakes all in.