Saturday, April 11, 2009

Accepting Mistakes

I used to worry a lot. Now, after making lots and lots and lots of mistakes, I've learned to just go with the flow a little better. As a musician, I really can't get too hung up on my mistakes because they're going to come - the next one probably bigger than the previous one. So, the best thing is to accept them and move on. I'm reminded of the Family Circus cartoon that says, "You learn from your mistakes, so be sure to make lots of them." I've got that down pat.

I really have grown in my acceptance of my mistakes. I was reflecting on just how I have been able to do this. One big reason is because I do make lots of mistakes, so I've had lots of practice in accepting them and moving on. Also another HUGE reason is because of the wisdom of my mom.

I remember in college, calling my mom and telling her I was going to flunk a class. (Now, I never flunked a class. My worries were just exaggerated.) My mom would say, "That's OK. You can just take it again next year." I then brought up the issue of money and the need to pay for the class twice. Money was always tight at our house, but that wasn't an issue either. She just said, "We'll figure it out. Just do the best you can."

Over spring break, I went home to see my parents. My mom is by far the most accepting person I know. I wish I could be just 10% like her. While I was there, I visited my brother Chris and his family. They live in Bell City, MO about 40 minutes from my parents. To get there, you have to take all country roads. I did fine getting there. No problem. Coming back late at night though, I missed a turn somewhere and had no idea where I was. I was lost on these back country roads. I turned around once, but didn't find my mistake. So, I decided to keep going, hoping I would eventually get to some kind of road sign. I was so excited when I finally saw one coming up. The sign pointed out the town to the left, the town to the right, and the town straight ahead. Unfortunately these were little bitty towns, and I had never heard of them.

I get lost a lot, so this wasn't new to me. I've learned that if my instinct tells me to turn right, I should turn left. And if my instinct tells me to turn left, I should turn right. So I turned right and kept going, hoping for another sign. After a few minutes of driving, I saw civilization ahead - a McDonald's. You know, chicken nuggets and french fries are always good late at night. I figured it was all part of God's plan.

I couldn't believe the town where I ended up. I was way off track. I went into McDonald's and asked for directions, hoping also that I wouldn't run into any cousins while I was there. I have cousins all over southeast MO. If I did run into someone, I didn't know how I would be able to explain my reason for being there - other than the truth, I guess. "I was just out for a drive and heard the fries were good here." Hmmmm . . . I wonder if they would have believed that? I wouldn't have been able to say it with a straight face anyway. I got the late night snack, the directions, and wasn't spotted by anyone I knew, so all was well.

Of course, I returned to my parents' house later than I expected. In truth, I was just glad to have had enough gas and to have made it back safely.

The next morning when I told my mom what had happened and where I ended up, she simply said, "Well, that's one way to get back here."


  1. Hello and greetings from Melbourne Australia
    I loved your story about making mistakes as it really resonated with me today. At our church we have a bit of trouble getting people to sing and play music, so I put my hand up to play the CD's and move the overheads for the words of the songs - as I can't sing or play music. I'm still learning and often make mistakes with the CD's and put the wrong words on the overhead etc. Today was one of those days and I was really annoyed with myself. Anyway, I read your entry today and I probably need to lighten up and not worry so much and go with the flow - after all it's a pretty forgiving audience!
    Had to laugh about your sense of direction - mine is exactly the same. If I feel I should turn right, then I turn left and then I'm usually heading in the correction direction.
    It was really lovely to read your blog and I'll pop back again.
    God Bless

  2. Sister Catherine DuenneApril 16, 2009 at 7:54 PM

    Wow! Thanks for your message from Australia. Great to hear from you. I hope that you continue to read the blog. If you're ever in Ferdinand, Indiana, stop by.

  3. You should've come to St. Louis if you were in MO! We could have given you directions and everything. :)

    I am glad someone else gets lost like I do. My "internal GPS" must have a crossed wire or something because I get lost all the time. Seriously, when I get a car, I'm saving my moolah up for a directions-thingy. Otherwise, I'm going to end up driving in circles in my cul-de-sac.

    Hope you're doing well and say hi to everyone for me!!