thoughts on making mistakes

tumblr_m9omv9dvRS1qf3lleo1_500At 21, I admit that despite my tenacity, I am far from wise and pretty much only qualified to take responsibility for my own actions (though I often shirk that responsibility, too).

I’m still in my “bubble,” — still often coddled by my affectionate mother, my dad still lends me gas money if my finances are tight, and I still sometimes have to be reminded to clean up after myself.

I classify mistakes two ways — sort of like misdemeanor vs felony — things that impact my life significantly and things that I also must learn to just let go. The latter of which I have been trying to work on for quite a while.

We all make these little mistakes — we forget to call people back, miss deadlines, accidentally turn in an overly snarky/slightly insulting paper for a quiz grade (yes, this happened), cheat on our “diets” (more on this in the future), break promises, etc. and all these things can weigh way too heavily on our consciences if we don’t truly learn not to “sweat the small stuff” and just let it go.

Obviously it’s a lot easier to say these things than actually put them into practice. And honestly, I’m a dweller. I dwell on my mistakes and waste way too much energy on the “could have, should haves” that could be put to good use elsewhere. Subsequently, I am working on letting it all go. I’m trying to meditate daily to center myself and I am improving on consciously recognizing when I am dwelling on things that are now out of my hands, and I think I am making huge strides in lowering my stress levels. As someone who has been diagnosed with general anxiety disorder and have been prescribed SSRIs (that I no longer take — more on this in a future post), simply learning the act of freeing yourself of the stressful burdens that you are no longer in control of by means of reminding myself that it’s “in the past” (even if it just happened this morning), and putting in into a somewhat astronomical perspective (yes, I’m talking about the Cosmos, Carl Sagan) can be tremendous in helping to filter what simply does not matter from things that actually impact my life.

Something that helps with the process of “letting it go” is practicing mindfulness to counter impulsivity (which can lead to regrets) especially if you have a sharp tongue (like me) or have super snacky habits (also like me). And if all else fails, run it out. Running is one of my favorite active meditation practices. There are very few challenges I cannot work out during an hour long run. These healthy meditative practices really help to lead a purposeful, stress-free life.

As for the mistakes that do matter — I can thankfully say that I haven’t had many yet, and trust me, I’ve made a lot of mistakes. It goes to show that the mistakes that do matter and do warrant a bit of stress are few and far between. I guess that at 21, most of my mistake-making future is ahead of me, but I think I’ll be well-prepared to handle them with these practices.

I’ll leave you all with this song by the Mountain Goats I first heard on Weeds (loved that show) that I listen to when I need to de-stress.

How do you all put things into perspective?
Are you a big stresser, or do you just “go with the flow?”


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