Surviving Miscue Monday

The water pulled my body along. Gliding. Smooth. Strong. This is a fantastic swim workout, I thought. Glide. Smooth. Strong. Amazing. OUCH! My arm suddenly smashed into the end wall. So focused in the moment on my catch, pull and glide, I lost track of where I was in the pool. The wall at 100 meters surprised me. I laughed, turned and finished off the last length of my 150-meter interval. No surprise, this particular interval was slower than the rest. And yet, it was just something I laughed about.

And so the tone for the day was set. For some reason, Monday was a series of miscues. Nothing catastrophic. Nothing life or death. Nothing to forever change the course of my existence. Just a bunch of small things — a few typos, a paragraph of lazy writing, forgetting to bring both of my cycling shoes with me to Mark’s house which forced a possible warm and sunny (yet terribly windy) bike ride back to my house and for an hour on the trainer in the basement. It was one of those days when for everyone’s safety I should have been wearing my Road ID all day long, such was my comedy of errors and potential for a gigantic slide into a pit of trouble. But ultimately, it was a day to show myself a certain level of personal growth.

It’s not that I particularly like making mistakes, but I’m learning mistakes are no longer catastrophic. I fix it and move on. If it’s something that can’t be fixed, I leave it and move on. Easier said than done with some life items? Of course. But in the “beat myself up for mistakes” department, well, I spent enough time there for a few lifetimes. Dwell on the mistakes and more mistakes will come my way. While I stumbled through my Monday, I didn’t panic. I rolled with it, knowing that better things were on the horizon.

Too often, I get caught up in the details. I search for the subtly when actually, life is pretty obvious. My series of Monday miscues could be a sign that I need to slow down. It could be an indication that I need to be more thoughtful, pay more attention to every day life. Or it could just be an opportunity to laugh at myself, shake my head, and realize that the goal is not striving to be perfect. The goal is to stay engaged in my life, to keep showing up and to flow with the day. Nothing is quite as catastrophic as I imagine it to be. And sometimes, those supposed mistakes lead to new opportunities which otherwise would have gone unexplored.

And so I leave Miscue Monday behind with a smile and knowing nod. I will take time today to breathe, to relax, to let things unfold in their due time without pressing for some arbitrary achievement and predetermined outcome. When the miscues come, as they did on Monday, I will turn my attention toward something good, something positive, no matter how small or inconsequential the positive item seems to be. Because dwelling on the good will bring me more good stuff. Now, it’s time to see what I can create for myself on this Terrific Tuesday.

How do you move forward when you’ve made a mistake (or three or four)?

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