March 27, 2008

Words of wisdom

Many times, when I’m sitting in my cube at work, my mind starts drifting back over my life — things I’ve done, places I’ve gone, people I’ve known, jokes that have made me laugh, conversations that have made me cry.

Sometimes my mind will drift back to good memories that make me smile and laugh out loud and send an email to my sister or my mom or a good friend to let them know I was thinking about a fun time we had. But sometimes my mind drifts back to mistakes that I’ve made. Maybe it was a time I got fuming mad over nothing. Maybe it was a time I acted stupid and embarrassed someone. Maybe it was a time a made a really bad decision. Or maybe it was a time I got idiotically drunk or sad or jealous and ruined the night for everyone.

When my mind drifts back to these mistakes, I start to get all yucky inside. Suddenly, I can’t think about anything else besides how crappy I am. I start to wonder if the people I’ve hurt have forgotten what happened and forgiven me or if they’ll always remember me as the girl that messed up. I start to regret acting how I acted and get really sad thinking that the memory is something I can never take back and do over. An hour or so of thinking like this usually puts me in a not-so-good mood and it can take some major cheering up to yank myself out of the funk.

So yesterday, when my brain began wandering back onto thoughts like these, I decided to stop the pattern before it started. I went to the web and looked up some quotes about mistakes. I found some that spoke to me personally and inspired me to let go of the past and not dwell on my mistakes. Then I printed them out and put them up in my cube.

Hopefully they’ll help me remember that mistakes aren’t necessarily bad because not only do we have a chance to learn and grow from them, but they make us who we are. And although I sometimes fear that I’m learning from my mistakes at the speed of a turtle, I do think I’m learning from them, and so far, I think I’m turning out ok.

Here are the quotes:

Do not brood over your past mistakes and failures as this will only fill your mind with grief, regret and depression. Do not repeat them in the future.
--Swami Sivananda, Indian Yoga master

I think we all wish we could erase some dark times in our lives. But all of life's experiences, bad and good, make you who you are. Erasing any of life's experiences would be a great mistake.
--Luis Miguel, Singer

There are no mistakes. The events we bring upon ourselves, no matter how unpleasant, are necessary in order to learn what we need to learn; whatever steps we take, they're necessary to reach the places we've chosen to go.
--Richard Bach, Writer

If you have made mistakes, there is always another chance for you. You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down.
--Mary Pickford, Actress


breakfast in canada said...

I can't believe you have a Luis Miguel quote! That's so funny to me.

You really are crazy. How can anyone think of you as anything but cheerful and friendly???

My problem is regret. I can't let go of missed opportunities or bad choices. I regret too much and how it drags me down!

I too have added something to my work space. Today in fact. A Dilbert comic. I'm not a huge Dilbert fan. Not even a huge comic fan. But I was in a horrid teleconference meeting this morning, and I spaced out, receded to my happy place, and read the Dilbert day-calendar my co-worker has on her desk. It was so funny I laughed out loud and couldn't stop. I think I found it so funny simply b/c I needed an escape, I needed to feel happy, which I haven't in so long. So I put it on my wall to remind myself that amidst adversity, misery, and monotony, there is light, life, and laughter.

Mr. Kale Iverson said...

Cubicles can be lonely (as I can only imagine, never worked in one) but so can apartments in 170 Eskimo person eskimo villages on Islands in the Bering Sea.

I have discovered exactly the phenomenon you're talking about here in this blog post. And I have learned to deal with it almost the same way. An idle mind will steer towards these damn thoughts all the time. The trick is to keep it moving along. Keeping busy, making music, blogging, art, projects or heavens forbid work. Either way doing positive things like looking up quotes are really important. Positivity is like exercise, it takes some sweat and strain to keep it strong and fit, but once you get into a routine of being happy you can't live without it! So thats how I think of it, positivity is like a healthy mental exercise, negativity is like sitting on my mental butt eating doritos (which I like to do too)...just not too much right? A little vent and rant is okay from time to time (read my blog for today..ech).

BTW, sooo addicted to your blog! You blog as much as me! Keep it up...ok!?