If You Don't Fail, You Aren't Trying? Let's Go With That
My mom calls mistakes "learning experiences." My sisters and I often use this phrase to describe daily events.
Among my latest learning experiences is the recent discovery that the trim I was so proud of installing in my powder room is neither square nor plumb and must be repeated - for a second time. I didn't even check or measure for squareness or plumbness - I was so focused on learning how to use my Brad nailer.
I'm not a builder or woodworker or craftswoman of any kind - as you know. A visit from electrician brother-in-law Brad uncovered the problem when he offered to cut the top piece for me. Brad, my sister Summer's husband, showed me how to cut a 45-degree angle and how to measure properly before I cut - not that I'm going to remember any of this now that it has been a few weeks.
Brad fit the top piece in between the two side pieces that as you may recall I nailed up there - twice since the nails I used first were too long and scratched the pocket door - oh vey! When Brad laid the top piece in, it was clear that everything around it was crooked!
My brother-in-law explained why and how to fix it. As Brad, Summer, kids and friend were on vacation, I didn't beg him to help me.
The crookedness remains:
Another Learning ExperienceWeeks later, after a trip to Houston for the men's NCAA Final Four basketball tournament and a 3-day hospital stay with food poisoning when I returned to Florida, I tried to finish my coffee table. I apparently didn't understand what Steve at Ace had in mind when he sold me screws and washer - not until after I had drilled all the way through the sign I worked so hard to protect with poly acrylic, and after I went back to Ace for longer screws and nuts - why didn't you sell me nuts, I asked.
Richard made my mistake clear without realizing that's what he was doing. A light bulb went off as this fatherly figure talked through the process. I shook my head and hung it in embarrassment when I realized I was meant to put the small screws in from the back of the sign with the washers without going all the way through to connect the metal legs. "But it's too late, I drilled through the table, " I told Richard.
"That's ok," he said. "It can be fixed." He went on to explain "plastic wood" and that I can fill the holes with the plastic wood and then glue some thin wood pieces to the bottom and connect the legs through that wood instead of through the sign.
|This big screw sticking out isn't the look I'm going for|
So I have those mistakes to fix and projects to finish. Nothing is ever simple. That's OK - life isn't either. Mistakes are fixable almost no matter how bad they are - almost.
*A side note:
Illness is great way to to learn more about someone you are dating. And about yourself when that person is sick. B and I passed with big bright flying colors. While I was in the hospital, B was amazing and after I got out - even when he caught a stomach bug and we were stuck in my house together for 3 days trying our best to take care of one another.
We managed to get out to see the sunset on the third night. I managed to get to yoga with my muscleless muscles yesterday.
I was lucky my parents were still in town too - they are wonderful.
I was and am lucky for great friends - Kate who took me flying Friday night; Jess who made me gluten-free Chex mix and gave me all her unexpired gluten-free food and brought B and I Gatorade and sweet potatoes when we were sick; and Lisa who has great ideas about my other belly troubles and has encouraged this gluten-free, non-dairy eating (despite my grumping about it, it's a great idea and she's just trying to help me).
|Kyle and Gretchen in the back of the 4-seater|
|Capt. Kate - AKA Rock Star Badass|
|Kate and co-pilot Jess|