Mistakes happen

Posted: Wednesday, November 01, 2006 by Travis Cody in

"The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything." William Connor Magee, 1868.

I've been alive now for roughly 42.5 years. That's about 15,512.5 days. Oh wait, I need to add 10 leap years to that, so make it 15,522.5 days.

Attention: All teachers and math majors take note - this is just an example so don't correct my math if I've gotten anything wrong. The math isn't really the point.

Let's say I averaged one mistake a day over my lifetime. Holy Error Batman!!! I've made 15,522 mistakes in my life!!

Am I exaggerating? I doubt it. I've made wrong turns, gotten tons of questions wrong on tests, dialed wrong numbers, mis-filed some papers, goofed up my checking account balance, signed on the wrong line, and on and on and on.

I've also made some real whoppin' bad mistakes - like failed to finish college on the first go round, lost my temper at the wrong moment with the wrong person, drunk too much and got behind the wheel, and some other stuff I don't think I'll share. (No, I didn't wreck a car or injure anyone when I stupidly drove after I'd been drinking - for which I will ever be grateful.)

The point is, I make mistakes. I try to fix them whenever I can. But I'm a real person with real feelings, and sometimes I get mixed up and just screw up. That's part of life. I can't wake up in the morning and be paralyzed by the thought of making a mistake. All I can do is be kind, attentive, and considerate of others. That's what my mama always taught me. If I make a mistake, then I go back to that little mantra and see if it will help me fix what I did wrong.

The most important thing we can do after we make a mistake is forgive ourselves. Once we're back in our own good graces, then it's much easier to make amends to the person or people that we hurt.

That's my 2 cents, y'all - adjusted for inflation.

And now for more poetry. I think I wrote this in 1991 - I don't actually remember the details for it.


When I move I lose focus
And the vision of who I am
Shimmers and blows away
Like a hot breeze whips desert sands

If I don't move at all
My life is a dune
Shapeless and insubstantial
Subject to the indiscriminate
Winds of change

I guess the point is to act on life rather than waiting to let life act on you, because no matter what you do, life is gonna happen. Why not get out in front of it?

Go forth and do.


  1. Anndi says:

    You're right Travis, everyone makes mistakes..it's how we learn and grow...
    The true test of friendship is how we forgive the slips and trips... also a growth experience...

    As always Trav, beautiful writing.

  1. julie says:

    Yeah DANA..what he said!!

    Travis, it's all about the forgiveness part. Something we all need to work on.

    Great thoughts!

  1. Anonymous says:

    Another excellent post Trav---

    Forgiveness is a gift

  1. Travis says:

    **bows, tips hat, hands each lovely lady a delicate yellow rose**

  1. Anonymous says:

    Trav, we love you, and thank you for the rose!

  1. Anonymous says:

    From the mind of Meribah:

    "To err is human; to forgive is divine." I firmly believe we should forgive everyone who wrongs us (even if the wrongdoer doesn't care if we forgive them or not) because holding onto a grudge does nothing but harm us and keeps us from moving on. Hugs!