I made not one, not two, not three but four doozy mistakes this week – at both work and home. I am self flagellating. I am eating crow with those affected. Although some of my errors have worked themselves out, I am still fairly miserable about others.
That’s a lot of distress to manage in a very short period of time.
In my worst moments, I am also thinking like a giant child. I can walk off the job. I can run away from home. Who hasn’t had those liberating thoughts when faced with an unpleasant mess to clean up?
I don’t have excuses. I take responsibility for what I’ve done. None of them were hanging offenses … at least I don’t think so. But I am sobered by the fact that even after all these years, I am not perfect – either at my job, or in my personal life.
I’m still more sobered by the fact that I have a friend who, earlier this spring, lost her job, quite unceremoniously, after a mistake that I also would characterize as not being a hanging offense. And yet others disagreed, and overnight she was out of work.
She also self flagellated, but it didn’t matter. She still had to recalibrate her entire life. So I am aware that it’s not always up to me to determine what is bad and what is really bad.
I feel like I’ve been undergoing my own recalibration for a number of months now. And even though there have been a few weeks recently in which I thought everything had ironed itself out, I am realizing that in fact, I am still struggling with the balance. Not only the balance of work and family life, which is, indeed, a difficult balance to strike. I am also struggling with the balance of too many responsibilities in one job, and if I want to succeed in any one part, something has to give.
This is not an unusual occurrence in the non-profit world, where resources are always, always stretched beyond their limits, and where talented employees get burned out over and over and over again because the more talented and valued they are, the more that is heaped on their plates.
I have lost some focus, because I have too many plates in the air. And that loss of focus has resulted in mistakes, stupid mistakes that I may not have made if my attention was better funneled.
So I have been trying to refocus. And take the long view. Having worked for nearly 30 years, I know that both I and every single person I have ever worked with has made many mistakes and usually everyone can move on. Having been married for 22 years, I know that my spouse and I almost always forgive each other. Having been a mom for 18 years, I know that my children continue to thrive, even when I am a terribly flawed and imperfect mother.
I also know that change is possible. If my work isn’t working, there are options. If my relationships with my family are tense, we can work it through. Tomorrow is another day. No mistake is forever.
Except maybe Anthony Weiner’s tweets.
photo by bitesizeinspiration via Flickr