March 22, 2012
As a relief to some of you, my writings will be shorter the next 6-8 weeks… because I’m an idiot. That’s right, a real bonehead, and I’m ready to admit it. Why am I writing shorter articles? I broke my hand! It wasn’t even an exciting story.
I’d like to think of myself as a pretty calm person, but we all have our moments. What’s the main instigator lately of these non-calm moments? The doorbell.
Every time someone rings the doorbell, Lucy (our dog) flips out and goes tearing to the front of the house. She looks like Fred Flinstone as she spins out in one spot while trying to investigate the doorbell ringer. In the process, she manages to leave her ‘tread marks’ on our wood floor.
We knew this would happen when we got the floors, but that doesn’t make it any less painful! So, in this particular example, the mailman rang the doorbell (even though she had just been here) because she had a package to drop off. There goes Lucy… I yell at her to stop, she doesn’t. I get up to go to the front of the house, and punch the couch arm with a glancing blow. The major impact was on my right pinky knuckle; I knew something wasn’t right as soon as I did it.
Sometimes we hold ourselves to impossible standards. We like to think the outside world perceives us as flawless as we try to portray ourselves. We don’t want to look like the idiot. In fact, we try so hard to not look like an idiot that we aren’t ourselves.
The most comforting words I received after my self-inflicted injury were from my older brother who said, ‘It happens, well can’t do much from here.” They were the perfect words at the perfect time because I was pretty busy beating myself up over being an idiot.
It’s true. It happens. Bad things happen to people accidentally, and bad things happen to us because we’re idiots. That’s right, idiots. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not idiots all of the time, just enough to remind ourselves we’re not perfect. All it takes is one moment of texting while driving, an overreaction in an argument, or a slip in judgment, and our lives can be permanently changed.
One thing I’ve experienced and read about is that no one ever judges us as much as our ‘inner judge’. In fact, sometimes I punish myself for something that happened 20 years ago! Dang, I shouldn’t have said that because now you’re doing the same thing. At this point you’re the only who remembers it, and you’re still hanging on to it! It happens and you can’t do much from here.
What can we do to deal with some of this current pain? The great economist and thinker, Adam Smith, said, “In all irreparable calamities which affect himself immediately and directly, a wise man endeavors, from the beginning, to anticipate and to enjoy before-hand, that tranquility which he foresees the course of a few months, or a few years, will certainly restore to him in the end.”
My hand will be just fine in 6-8 weeks, and it won’t be much more than a reminder not to do it again. However, that doesn’t mean I won’t be an idiot and do it again! We all make mistakes. It happens.
Oh ya, and if you come to our house, be sure to knock because the doorbell is unplugged. At least I learned that.