So Was it a “Mistake” or an “Experience?”

Today I heard the quote, “Experience is the name we give our mistakes.” It led me to reflect on all of my “mistakes,” of which there are plenty. I wondered if I could actually just chalk them up to experiences instead of what I’d felt were mistakes. And, the answer is: I’m not sure, and leaning towards ‘no.’

I mean, I can’t get those days, months, weeks or years back that I spent with someone I regret. Nor can I undo something tragic, that I think was a mistake, but I chose to do it.

I did it. It was my doing. So, was it an experience or a mistake?

That is the question.

This leads me to believe that if you CHOOSE to do something, it might, in fact, be a mistake, not an experience. Do you agree? An experience, to me, is something that happened to you or you were a part of. Like, you went on a trip to Cancun in college with a random group of kids on something called Sunsplash Tours–that’s an “experience.” (okay, full disclosure, I did that, and it might have been a mistake. Just saying.) Or, an experience could be getting stuck in an elevator. That’s a tough “experience,” but it’s not a mistake. It happened to you.

I think this quote was created so that we can exonerate ourselves and not feel shame or guilt for making a bad choice. It’s a pass, an out. I don’t like it. If you consider this wrongdoing a mistake, you are less apt to repeat it. Whereas you often can repeat an experience, and some are good and some are bad. Mistakes, to me, are not something we think of as good.

I spend an inordinate amount of time on wishing I could undo mistakes. Like, if I hadn’t done this then I’d be…always somehow in a better place in life. #wasteoftime (click here if you want to find a way to welcome unwelcome feelings).

We can’t undo our mistakes. We can someday call them experiences, I guess, but the best thing we can do is LEARN FROM THEM!

The other thing we can do is keep making them. I think if you are too afraid to make a mistake, then you will always stay in the safe zone and on the sidelines. You may never make a discovery, personal or professional. I believe in jumping in, full force, and then just spending inordinate amounts of time hating yourself later if it doesn’t work out.

Ha! I mean, that’s kind of what I do. That’s rotten advice. Sorry.


This is good advice though:

And a person who has only experiences, and not mistakes, is not real.

Pet that unicorn for me.

The Universe IS a Thing: How do I Know? (Read to End)

I’ve become sort of obsessed with the idea of a universe, and the notion that there is some invisible hand guiding us towards where we are meant to be. I recently listened to a podcast in which a woman was struggling with fertility, and she lay very still one day, crying, and she asked the universe to send her a sign, any sign, that she was on the right path in her life. It didn’t happen immediately, but later that day, she was sitting at her desk and saw a flock of wild turkeys. They were all over her lawn. She took a moment to notice and looked up what the wild turkey is a symbol of, and guess what? It’s a symbol of fertility! She knew, in that instance, the universe responded to her plea, and she was on the right path.

Okay, for you skeptics, stop laughing, and, no, I have not lost it! I decided, though, I would just try this for myself. I stood very still on my walk after hearing the podcast, and I closed my eyes. My head was tilted up towards the sky, and I said, “Universe, please send me a sign I’m on the right path.” I said this quietly, in a whisper, so a passersby would not think I was a complete freak.

And, you know what happened?

I got a sign! (Well, I think…).

Oh, hello.

When I got home from that walk, I was in my backyard, and I saw something in the baby pool. It was a cricket! And it was drowning. I reached into the water, held the cricket, and let it go. It was safe. I then looked up what the cricket is a symbol of:

“If the cricket crosses your path, it is a symbol of good luck and fortune, so you don’t have to worry for your future. You have worked hard and now it is time to make all your dreams come true. The cricket as your spirit animal will protect you and it will bring joy into your life.”

The cricket is a sign of exceptional luck! I was reassured that I was on the right path. The only issue, and tell me what you think: does it mean something that it was drowning? So, then, I had to look this up, and it said:

“Because of the water, drowning depicts fear of being overwhelmed by difficult emotions or anxieties,”

So, yeah, I think the cricket was reassuring me and mitigating any worries I have about my life in its present state, which is a little unsettling at this time that I’m not working, other than focusing on my writing.

I suggest you, too, try this exercise. Keep your heart and eyes open for the rest of the day to take notice. Let me know what you find in the comments!

P.S. THIS IS CRAZY: I finished writing that sentence, and I saw something coming towards me on my dining room table. And, get this: it’s a ladybug! On my table. Oh my God. It’s on my computer now! I am freaking out. Here is the photo:

Let me see what that means.

What Do Ladybugs Symbolize?

Whether you meet the ladybug in reality or in a dream, it is generally considered a symbol of good luck and happiness.

  • The main meanings of the ladybug are:
  • Good fortune
  • Innocence
  • True love
  • Importance of lightness
  • Changes, even metamorphosis
  • Divine intervention
  • Going beyond illusion
  • A happy resolution to a hassle
  • The miraculous at play in the everyday life
  • The importance of staying alert to avoid pitfalls
  • The need to know yourself well to make the right life choices

WOW! Okay, go try this, guys. Oh, and I guess I’m lucky! Stay tuned!

That was weird! There is a universe…

Be a Good Friend–To Yourself

Today, I almost sat on a wolf spider that camouflaged into my couch. It was grey, and my couch is grey. I put him in a glass, covered with a piece of paper, and took him outside. He hopped away.

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Wolf Spider.

Then, I went to get water, and there was a spider that was next to my water bubbler. He was eating some sort of moth he caught, probably from when I had the screen door open last night. I thought to move him, and then I thought, “No, maybe I will keep him, or her, as he’s enjoying his time here, and he’s keeping the insects at bay.”

You may be wondering why I don’t just get an exterminator!

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Here is the one next to my bubbler

But, I have realized, that I kind of love spiders. I used to be grossed out about them. I was freaked out and would vacuum them up, or squish them. Now, I realize most of them won’t do any harm, and they’re sort of sad and victims, because they can’t see well.

I sort of feel like a spider today, and that I can’t see well.

I can’t see myself. 

Sometimes, I can’t see my own self-worth. I talk down to myself, am punitive, and I wish I was different. I look at other women and think, “Wow, I should be more like her. I would look so much better if I just had that Dolce and Gabbana belt or the blown out hair with spiral curls.” Or I think, “If I was just ten pounds skinnier, and I had some Botox.” Or, “I wish I made more money” or “I wish I had a boat.”

These are things I can’t fix. Well, at least not today. What I can fix is my relationship with myself.  

Then I think about all the amazing  gifts I have, and the people in my life, and how I can’t believe I talk to myself this way!  I think how we must be kind to ourselves, as we are our own best friends.

Our internal voice is the one we hear the most. I read this blog post today by Dr. Eric Perry, and it resonated- not only with me, but with many others.

Be gentle with yourself, at least for today. xx

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When Enough is Enough

When is enough actually enough? I was walking down Main Street yesterday and saw one of those personalized, wooden, oblong signs that hangs from nautical rope that read: Whatever You Accomplished Today Is Enough.

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It struck me, because I had just been thinking that I had not done nearly enough to consider myself productive, and the hours in the day had slipped away. Evening was encroaching, and I had not written one word for my book, and I had yet to buy any gifts for my son’s birthday, which is tomorrow. I also hadn’t gone for a run, and my refrigerator was bare. My health insurance issues weren’t resolved, and I forgot to buy a new sprinkler.

So what the hell had I been doing? 

Well, I got up with my kids, and I played a round of Barbies with one and Adopt Me on Roblox with another. I also walked the dogs, cleaned the house, and made lunch. That was all before 1:00 p.m.

So was that enough? I mean, I guess it was?

I also often wonder AM I ENOUGH?

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Well, there’s the argument that I am sometimes too much, but that’s a whole different topic. When I consider if I am enough, I am more asking myself the question if I could be more intelligent, prettier, in better shape, wealthier, more successful, more accomplished, etc. Blah, blah, the list goes on…

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It seems very counterproductive to wonder these things, and I think, yes, I am enough most of the time. But sometimes those doubts creep back in, and that’s when it’s good to have another one of those wooden, oblong signs around to read: You are Enough.

It’s funny how no matter how much you have, the human condition makes us want more. It’s oddly greedy and unkind. It’s important to be kind to yourself, as well as to others. One of the best pieces advice I got once was to stop beating myself up. And sometimes that means not getting a whole lot done. Give yourself a break. Whatever you accomplished today was Enough.

Wishing On an M&M and Other Strange Rituals

I am very superstitious, a fine line away from obsessive compulsive, attributing meaning and immense value to objects and actions. I have always been this way. I would pull off the metal tabs on soda cans growing up, and if the tiny circle came off with the tab, it was “good luck,” and I saved it in a white ceramic box on my dresser. I had about 1,000 tabs in my lucky collection, verging on hoarders, but I was sure lucky!

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I also wished on green M&M’s, gave someone a punch in the arm if I saw a Volkswagon bug, and wore the same lucky red bandana to field hockey games, folded in a precise way, to make sure our team won, and I scored. I also lined the shoes up in the back porch–left to right–and checked under my bed and in my closet for scary creatures before I went to sleep. 

Most of these rituals were innocuous, and many other people have them too–I think…? Other rituals, however, seemed, well, downright cray and were quite invasive. For example, the most irrational and illogical superstition I had as a child was that I could not be in the bathroom when the toilet flushed, or I’d have bad luck. Now, this is not exactly convenient. So, I developed a system in which I would quickly flush with the handle while simultaneously hopping out of the bathroom, like I jack rabbit. I seriously, like, jumped a hurdle each time I flushed.

I thought of these things today for two reasons. One, I have been wearing this same ring on my finger for months, and I thought, “I am tired of this ring; maybe I will take it off and put on a different one.” But, then, something inside me said, “Wait, but maybe you should always keep it on, since you have for so long, or you will have bad luck!” I know this is insane, and yes, it seems OCD. However, it’s not something that interferes with my life, so…? On or off? I don’t know.

I also think of these superstitions now when I see others, or children, doing these sorts of rituals, like touching a wall twice before leaving a room, or opening and shutting a gate an extra time. Sometimes, to their chagrin, I will say, “Did you just do that because you think you’ll have bad luck?” And they will often reply affirmatively with a level of shame as if they’d been caught. There is no shame in these things. We all just manage how we can for a variety of reasons.

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I do wonder, though, if I had grown up in today’s world if I would have been medicated. Like, I was always so anxious about stuff. I grew out of most of it, sans therapy or medication, but I think in today’s psychological climate and with our increased awareness of anxiety, they would have signed me up.

Anyone else do anything weird they want to share? Well, within reason… Ha!