I resolved for 2019 not to make resolutions. Instead of adding new “shoulds”, I decided to accept my foibles and live my life without additional rules. Then on January 2, I put my mobile phone through the wash. Albeit, it was on the delicate cycle, but a tip to cell phone users: if a phone gets soaked AND heats up right away, it’s not a good sign.
The incident followed a typical scenario for me. In the middle of writing an article, I took a break to clear my head, but as I prepared for a walk, grabbed a load of laundry, while checking the updates on my computer and a text I’d just sent. By the time I’d put on my coat, fed the cat and collected the mail, it was too late. My phone was missing and the door of the washing machine was on “lock down”. I had to listen to a sickening thud, thud until I could pull the phone out to its final resting place: a bed of useless rice.
- Resolution #1: Check what you throw into the washing machine, particularly if you’re prone to multitasking. It could be a phone, a hamster, your lunch….
I set out on my walk to calm down, and halfway to my destination realized my socks were sliding down my heals, and I couldn’t get my mind off a billboard advertising a juicy cheeseburger.
- Resolutions #2 and #3: Get rid of all socks that don’t stay up, and never leave the house hungry.
I realized then that all the lessons in the world aren’t going to make life’s minor mistakes un-happen. No one has figured out the sock issue (to my knowledge), and honestly, do I really need reminding about the care and safety of an expensive cell phone? In fact, according to one study, 19% of people have actually dropped their cell phone down the toilet (I felt so much better knowing this).
There’s no merit in blaming or “learning a lesson” every time you mess up. Forgive yourself when you double book a lunch date, spend the entire evening calling someone by the wrong name, or send an email that autocorrects to something you don’t want to even think about.
Stuff happens. Mistakes that don’t cause irreparable damage to oneself or others are an annoying part of life, but how much annoyance they cause is up to each of us.
And if that’s a resolution, then I guess I’ve made one.