One of my friends told me a tale in five chapters about making mistakes. I hope my retelling is not too far off from the original.
Chapter one: Walking down the street, I fell in a hole. I didn’t see the hole before falling in and didn’t know how to get out.
Chapter two: Walking down the street, I fell in a hole. I remembered I fell in once before and tried to get out.
Chapter three: Walking down the street, I remembered the hole but still fell in. I remembered how to get out and got out quickly.
Chapter four: Walking down the street, I remembered the hole and managed not to fall in.
Chapter five: I chose a different street.
I love this story because it reminds me that there is a learning curve to learning from mistakes. I often hear it’s important to learn from my mistakes (my father often suggests that instead of making my own mistakes I should learn from his), but it’s just so hard! I find myself making the same mistakes over and over again, even after I’m aware of them, even after I find a solution in order to avoid them! I could add chapter six to the tale: Walking down the new street, I fell in a hole. I didn’t see the hole before falling in and didn’t know how to get out.
And here I am, back from Israel where despite all my prior insights and blog post on the subject, I fell in the same hole that I almost always fall into when I go there: wanting to please everyone. I wanted to spend as much time as possible with my grandmother, my aunt, my cousins, with my brother, his wife and their rosy new baby. I wanted to see my friends, shop for gifts for the kids and maybe for myself. I wanted Dar to enjoy this first visit to Israel, fall in love with my country and want to come back.
In ten days, what were the chances of accomplishing all that?
Strangely enough, I think the chances were high. I think yet again, I failed to see the forest, or really any trees, because of my obsession with not being (or doing) enough. I fell in the hole of my old nemesis, perfectionism. I was disappointed because I expected more of myself: less stress, less needing to please, more self care. And yet we had fun in Israel. We saw almost everyone we wanted to see. We bought lots of gifts for the kids. We went to see the cranes in Hula Lake and to the Banias. We ate good food and drank lots of pomegranate juice. And I think everyone had fun seeing us.
Mel Brooks once said: “As long as the world is turning and spinning, we’re gonna be dizzy and we’re gonna make mistakes.” Of course, he didn’t say anything about making the same mistakes over and over again. But then again, he also didn’t say they needed to be new ones.