Last Monday morning I woke at 4:37 am because I was still on England time, having just returned from teaching a workshop there. So that was fun, getting up that early and stumbling my way around in the dark. I thought I’d make some coffee and then go to yoga at 7:00 am. I had gotten home from London the night before and noticed we’d left coffee in the pot all ten days while we were away. There was mold floating in old coffee in the pot. Yes, gross. (But very typical me.) I decided to soak the pot in the sink rather than wash it right then and there instead of setting the coffee for the next morning which my husband would’ve done.
The next morning I picked it up out of the sink at 4:40 am- albeit, it was pitch black, but the coffee pot felt “light.” My hand that held it flew up towards the ceiling because of the coffee pot’s lack of weight.
The reason it was so “light” was because the bottom part of it “fell” off (I use that word loosely, as I still don’t quite understand what happened.) It was as if someone took a saw and just sawed off the bottom part of the glass pot. My thumb got caught up in the party. There was so much blood that I almost fainted.
I debated going to the ER when I saw the flapping skin and gushing blood (I didn’t.) I bandaged up my thumb six ways here to Texas and then went to my friend’s yoga class at 7:00 am. (Don’t ask. I was jet-lagged and bleeding and struggling to make sense of where on the planet I was.)
I was angry at myself because I thought that if I had just set the pot the night before then none of this would’ve happened. Someone wise said, “What if you did set it the night before and the same thing happened except rather than being empty in the sink the coffee pot was full and you got burned?”
“Way to flip it, Mom.” (I can call her that because, well- she is my mom.)
But it’s true.
I’m so quick to beat myself up.
And so, it became a multi-moraled, many lessons kind of story. Here’s 20 of them to remember the next time you “mess up.”
1. You don’t always know what you think you know.
2. Quite often, things could be worse.
3. Quite often, things could be better.
4. Jet lags a bitch. But it passes. Like most things.
5. Don’t second guess yourself so much.
6. It’s okay to leave the dishes until morning sometimes. Maybe not all the time. (But sometimes, yes. Why not? We could all lighten up a bit on “shoulds.”)
7. Overreacting is habitual. (That day I claimed “I almost lost a thumb.” I posted that “my thumb was almost sliced in half.” That I was “bleeding to death.” I mean, it was cut, sure. But in no way, was it dangling from my hand.) Overreacting is a habit. Break that shit. (You won’t bleed when you break that one.)
8. When you do get cut on a crease of your finger on the hand that you write with- I dare you to try and not bend it. Not bending a thumb is as hard as… not bending a thumb. Not easy. But hey, a lot of life isn’t easy. We just navigate through the un-easiness. As gracefully and as band-aided as we can.
9. You don’t cause every single “crappy” thing that happens because of something you said/did/thought.
10. Cutting your thumb on a coffee pot and then throwing away said coffee pot is not that “crappy” in the scheme of things.
11. Listen to your mom.
12. Things heal. They do. A mere nine days later and I almost (almost) would never know the bloody thing (pun intended) even happened save a little scar and slight pain. They heal but sometimes leave a scar. Such is life. I got a shit ton of scars. But mostly I am doing okay in the world, plodding along when I am not “bleeding to death.”
13. Accidents happen. Deal.
14. How are you going to deal? That’s the kicker. You gonna whine and cry and beat yourself up (clears throat) or are you going to sweep up the glass and deem it an “oops?” Some things you do get to say, “not my fault.” Naturally, some things we do have to take responsibility for. Duh. But not all. Not every broken coffee pot. Not every sickness or earthquake or break-up is your (or my) fault. It’s just not. Quit crying in your bloody coffee.
15. Beating yourself up is exhausting and a pathetic pastime. Do you want to be pathetic? No. Me neither. Let’s be un-pathetic together. That almost sounds like empathetic. Which I like. Let’s be empathetic together.
16. If you make a big fuss over small-ish things you are really going to be in trouble when bigg-ish things happen. Lighten up.
17. As you begin to heal, it is helpful to make anecdotes out of your woes. Laughing at yourself has proven (scientifically) (okay, I lied, not scientifically) to heal you. For example, remember the time you slept in a stranger’s house by accident after your senior prom with your high school boyfriend? Laugh at that now. Back then it was mortifying but now it’s just a story. And a good one.
18. We all have stories.
19. We all f*ck up sometimes.
20. A lot of the time we think we are f*cking up isn’t f*cking up at all. It’s just being human.
See you in a city near you soon (hopefully free of bleeding wounds!) And yes, I am headed back to London! See you there UK Positively Positivers! Dallas Positively Positivers I am headed there Saturday and Seattle in May! Hugs to all my PP posse!!
Jen will be leading a Manifestation Retreat in Ojai, California in May and a four day Labor Day retreat. All retreats are a combo of yoga/writing and for ALL levels. Read this Positively Positive post to understand what a Manifestation retreat is. Check out her site jenniferpastiloff.com for all retreat listings and workshops to attend one in a city near you (Dallas, NYC, Seattle, Atlanta etc,). Jen and bestselling author Emily Rapp will be leading another writing retreat to Vermont in October. Jen will be back in London for another workshop July 6 but book soon as the last one sold out fast with a long wait list!
*image courtesy of Simplereminders.com