Oops, another misstake


I make a lot of misstakes, don’t you?

For example. This morning. Item #1 for consideration: I pulled up to the Camp Coffee drive-through old vintage camper in town and ordered a cappuccino. Small, please. Thank you kindly.

The sweet young barista smiled and asked for $3.50. Please and thank you. I reached out with a fiver and–oh heavens above–my car was too far from her outstretched hand. We juggled and shifted but the car was just too far away. I finally thrust the money toward her and she dropped the change into my waiting hand but we were miles apart. The quarter dropped down below. She begged me to forget it. She would give another quarter to the errant driver. But I dove down below on the pavement and fished for the quarter and held it aloft, triumphant!

When she delivered the cappuccino we were more prepared. Got out of the car and maneuvered toward the coffee. We succeeded in the exchange with nary a drop of foamy coffee drenching the car. Only a minor misstake!

Not this morning’s coffee cup

Item #2 for consideration: Ten days ago we drove my mom downstate to my brother’s camp north of Gaylord. I had an appointment in the city of Marquette along the way. We have one of those new-fangled cars where you don’t actually insert the key in the ignition. You push a Start button with foot on brake and the car springs to life and drives toward your intended destination. You do need a handy key, though, or it won’t work.

Barry and my mom wanted to tour the city whilst I paused for the appointment. Off they drove. I settled into the waiting room with a smile when–OH NO! Oh no, oh no, oh no!

I still had the keys in my purse. If they turned off the car they would be stranded. The car would not start again without the happy little keys.

Heart racing, I dialed my mom’s cell: Have you turned off the car yet? No? DO NOT TURN OFF THE CAR! I wheezed.

Is the sun beneath the horizon a misstake or magic?

She assured me they wouldn’t turn off the car and I headed into said appointment. But my heart wouldn’t stop pounding. My mind insisted they would somehow pause at a stoplight (the car turns off automatically at stops like these) and then they would be stranded, surrounded by a hundred honking horns. Surely they would die. I would die. The planet would implode. (I am rolling my eyes at these over-dramatics, dear reader, but some of you may know how this goes. It may have been a misstake to tell you about my over-reaction.)

My stomach clenched, I felt ill, the entire nervous system over-reacted as if I was being charged by a lion in the Sahara Desert.

Dear reader, they were fine. They laughed at silly Kathy and drove around Marquette without stalling. They joked and toured Presque Isle and drove by the Dome and even stopped at the co-op without anything going wrong.

A misstake of epic proportions, if you ask my charged-up nervous system.

I could actually spend the next half hour typing misstake stories.

Is the stick hanging down in the middle of the photo a misstake? Or on purpose?

But what I want to say is this: Dear nervous system (and the nervous systems of all my readers)–a misstake really isn’t as big of a deal as we may imagine.

Lately I am learning to think of misstakes as opportunities. Not biggies. Just chances to try again. It’s like this. Take One. And if we don’t succeed–Take Two. And then Take Three. We probably won’t die from doing something wrong.

Item #3 for consideration. When we were in our 20’s we decided to leave the North Woods and travel to Texas and make our fortune. It’s a long story that involves lots of adventure. We returned to the Upper Peninsula within four short months. Some people might say we made a big misstake to move down thattaway, but it proved to be an amazing adventure that still makes us smile ear-to-ear. It is one of the highlights of our life that we still prattle on about.

Once I reached down to pick up an injured puppy. Definitely could have been a misstake.

There are golden lessons hidden in many of our misstakes. I want to say ALL of our misstakes, but I think that might be a misstake to make such a bold statement–because sometimes misstakes really do hurt a lot. Sometimes misstakes can be deadly and dangerous and just plain crummy.

But when I look back at the thousand or millions misstakes I made in my life–I can almost always feel some gratitude for the lessons learned. For the gifts wrapped in oops. For the way the misstake turned life in a new direction. For the way it brought new opportunities.

Sometimes the lesson is: oh, I could have handled the situation in a much more loving way. Or that’s not where I want to put my energy next time. Sometimes the lesson is how to love and forgive myself and others for acting in less-than-stellar ways. We’re often doing the best we can from our limited points of view.

This morning I learned that next time I want to pull closer to the coffee camper. And, darn it–remember to share the keys before exiting the car! Maybe we shouldn’t move to Texas again in this lifetime. And, dear nervous system, next time we’re going to do some soothing and deep-breathing before you decide the planet’s imploding.

I would love to hear some more misstake stories, and the gifts you learned from your oh-so-human foibles. ❤

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
This entry was posted in October, 2021 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Oops, another misstake

  1. Carol says:

    If we didn’t make mistakes, how could we ever pat ourselves on the back when we manage to do it right? I mean, it’s like winter makes you appreciate spring. And the heat of summer makes you appreciate fall.

  2. leelah saachi says:

    I’ll have to ponder where I last did a missstake? I have a tendency to drop them. I love this, Kathy: “the gifts wrapped in oops”
    And I love the lightness in your stories!♥

    • Kathy says:

      How lovely that you drop your misstakes! Glad you liked the oops sentence and the good cheer lurking behind even the human freak outs. *smile*

  3. Your very beautiful and “human” post made me smile…yes, oftentimes what we think of as a misstake turns out to be a valuable part of the tapestry that ends up being “us”!

  4. Judi says:

    I could relate first hand to all you wrote about the various mistakes — especially keeping the key and thinking your loved ones would DIE! Of course, they would in your mind . . . that’s what my mind would do! Whew, it was a great reminder that mistakes happen all the time and the more I can breathe and just not freak, things probably will turn out just fine, thank you very much! 😉

    • Kathy says:

      I thought maybe some of us could relate to these stories of how our minds can act sometimes. And most of us probably need the reminder that mistakes are just mistakes and we don’t need to freak out. So happy that you could relate to this, dear Judi.

  5. Debbie says:

    Don’t we all stress over stuff like this?!? Thanks, Kathy, for showing us your humanness! And really, we shouldn’t get so bent out of shape over boo-boos. I mean, nobody’s perfect, ha! Most of us spend so much time fretting over our mistakes when we ought to relax and learn something from them (said by the one who’s made worry a bad habit!!)

    • Kathy says:

      I think most of us can relate, Debbie! Our worrying minds can make such a big deal of how bad things can turn out–but, really, maybe we can all just take a deep breath (ahhhhh) and just relax. May we all just relax a tiny bit when we can. xoxo

  6. Stacy says:

    I am sure the latte was worth a misstake, right? And I must confess, I have made the keyless key misstake, too. XOXO

  7. Ally Bean says:

    “If they turned off the car they would be stranded.” Is it wrong that I laughed when I read that? Such an easy mistake to make– and all ended well with a good story. As for me making mistakes, I’m a pro, but none come to mind at the moment. Like my husband the lawyer says, it’s not the crime [mistake] it’s the cover-up [what you do next] that’ll get you in trouble.

  8. Kathy says:

    Now that is very interesting, thank Zen Den very much! (Or is that yet another misstake? I should go back and read your latest blog to make sure his name is correct.) How interesting about what one decides to do next. That bears some thinking. Glad to have provided some laughter today!

  9. debyemm says:

    I believe this – “We’re often doing the best we can from our limited points of view.” And something I learned when my boys were young – Always assume the best possible explanation. It often is true.

    • Kathy says:

      How uplifting, Deb! To remember to assume the best possible explanation. So much better than blindly going with our jittery scared minds. And I would agree with you–the best possible explanation is often the most “true”. Thank you.

  10. Oh dear. I make a mistake a day if not several times a day. I am a mistake maker and I fret and stew over a good many of them and some, I just pass on by with nary a second thought. I really like all of the beautiful scenes that you so deftly captured with your iphone.

    • Kathy says:

      Yvonne, I suspect we’re all mistake makers (unless we’re saints–and maybe saints are only mistake makers who can turn their mistakes swiftly into love). Isn’t it interesting that some mistakes are easily passed by and others cause consternation? And thank you about the pictures. 🙂

  11. Tilly travel says:

    Love the photos Kathy, I often over reacted to ‘mistakes’ I have made, the worst I think I have ever made was my first marriage, but without that marriage I wouldn’t have my lovely son.
    Bright Blessing

    • Kathy says:

      There’s an amazing gift made about of a ‘mistake’ indeed–a lovely son. So glad you enjoyed the photos here. I am enjoying sharing photos again these days.

  12. Loved your story and can definitely relate to the anxiety it produced. Hmmm… the misstake story that comes to my mind… I was flying to visit my daughter and as I was boarding the plane they announced that the flight was full so they were offering to check our carry-on bags for free to make room in the overhead bins. Yay, I thought, I won’t have to struggle to get the bag up there and so happily gave it up at the door. But then, half way through the flight it dawned on me that my laptop was in the bag and at the time there were all kinds of stories in the news about laptop batteries exploding and setting everything on fire in cargo holds. My heart started pounding and I spent the rest of the trip freaking out in my seat not knowing what to do about it, trying to calm myself down but worried that the plane would explode and it would be all my fault. I kept telling myself if there was a danger they would have asked questions when they took the bag… We landed safely and all my loved ones said I needn’t have worried but it still haunts me.

    • Kathy says:

      Oh my, Barbara–our minds and the stories they can create!! This is a doozer–that you were about to explode a whole airplane. I can so relate. *smile* It seems that one lesson that keeps nudging me is to continually let go into trust of the divine. Over and over again. Rather putting credence in the doom-and-gloom stories our minds can create. Thank you so much for having the courage to share your story, too. ❤

  13. Some call them mistakes….I call them opportunities for improvisation…sometimes…

    …and other times, I am convinced the world will implode because of the ones I make too.

    • Kathy says:

      Opportunities for improvisation sounds good. A gentler, kindly way of looking at mistakes. I remember once reading or hearing that sin meant “missing the mark”. That, too, sounds gentler than the way our minds sometimes try to convince us we’re dying or awful or wrong.

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