They say it is ok to make mistakes if you learn from them and see them as a life lesson. Oh, I have made plenty of mistakes and I have learned from most of these lessons. I know these lessons all too well having suffered the consequences from my mistakes. When I was just starting out on my own in my youth I had my strong opinions and ideas about how life should be and was going to be for me. Now that I am on the mature end of middle age and have children that are making opinions for themselves and one that is just starting to leave the nest, I find myself giving them advice that goes in one ear and out the other. I continue to give this advice hoping at some point it will be welcomed. The thing is I learned the hard way so much that I can’t bear to see my children make these mistakes and try my best to steer them in a direction that they can avoid this pain. It is actually painful for me to watch. I guess this is itself a lesson on letting go. I really do try hard at doing this. This morning my 19 year old daughter left for her new job as a barista at a drive through at 8 minutes till the hour she was supposed to be there. This is her two week learning period (like a probation period) before her barista test, a test to prove her skills and the employers time period to evaluate her performance. I have warned her every day and night to arrive 15 minutes early. This has fallen on deaf ears. I can’t stop myself though as I know this is a small town and there are not many jobs here and on top of that, she LOVES this job. I know how she will suffer if she loses it and I will also suffer the consequences directly and indirectly as I watch her fail
In the past I have watched my own mother (and even a friend) try really hard to get jobs and then only keep them for a little while for some petty reason or another. I am pretty sure that if she had taken a true self evaluation she would have seen that the job was more than she could handle mentally or physically. I have also seen her try diet after diet. She will be so good at the diet in the beginning, lose a bunch of weight, gain a lot of compliments and then return to her previous weight before you know it. I found myself not wanting to compliment her on her weight loss until further into a diet because it seemed that the compliments preceded the failure of the diet. She has done this circus with jobs, diets and other ventures in her life. Don’t get me wrong, I have a wonderful relationship with my mom and I love the stuffing out of her, but observing her behavior has made me keenly aware of my own limitations.
Learning life lessons and being honest with myself and my limitations had made me into the person I am, stagnant and dull. I do not challenge myself very much anymore. I am not very adventurous or spontaneous because of maturity. I haven’t found much reward or success either way, young and dumb or old and knowledgeable.
So I proceed in life and continue to learn. It is my mission to figure a way to find a balance between learning the hard way and doing nothing because of it.