The Tools in Our Tool Shed

Before I sat down to write today’s post, I asked Tragedy* what was a lesson he had learned this year. 

In typical Tragedy fashion, he said, “I don’t learn lessons. I just keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again.”

And his curmudgeonly response brings me to the fifteenth thing I’ve learned in 2020 — be open to learning lessons from past mistakes … and try not to repeat them.

There’s a certain humility required to admit that one has been wrong, but there’s no shame in the humble game. It’s an admirable quality that I think more people should cultivate, including me. 

And there’s a certain amount of confidence that’s required to not only recognize that there’s a lesson to learn, but to actively seek it out and take it to heart. Whether it requires you to make a tee-ninecy adjustment or a sweeping transformation, remember that confidence, along with some courage and determination — what we Southerners call “grit” or “cussedness” — will be just about all the tools you need. 

And these are tools we all have in our tool shed, whether we know it or not.

Will you wear those traits like a badge of honor on your puffed-out chest? Doubtful. Most people who exhibit these traits do so privately, unnoticed really by anyone. But when a circumstance arises that has caused a past “mistake,” the hero in our quest quietly chooses a different path that leads to a better outcome. 

Which brings me back to Tragedy. While he may bluster and grumble about not learning lessons and being stuck in his same old ways, he actually does the exact opposite every day. Like many of us, he doesn’t always succeed. But the victory isn’t always in the actual achievement. Instead, the real win is recognizing the lesson and putting forth the effort to learn it. 

(Tragedy is what I call my sweet honey husband because of his resting sad face as compared to my usual silly grin.”)

(This year for #BlogLikeCrazy, I’m talking about 30 lessons I’ve learned in 2020. Read the other entries here.)

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