out of whack

Great– I’m now dreaming of work. I’m officially out of whack. Last night a bunch of us gathered […]

Great– I’m now dreaming of work. I’m officially out of whack.

Last night a bunch of us gathered at the end of the day to try to figure out how a bug got through. I keep walking through my actions of the last couple weeks– where did I slip? Did I slip? Was it a member of my team? I went to dinner with a friend with the back of my mind still puzzling away at the problem, went home to stretch still worrying over it and eventually I feel asleep last night still working away at the question. Unsurprisingly, the worry wandered into my unconscious, and my brain kept cycling through those questions in dreams.

I woke up a couple times to take a drink of water and tell myself, “Stopping dreaming of work” but even then I didn’t take myself seriously. My addled brain said back “I’m working on a problem, let me at it” and I told my brain, “You can’t do it in a dream, cut it out. Dream of ponies or something, would you? I need the rest”

I don’t know why I can’t stand mistakes. I try to feel okay with them, remind myself that’s how we grow, etc. But a mistake is a burr in my sock. It itches and annoys and I have to scratch at it even after the burr has been removed. It leaves behind prickles and itches.

A higher up in the meeting said “How did this happen, no, let me rephrase that, how can we prevent this from happening again?” It reminded of one of the founders of egreetings, who used to say “you can make any mistake once.”

Excellent advice really– if you aren’t learning from your mistakes, you probably aren’t learning at all. Sure, there are mistakes that come from carelessness or foolishness, but those shouldn’t happen. From a strong creative person, mistakes can show stretching, growth, daring. Once one has identified a mistake as a mistake, it’s possible to use that knowledge to excel. Each mistake is a pitfall to be avoided in the future; or a hint to a potential solution.

The alternative to putting oneself in a place where mistakes can happen is to never try something risky. But no risk means to give up ever innovating, to never exceed previous successes. Mistakes– the right mistakes– are a sign of a curious and brave soul.

Even so, I keep scratching at mistakes, fussing over them, puzzled and irritated.


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    I know what you mean. I did a post-mortem for search and I’m the “owner” of it…and I just kept taking everything personally…even though everyone agreed not to…and I’m still beating myself up and that happened more 2 weeks ago.

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