Have you ever played Tetris? Or a similar computer game that requires you to fit little “pills” together in a bottle as tightly as you can in a limited amount of time? For a while my husband had this game on his iPhone and became quite good at beating it. I, on the other hand, always seemed to fill up my pill bottle in the most random and ineffective of ways. Tetris is a game I always lose.
My approach to life, however, is very similar to the game philosophy behind Tetris. I fit the pieces of my life together as tightly and carefully as I can. For me, the point is not to fill the bottle. The point is not to make mistakes.
I realize this makes me sound uptight and unhappy, but the truth is that for the most part, I am very happy. I live a good life, and I feel like I have benefited in the last few years from learning to walk carefully and plan wisely.
The downside of my approach is obvious. When mistakes happen, as they invariably do, I have not left any room for error, and the little empire I have been working on seems to fall apart. I try to give others plenty of room to mistakes, but I have no grace for myself.
I haven’t learned how not to live like this, but I want to. I know that stress is a reflection of my level of trust in God, but I also don’t believe in using hope as a method for navigating through life.
How do you balance the practice of wise living with keeping a spirit of joy, trusting in God, and not trusting in yourself?
I don’t know, but one thing I’ve been thinking about lately is that it can be good to not worry so much about making mistakes. Of course you still need to plan and be wise, but making mistakes is part of life, and it’s okay, and usually everything works out. I always tried to be really strategic about EVERYTHING–down to my shopping trips–and that’s not really worth the added stress. (I’m not talking about HUGE mistakes, just normal mistakes.) Definitely good food for thought. Love you!
P.S. Tetris is HAAARRDD!
July 15th, 2010 at 7:31 am
I agree that making mistakes is part of life — that’s how we learn. And while I know that, it’s not really how I want to learn. When it comes to art, mistakes are often the things that make a piece unique or more beautiful. I know I should see my life that way, too, but it’s hard to make that shift in perspective.