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Posts Tagged ‘mistakes’

            “In a nervous frenzy, I fling words as if flinging mud at a wall. Blurt out, heave out, babble out something – anything – as a first draft.” – John McPhee.

It could be a mistake wandering around beneath this flamboyant sunset in Kenya's Serengeti National Park. -- Photo by Pat Bean

It could be a mistake wandering around beneath this flamboyant sunset in Kenya’s Serengeti National Park. — Photo by Pat Bean

Thankfully, I’m a Writer

            Working on a deadline, sometimes of just minutes, occasionally meant that typos and even factual mistakes made it into the newspaper when I was a reporter. It was at those times that I used to comment that if I had made a mistake as a carpenter, my product could have been used as firewood instead of being exposed to thousands of readers.

If a lion focused on you, such a mistake could e deadly. Thankfully, typos are only embarrassing. -- Photo by Pat Bean

If a lion focused on you, such a mistake could e deadly. Thankfully, typos are only embarrassing. — Photo by Pat Bean

Recently, however, I came across a comment that made me look at mistakes from a different perspective. A blogger noted that she was thankful she was a writer instead of a brain surgeon because her mistakes weren’t deadly.  I guess the same could be said of an airline pilot, an explosives’ expert, or a snake charmer.

Even so, I still recall with embarrassment the first time I had to write a front-page correction. I was still a green-between-the-ears reporter, and had arrived late to a city council meeting. I’m normally a person who is always early, but back then I was a working mother with five children so I’m assuming I had a legitimate excuse.

Anyway, the next half hour after I arrived, the council members debated whether or not to give residents a 5 percent reduction for the cost of a particular city service. They finally agreed in the affirmative, and that was the big headline on my story the next day. Unbeknownst to me, however, was the fact that before I had arrived, the council members had already agreed on a 10 percent reduction, in addition to the additional 5 percent.

I think that was the biggest correction, thankfully, I ever had to write, as I became an avid adherent to the philosophy of double-checking facts, and then checking again.

But then I’ve made plenty of other mistakes that have been doozies, some even that could have been deadly. Don’t we all?

Bean Pat:  A thought to start your day http://tinyurl.com/of9dsgt I couldn’t agree more.

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Art and Words

 

I wish I hadn't made some of the coral so dark.

I wish I hadn’t made some of the coral so dark.

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes.” – Scott Adams

 Life Lessons

One of the most freeing pieces of advice I ever received was the one given to me by a Weber State University art professor.

Quick sketch of a barn

Quick sketch of a barn

“Give yourself permission to paint a bad picture,” he said, then gave us the assignment to do just that.

I absolutely hated the “bad” painting I did for the assignment. But when the professor posted all of the students’ “bad paintings” on the wall, he pointed out what he liked in each of them.  I was dumbfounded at what he liked in mine, but in reconsidering I did see a few elements of saving grace in my ugly picture.

While I never did come to like that painting, I did learn from the exercise. From that time foreword, I’ve given myself permission to paint a bad picture every time I have a blank piece of paper or canvas in front of me. It frees me enough that I can actually paint without having to worry about messing up. That’s good because I always do.

I can honestly say I’ve never painted a piece that I felt was perfect — and probably never will. It’s the same with my writing. I can always see ways, after a piece is published, where I could have made the words sing more vibrantly, or whisper more gracefully.

Perfection simply isn’t within me. But that’s OK. It’s the imperfections that make me who I am – and unique.           

Blog pick of the day.

Blog pick of the day.

Bean Pat: Leanne Cole Photography http://tinyurl.com/ohj4k9t Abbotsford Convent, a delightful blog for the armchair traveler.

 

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I took this sunrise shot while driving across West Texas. At first I hated the power lines that make it look flawed. These days I look at it a bit differently. How about you?  -- Photo by Pat Bean

I took this sunrise shot while driving across West Texas. At first I hated the power lines that make it look flawed. These days I look at it a bit differently. How about you? — Photo by Pat Bean

“It takes a long time to grow young.” – Pablo Picasso

My 75th Birthday

I really never thought about this day, and what it would mean to me.

I spent most of my birthdays living far from kids, and so didn't have to endure them making me look silly. This birthday, however, I'm celebrating with several children and grandchildren, and actually loving it that they do so enjoy making me look silly. -- Photo by D.C. and Cindi Bean.

I spent most of my birthdays living far from kids, and so didn’t have to endure them making me look silly. This birthday, however, I’m celebrating with several children and grandchildren, and actually loving it that they do so enjoy making me look silly. — Photo by D.C. and Cindi Bean.

But now that it’s here, I feel I should give myself a Bean’s Pat for making it.

When I look back, my mind first focuses on all the mistakes I made in life, but then I realize it is because of those mistakes that I have my children, that I learned about empathy, that I discovered the necessity of having priorities in one’s life, and that I truly lived.

Knowing what I know now, which is far less than I want to know but far more than what I knew when I took my first step in life, I would probably make a lot more mistakes because I wouldn’t be afraid of making them.

Yup! Turning 75 isn’t bad at all. Especially when I might still have a few more mistakes in life to make.

The Wondering-Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering-Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Sun Rise http://garyschollmeier.wordpress.com/  I chose this blog because the sentiment echoes my thoughts this day – and I have watched the sun rise from a small sailboat that I once owned. I eventually had to sell the sailboat because my financial priorities changed, but buying it was not a mistake.

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“If I had my life to live over … I’d dare to make more mistakes next time.”  — Nadine Stair

A view of Mount Ranier from the Box Canyon scenic overlook, where I finally realized I was headed the right way -- but in the opposite direction from which I had planned to travel. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Travels with Maggie

My plan was to enter Mount Ranier National Park through the Nisqually Entrance on the west side, visit Paradise Junction then return a few miles back to Cougar Rock Campground, where I had paid reservations for the night. I checked out my camp site on the way up to Paradise, and noted a nearby trail that I could hike the next morning

Scarlet paintbrush: Always take time to smell the flowers -- Photo by Pat Bean

 before backtracking to Highway 12 . I would still miss a good bit of the park but I had an appointment to keep in Southern Idaho and a lot of miles in between.

At Paradise Junction, I watched the film about the mountain in the visitor center, bought a few souvenirs for family members and then hiked a short trail for a view of the Nisqually Glacier. Though spectacular, it was a hot hike and I was glad to get back to my air conditioned RV where Maggie demanded a walk along the roadside before we moved on. Dogs aren’t allowed on trails in national parks.

 Back again in the RV, I was eager to get to camp and didn’t double check the route. My memory of the map recalled that the road simply looped around. I forgot I had no sense of direction. Somewhere along the way I zigged instead of zagged. While such is a frequent occurrence, I usually catch the boo-boo within a block or two. Not this time.

 So intent was I at watching the scenery and stopping to take photographs of sights, like the Reflection Lakes, that I had missed on the way up, that I was halfway across the park before I realized my error. Not wanting to backtrack at this point, I simply kept going. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow.

Silver Falls -- Photo by Pat Bean

I was glad I did. Otherwise I would have missed not only a spectacular drive all the way across the park, but Silver Falls and a visit to an old growth forest of hemlocks and firs near the Stevens Canyon Entrance. A walk through the Grove of the Patriarchs was ambrosia to this tree-huggers’ soul.

 Since daylight was close to ending at this point, I checked out the Ohanapecash Campground on the east side of the park and discovered it had vacancies. For a mere $7.50, using my Golden Age Passport, I camped in one of them. It would have cost me a lot more in gas to have driven back to Cougar Rock. Besides getting to see more of Mount Ranier than I had planned, I also had a head start on the next days’ travels.

This was a day that following a plan wasn’t in my best interests.

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