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Sometimes others have to live with our mistakes

August 3rd, 2004 · 1 Comment

While Ted went to OSCON last week, I figured I’d paint the town red…or rather I’d paint the bathroom sage, and two other rooms squash yellow…

Nevermind that I was also doing the annual caulking of the shower and preparing for our weekend family vacation. Somehow it seems I got caught up into domestic diva identity syndrome…or perhaps it was merely my over-achieving side rearing it’s monstrous head in an opportune moment….

While Grandma watched the girls, I painted and painted. I realized how I like to focus on a project. Years ago in the lab I liked to do surgeries. Part of the reason I enjoyed the operations was that I could shut the door and focus on one task. Instead of trying to manage ringing telephones, growing cell cultures, ordering reagents and a variety of duties, I knew that in the silence of the operating room, I could allow that one-track side of me to flourish.

But apparently I didn’t focus enough on my projects. In the bedroom, the first room I painted, I wasn’t careful watching where I put the paint, and it splashed onto the carpet. After a few frantic phone calls, I found someone to come and clean up the mess. I was depressed and angry at myself for my mistake and how much it would cost, then again, I realized the bright side… since Abigail’s fever had improved and I hadn’t needed to take her to the doctor, we would be financially even…a trip to the doctor’s office would cost the same as cleaning paint from the carpet…(where is an Internet service that would find me an emergency carpet cleaner at the best price ASAP?!)

Although I had used the paint on two rooms, the bathroom challenged me. I had chosen a new color, sage, darker than the yellow I had used in the other two rooms. It didn’t look right to me. And I tried to touch it up, which made the mistakes more pronounced. But I couldn’t fix it. Ted would have to see it. We’d just have to live with it for a while. It’s the price of paint. During our weekend trip, I didn’t get a chance to tell my husband what I’d done to the bathroom, but I realized that perhaps it was a good opportunity to learn to live with mistakes.

When Ted came home lasta night, I had a little line I was prepared to recite to him. I waited anxiously as he entered the bathroom.
Then, as he examined the green, I quipped:

Sometimes you make mistakes in life and sometimes you have to live with them.

But my husband reminded me with his own clever line

Sometimes you make mistakes in life and I have to live with them.

True. I’m grateful he had a good attitude about my experiment painting the bathroom. I’m grateful Ted allows me to make mistakes. And that he’s willing to live with mine. I think that’s part of what love is: accepting the messes with grace and patience.

After all, everyone makes mistakes. And I’m sure I’ll be making a few more throughout our marriage, and probably another one when I try to rectify our bathroom’s paint job (perhaps while Ted is at ApacheCon). At least I didn’t make a mistake when I married Ted!


Tags: marriage

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Julie Leung: Seedlings & Sprouts // Nov 17, 2004 at 2:38 am

    The only way to cope with conformity is to make mistakes the norm

    Others might have to live with my mistakes but I can only live with them for so long. On Sunday night I decided to try to paint the bathroom again. I had hoped that adding a second bottle of color…