Mistakes

Every day over supper or before bed time if we forget, we play a game called “favorites” inspired by The Kardashians game “Pit and Peak.” Essentially, everyone has to go around and say what their favorite part of the day was, what made them mad or sad or angry, and now we added a new rule: You have to admit if you made a mistake that day.

Oh how the mighty have fallen. When I started my new job and went from ER nurse to ICU nurse, expert to novice, I learned how important it was to admit when you make a mistake and when you don’t know the answers. If I could give any advice to a new nurse it is this: make mistakes. Make lots of them and learn from them and then don’t make them again but above all, loudly and proudly declare when you are wrong.

Carver was going through a phase when he was lying if he did something wrong or naughty so I kept saying, “It’s okay to make mistakes!” we would talk about each and every mistake made throughout the day and what we learned from them.

The other day, Carver threw a fit and wanted to close the garage door. We were in a hurry and he was dinking around and hitting the button over and over and the door would go up and down and up and down. In my not so proud parenting moment I exclaimed something along the lines of, “Why don’t you listen to me? Why are you dinking around! Cut it out!”

Before Carver even had the chance to explain himself, I hastily made my way over to the garage door and started pushing the button. The button was broken. It was going up and down because there was something in the way. Carver wasn’t dinking around at all.

I felt so terrible. I immediately stopped what I was doing, put my hand on his shoulders and said, “I made a mistake Carver. I thought you were dinking around. You tried to tell me it was broken. I didn’t listen. I’m so sorry.” We talked about it again at supper that night and Carver jokingly told Craig, “Mommy made a mistake Daddy!” I had to admit to the whole family my mistake over supper and all was well again and I asked Carver, “Do you forgive me?” and he did.

So, in honor of admitting mistakes, and making sure you don’t get the illusion of some perfect family lifestyle blogger, I have a mistake to admit to you all.

First of all, last Sunday, I forgot I had to work. We were enjoying a leisurely family night on the couch when something prompted me to double check my schedule for the week and OH MY GOD WHY DOES IT SAY THAT I’M SUPPOSED TO BE AT WORK IN 10 MINUTES!?!?

Yup. Just a few weeks off of orientation and this is the reputation I set for myself. I fly into work but because of the commute I clock in an hour and 15 minutes late. It was all well, it truly does happen to EVERYONE, especially when there is a lot of shift flip flopping and odd shifts. It was my first night shift on the new schedule and I had been working a month of day shifts prior. I was fully intending on arriving at work the next morning at 7:15.

I’ve done this only two other times before. I was JUST back from maternity leave after Carver. I had FINALLY earned the coveted Saturday day shift in the ER – the first three hours you are alone until the mid shift comes in at 10. It took a good year before I earned this position and the VERY FIRST weekend I was scheduled, I got a call at 7:15 am wondering if I was coming in. I slept through my alarm! How embarrassing! I spent the day lamenting and over apologizing to ANYONE who would listen swearing I would NEVER do it again. I had learned my lesson.

UNTIL THE VERY NEXT MORNING WHEN I WOKE UP 10 minutes before my shift was supposed to start! YES YOU READ THAT RIGHT TWICE IN THE SAME WEEKEND!!! And I haven’t done it for 4 years. Until last weekend.

Every time, guys I promise you, I’ve timed this out so many damn times, if you ever give someone a hard time about making a med error or for oversleeping, it WILL HAPPEN to you next. It happens to everyone and it will probably happen again, even to the most professional of us.

One more to give you all a giggle on this Sunday night:

Where I used to work, everyone was way into biking. The town I worked in has a beautiful 11 mile bike trail surrounding it. So many times I’d hear about the trail or I would see on the Strava fitness app I use that people would conquer the 11 mile trek in an hour or so. We’ve done several 14 mile rides and regularly bike, I thought “11 miles, piece of cake. I’ll knock it out in an hour, get some alone time, blare some Taylor Swift’s new album. It’ll be good. My brother backed out because he thought it would be too hot. I thought “What does he know? Once you get moving it’s a nice breeze anyway.” So I set out around 12 and had a great few miles in. It wasn’t too hot, it was breezy and shaded. I thought to myself, “I’m such a bike riding pro.”

Then my music quit. My iphone got overheated. Too overheated to function or play any music. That’s weird. Then I felt like every turn was straight up hill. Wow, no one mentioned this. Must be just a short rough part of the trail. I kept going.

EVERY. DAMN. TURN. WAS. A. STRAIGHT. UP. CURVE.

I really started getting worried when I started meeting the real pro bikers going in the OPPOSITE direction of me, downhill. That’s weird. I’ve gotta be getting close to the top.

15 straight up hill/curves later, I was out of water, it was 95 degrees. The breeze that I had enjoyed while I was moving was GONE. I was walking my bike up most of the hills. I kept thinking “I’ve gotta be close.” Every time, I was not close.

I turned around and traveled back to an intersection outside of town so that when they found me left for dead at least I’d be found faster. I called my brother and begged him to come pick me up. My iphone had cooled down long enough to make a few calls. Karl was already out of town. I was screwed and I was certain I was going to vomit.

Then, I remembered the town’s taxi service. I called and within minutes they had someone on their way. I snapped this selfie as I was waiting for them.

My vision was going spotty while he was trying to stuff my bike in his prius. I must not have been thinking straight because I couldn’t process that the road he picked me up on was straight downhill into town. If I could have just had a moment of clarity, it would have saved me some embarrassment.

So yeah guys, I made a mistake. I overestimated my abilities, the amount of water I had, the difficulty of the trail, all of it.

Everyone talks about “AWESOME WORKOUT!” and they show off their calorie counts. I want to hear from someone who gives up sometimes and has to call a taxi so they don’t pass out on the gravel road in the July heat. So I’ll be that person for ya’ll.

That’s all I have for today folks. Have a good one and set a shit ton of alarms.

Oh, and admit your mistakes!

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4 thoughts on “Mistakes

  1. Helen A says:

    This is very good advice. Never criticize someone at work because as you say, it’ll be you making the mistake next. We are human and all humans make mistakes. I think it’s great as a parent as well to do just what you’re doing with your kids in admitting mistakes. I try and do that too. I think it’s important to mistakes into teachable moments.

    At work I used to always explain why I made a mistake i guess to show that it wasn’t really my fault or to mitigate it in some way. I learned over the years that employers don’t care why you made the mistake. It’s better to just accept responsibility for the mistake and take steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again and move on. All an employer really wants to know is that you accept you made the mistake and will work to ensure it won’t happen again.

  2. Paulette says:

    I just paid a credit card late (by 3 days, costing me an extra $25) for the first time EVER! The passage of time and days is very odd feeling this year. A few months ago, I was thinking it was a Wednesday until I realized mid-afternoon it was actually Thursday and I was supposed to be logged in to work my shift a couple hours before! Thankfully I could make up the time, but still…it throws you for a loop.

    Heat exhaustion is scary stuff. I’ve been there with the spotty vision and confusion. My adult daughter just spent two nights in the hospital from a recent episode. Glad you recovered quickly!

  3. Elle says:

    All the years I was precepting in the OR (be it a scrub or circulator), I always said: “If you make a mistake tell the surgeon right away. She/he will not get nearly so upset as when they find it first”. I wholeheartedly agree that the best learning comes from mistakes. I am fortunate that in 39 years, my mistakes were not catastrophic for my patients, but easily remedied. Blessed indeed. (My sleep-in was a Saturday as well. I walked into my OR after the patient was asleep and had minutes to do a 20m table setup 😉

    Great lessons to teach your children: integrity, humility, morals and values. Good job Mom and Dad!

    Hope you have a terrific week!

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