The Tao of Typos

Acknowledging change and reserving judgement


There is a lesson in almost everything that happens in life. The secret is seeing and accepting it. Take typos, for example.

I used to be an editor. I was paid to find mistakes in copy, including my own. It was my bread and butter, and I did a decent job of it, too.

One day, my editing skills changed. I started making more typos than usual and even worse, missing them when I edited the copy. I wasn’t an editor at that point. I was working in the corporate world, but still it was kind of my job.

Now editing your own copy is always harder, but not impossible. And I was cranking out a lot more content at that time, so I wrote it off to working too quickly. Plus, it was just a few here and there.

Until it wasn’t a few anymore. I started finding typos in almost everything I did.

It freaked me out. I thought I was losing my touch. The more I worried about it, the worse it got. It became a major stressor in my life. Even on a slow day, I would miss some typos.

I had no idea what was causing it, but I actually broke down a few times over it. Then I tried to fix it. I made myself really focus on editing. I would find a quiet space so nothing would disturb me. But it didn’t help. Nothing helped.

Then one day I realized, I didn’t want to be in the job any more and I didn’t want to be doing the same type of work any more. So, I made a change.

Guess what happened? The typos started to disappear. I stopped telling myself that I couldn’t do my job any more. Stopped torturing myself over it. All I needed was a change.

Lesson No. 1: Mistakes may be guiding you to change – don’t discard or judge them too harshly.

On the other side of typos, readers can learn a lesson, too. Now, you pay good money for books or magazines, and you expect a certain level of editing. But even the best sometimes make mistakes.

If you’ve ever read reviews of new writers or the comments from people who always feel the need to correct your Facebook post, you know some people just cannot get over a typo. They see nothing but the mistake and gather nothing else from what’s said.

But sometimes the grammar isn’t what matters. It’s the message … or the story, depending on what you’re reading. If you focus on nothing more than the writer’s mistake, then you may be missing out on what’s important.

And you may be judging someone for nothing more than a fat finger. That one happens a lot on social media. Mistakes don’t make you uneducated and catching the mistake doesn’t make you smarter, especially if you miss the point of the conversation.

Lesson No. 2: Don’t get lost in the details – look for the bigger meaning.

Mistakes are mistakes. They are not the be all and end all of everything. Sure, no one wants to make them, but we do. Accept it, own it and if you can, laugh at it. And if you’re on the receiving end, be mindful that we all make mistakes from time to time. It’s a small act of kindness to not judge others’ mistakes. Remember, we’re trying to make a better world here.

Dreams of White Bikinis

Trusting your path to find inner peace

Narrow Coastal Road in Ireland

The world works in mysterious ways. But letting go, trusting your path and not expecting perfection are very big first steps toward inner peace. That’s what I’m learning in my journey so I thought it was a good place to begin this blog.

Since the election back in November, my need to make a difference has kicked into overdrive. I have taken many twists and turns to end up here, but that journey has been teaching me things I needed to know.

See, I’ve always felt the need to make a difference, but I didn’t know how. I struggled with it so much that I never started. I would plan and ponder and worry if I could stick it out — I dealt with all of that inner monologue that weighs you down. I would get frustrated and beat myself up for not figuring it out fast enough.

In fact, my soul searching became so intense that it began to destroy my inner peace. And that ain’t cool.

So I stopped.

Lesson No. 1: You can’t force it.

It didn’t hurt that I was dealing with my dad dying, as well as my pet of 12 years all within the first nine months of last year. It’s been said before, but I will say it again, 2016 sucked.

And then came the election. Finally, my time had come. I had to do something. I was being called … or at least I was calling on myself.

I had so much in my head and so much in my heart. The world was falling apart. Up was down and down was up. I needed to do something to move past everything I had been dealing with.

So I did what I do. I started writing.

First it was tweets and Facebook posts. Simple stuff I could do quickly and get my voice out there. Until the trolls found me. I don’t do trolls. So I started a blog.

I wrote a few posts, but it wasn’t me. Too corporate. I didn’t want that vibe gunking up my purpose. So, I created another blog.

Both were all politics all of the time. My concern was the state of the world and humanity as a whole. I was doing OK. Felt OK, but still not quite me. The message was right, but the voice was wrong.

So blog No. 3 came along. It’s still up, and I will keep it up for a while. That journey hasn’t ended yet. Still politics, but poetry and politics … a little more me.

I read and watched news – hour after hour, day after day. Eventually, it started to get to me. It was wearing me down.

There’s a lot of anger and bitterness out there right now. None of which helps a highly sensitive introvert stay calm and collected on the inside. And it does nothing for the betterment of the world.

But on blog No. 3, I had written a poem that began the next leg of my journey. The poem was about we all share this earth and we all have one destiny. The last line reads: We are significant in our insignificance, and our destiny begins with me.

Now, if you read my “about” page, you’ll start to see the connection. One person can have a positive impact on another person’s life and after that happens enough times, the world becomes a better place.

Lesson No. 2: Everything is connected. The universe knows what it’s doing. Sync with it. Trust it.

So I wrote a couple more poems, but then I had to take a break. I got overwhelmed with all the news and bad vibes floating around. I needed some goodness and to stop the “noise.”

I put down the phone, turned off the news, read a little more, exercised a little harder, ate a little better and meditated more. I focused on me – yeah, the one where our destiny begins.

See, it’s coming together. Wait for it.

My break from the last blog lasted a little longer than I had planned. But I got some good me time. Did a lot of journaling. Started clearing out the clutter in my head. You know, working on that inner peace stuff.

Then came the dreams of white bikinis. I know. It’s an odd twist but stick with me.

First, let me say that I’m a big believer in dreams tell us something we need to know. I don’t always know what they are telling me, but they’re telling me something.

So I had a few dreams over a course of a few weeks, and in each of them I was shopping for a swimsuit. It wasn’t the main point of the dream, actually, but it’s the part that stuck with me.

Now I should point out that I’ve only shopped for swimsuits twice in my entire life. Pale girls don’t go to the beach that often, so to dream of swimsuit shopping is a little out of the ordinary.

In all of the dreams, though, I had to make a choice of which swimsuit to buy. In the first dream there was no rush, just floating along, picking out a bikini. But, by the last dream, the pressure was on. If I didn’t make a choice I was going to miss my flight (yes, I was shopping in the airport in that dream). I was in a bit of panic because I had so many choices and so little time.

I wrote the dream in my journal when I woke up. It made no sense to me. I wasn’t getting the message and I had to get ready for work.

As is always the case, the message came to me in the middle of my shower — when I wasn’t thinking at all.

Lesson No. 3: Clearing the mind brings forth answers.

I had been journaling and meditating on different paths I could take while I was on my break working on myself. Do I keep doing the political blogs and watching a lot of news, keep focusing on the self-care and inner peace, start a novel or the 15 other things I was thinking about? I was falling back into that overthinking thing, and not getting any where.

But in the shower, I wasn’t thinking. I turned toward the water and let it run down my face. And then, it hit me. All the swimsuits in my dreams were the choices I was pondering in real life.

In the end it didn’t make a difference which swimsuit I chose, I just needed to make a choice before that last flight to Mexico hit the runway. The swimsuit wasn’t going to make or break the trip; but not making a choice was.

Lesson No. 4: Action matters, not perfection.

So, as with all the other dreams, I chose the white bikini.

Which is the white bikini in the real world? Well, you’re here. When I thought about what I was willing to put the most effort into, I determined, at least for the time being, it was me. That’s what I had been doing. That’s what I did to take a break. It felt like the right path for now. It may change. It probably will.

Yeah, it’s another fork in the road, but I’m trusting it. It’s a hard lesson to learn sometimes, going with the flow, but it’s worth it. It’s getting easier every day and my inner peace is coming back.

And I do believe we are significant in our insignificance and that the only way to change the world is one person at a time. And you can only do that by focusing on yourself.

As crazy as it sounds, finding inner peace and performing self-care can save this world. So, for now, I’ve put on my white bikini. I hope you’ll join me for a swim.

Peace, y’all.