Life as it Comes; Podcast #31 | Have You Pulled a Theresa?

Have You Pulled a Theresa?

A humorous podcast about life.This podcast takes a humorous look at making mistakes. It also ties in with my blog series on mistakes. I don’t know about you, but my life seems full of making mistakes. There are so many to make and so many combinations that life is never dull. In this story podcast I categorize some of these goof ups. Or as my daughter and I like to call these mistakes, ‘pulling a Theresa.’


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Join the Discussion: What are some common mistakes you make at your house?

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Description: Life is full of mistakes. A funny but encouraging podcast for families, particularly mothers, about finding humor in our messy, imperfect lives.

Yay for Mistakes! Part 1, What Do You Do?

Responding to mistakes often occurs on autopilot. 

Okay! Your day is going pretty good. You’re cruising from one thing to another. Ticking off the boxes and lo and behold accomplishing some stuff. You’ve even had your first cup of coffee or tea. You are dressed. I mean, dressed in something you would not be embarrassed to answer the door in. Clothes you could leave the house wearing without wondering how much the car door really covers you and how much other commuters can see of you.

You are going along fine and then bam!!! You make a mistake.

Nothing earth shattering, but an honest to goodness mistake.

Maybe you spill coffee on the couch as you are trying to have an intentional moment. Maybe you misread the calendar and now the dentist is calling to ask where little Johnny’s mouth is. Maybe you are eating some of that banana bread you made late last night and you realize after your first bite that you left out the bananas. Maybe the sugar. Oh no, tastes like both. Maybe you realize with a sinking feeling that you forgot to let the cat in last night and that is why it is now howling like its caught in a bear trap.

Use your imagination. Come up with a mistake. I am sure you can.

Maybe twenty past mistakes are flooding your mind. Stop! That is enough!

Now let me ask, “What do you do when you discover you have made a mistake?”

What do you do when you discover your children, your friends, your mate, your dog, the grocery checker or your pet turtle has made a mistake?

Do you say, “Yeah for mistakes?”

Okay, let’s be honest. If you are the one who made the mistake what do you do?

7 unhealthy ways of responding to mistakes:


1. Call yourself names? (stupid, idiot, etc.)

2. Beat yourself up? (I can’t believe you forgot to add the flour to the pancakes. How many times have you made those exact pancakes?) [notice I used second person as many of us talk to our self in second person.]

3. Feel guilty? (Time to do penance, make a long face, deny yourself all happiness and pleasure for a time period. Maybe even don’t eat anything for a while.)

4. Let the mistake ruin your day? (Oh no. Now I’ve really ruined things for everyone. All the joy you have been feeling before your mistake now deflates from your soul.)

5. Lecture yourself? (Maybe in your mother’s voice, or someone else’s.)

6. Blame someone else? (It’s so and so’s fault that I got distracted.)

7. Equate the mistake with the same seriousness as a sin? (Two totally different things, as we will soon see.)

Why do we try so hard to not make mistakes?


Growing up I wanted to please others and do my best. I was on a quest for perfection. I felt if I could order my life and environment and responses to perfection, then life would flow smoothly. No one would get upset with me. Things would be perfect.

Somewhere along the way I equated mistakes with the same seriousness as sin. Both were to be avoided at all costs.

Every try to be perfect? It takes so much energy. Thinking. Calculating. And it takes all the fun from life and instead throws into your heart full of fear and stress. It also promotes lies about life and yourself.

I don’t know about you, but trying to get through life without making mistakes is impossible. And yet many of us try day after day to not make mistakes. I

have learned, I can’t even get through one day without making a mistake. Usually more.

I bet you can’t either. Unless you are sleeping all day, in a comma, or in the cold room of the mortuary. (If you are in the last category, your days of making mistakes are over. You can stop reading now.)

As for how I handle mistakes, I have done all the above 7 different responses at different times and for different circumstances. But now I am on a quest to yell, okay, maybe not always yell, “Yeah for mistakes.”

Humans make mistakes and in case you haven’t lately noticed, you and I are humans, which means we will make mistakes. Lots of mistakes. This means, life is full of mistakes. Yours and others.

We can count on mistakes being a part of our lives, as much as we can rely on the sun and moon.

So why do we dread making mistakes so much? Might it be our perception of mistakes and the level of seriousness we attribute to mistakes?

The definition of mistake (and sin)


Let’s look at the difference between a mistake and a sin, according to our friend Webster.

Mistake means, 1. a misunderstanding; a wrong judgement, 2. a wrong action or statement proceeding from faulty judgment, inadequate knowledge, or inattention.

Synonyms include: error, blunder, slip, miscalculation, misjudgment, misstep.

Sin means, 1. a: an offense against religious or moral law, b:  an action that is or is felt to be highly reprehensible, c:  an often-serious shortcoming.  2. a: transgression of the law of God, b: a vitiated state of human nature in which the self is estranged from God.

Synonyms include: offense, vice, crime, scandal

One is an error or blunder, the other is breaking a religious law. One is not serious, the other is.

A sin and a mistake are not opposites, but they are also not similar to each other.

Examples of mistakes


I can make a mistake, such as forget to put the wash in the dryer and therefore the clothes start to mold, but that mistake is due to inattention. It is a mistake, plain and simple. It is not a sin or a scandal, or even a crime.

There are lots of ways to make mistakes.

I can add up a list of numbers and come up with the wrong answer because I don’t know how to add, I forgot to carry some numbers, I misread some numbers, or maybe I don’t know how to add lists of numbers.

I can be learning to shoot baskets and fail 90 times out of 100 to make a basket. This can be due to not understanding how to shoot and use the back board, miscalculation of how hard to toss the ball, the placement of my hands on the ball, or lots of other reasons.

I can fail to pay the telephone bill because I did not get a statement, I forgot to read my calendar and see it was due, or I was on the beach in the Caribbean trying to get warm.

I can make all sorts of mistakes without meaning to.

I can back out of the garage before the garage door is fully open and dent the garage door.

I can say something stupid and hurt someone’s feelings without even trying or knowing I did.

I can write a text message and close the window before I send the text, thinking the text is sent.

I can go to the grocery store with the express purpose of buying ginger, and then get home with 35 other items and no ginger ale, ginger root, ginger cookies, or ginger spice.

I can back over and crush my kids tricycle because I didn’t know it was there.

All the things I mentioned are mistakes. None are deliberate. None are breaking a religious or moral code. None were pre-planned. None were intentional.

Mistakes happen all the time. They are a part of life. So let’s quit beating ourselves up and instead yell, “Yeah, for mistakes.”

Okay, whisper, “Yeah, for mistakes.”

Give yourself the freedom to make mistakes and then use them to your advantage. (Learn how in the next post in this series on mistakes)

This post is part 1 of a series about mistakes. Other posts explore:

How to Respond to Mistakes – yours and others
Why Mistakes Are Necessary and how we can learn from them and use them to our advantage
Dispelling the Lies of Mistakes that Steal Our Joy
How We Let Our Mistakes Determine Our Worth
Teaching our children about mistakes and Responding to Their Mistakes in a Healthy Manner
How to Let our Children Make Mistakes and Fail
How Mistakes Can Be Blessings in Disguise
Looking at how to Deal With Large Mistakes with Big Consequences
Letting Others Make Mistakes and not trying to fix everything
Dealing With Critical Words from Others when we make mistakes

Bonus: Life as is Comes will be exploring a funny episode on mistakes. Episode 31; Have You Pulled a Theresa?

Join the Discussion: What do you tend to do when you make a mistake?

Do You Feel Outside the Circle?

Do you ever feel like you don’t fit in? That you are different from everyone else?
That you belong about as much as a circle in a room of hexagons?

I think we all sometimes feel this way.

Sometimes it seems we really don’t fit in. Maybe we are the odd woman out. The only homeschooling mom in a room full of business women. The only redhead in a room of blondes. The only twenty something in a room of fifty and overs. The solitary man among a bus load of women. The one Republican among Democrats. The apartment dweller surrounded by home owners. The lone Methodist amidst Catholics. The one dog visiting the cat museum. The only person breathing at the mortuary.

Well, let’s hope you are not relating to the last category, or nightmares may be settling in faster than a flock of geese descending on a lake.

Anyway, the point is that sometimes we experience occasions when we don’t feel a part of the crowd. Times where we feel we don’t fit in. Instances when we are counting the minutes to departure, and hopefully normalcy.

We all experience this sometimes. And it is normal.

We feel like a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs!


Feeling like You Don’t Belong?


Sometimes it may feel like years go by and you never fit in. You never connect with others who are quirky and unique like you. Others who have the same background, morals, opinions, traits, and of course good looks like you.

There is one thing I can say about my childhood, it was not typical. My dad was into health food before health food was even a term or a chain of grocery stores selling organic bulk foods. We had no sugar in the house, ground all our own flour, avoided all packaged food, took handfuls of vitamins, and sprinkled brewer’s yeast on our salads. Besides the religion of health food, we belonged to a very different religion that kept the Sabbath and Holy Days and observed food laws and more. Because 6 of the 8 members in my immediate family had red hair, there was no hiding among the crowd. People met us once and remembered us for years. We were known as the red headed family. My parents also decided to homeschool us before home-school was even a word and before curriculum choices had multiplied across the web. The only home-school group in our state consisted of me and my siblings.

I could go on, but the point is we did not fit perfectly anywhere or with any group. We were different, which we eventually figured out sometime during our childhood.

Perhaps it was when the other kids got to eat candy and we dried watermelon to satisfy our sweet tooth. Maybe it was when we finally ate bread that was light and fluffy, instead of the three pound loaves we ate at home. Like I said, eventually the truth dawned on us.

Maybe you are looking at the wrong thing. 


Now I am not telling you all this to get some tears, because actually childhood wasn’t all sadness and weirdness. I would not trade it for something different because it shaped and formed me into the person I am today. I also have many fond memories of my childhood.

The point is, I know about not fitting in or being like everyone else. I know about being the weird one out. Been there and done that.

Now I am also going to tell you that in many ways my childhood was normal.

I had parents who loved me. Siblings to fight with and love fiercely. We lived in a big rambling house that sheltered us. My dad worked hard and provided for us. My mother did all the motherly things for us. We had a good education and had to do chores. We wore normal clothes. We attended church. My dad read books to us and mom taught us girls to sew. We had a dog, cats, chickens. We went on long car trips and saw the Grand Canyon, Disney Land, Hearst Castle, the dessert and ocean. We had people over for dinner, and we visited other people. We participated in activities and sports, joined clubs, and had friends. We attended family gatherings and saw our grandparents most Sunday evenings. We laughed a lot and acted like a family with 6 kids.

So, in many ways my childhood was typical and normal.

So what’s different between the two versions?

In the first version I am focusing on how my family was different from other families. In the second version, I focus on how we were like other families.

Get it? See the pattern?

How to feel like you belong:


Okay, this is my point. When we feel or think we don’t fit in, feel we don’t belong, are excluded from the circle, or are talking about them versus us, in most cases we are highlighting the differences. We are defining our self or them according to traits, habits, opinions, terms, choices, struggles, or experiences. We are comparing and contrasting in our brains and looking for the obvious differences, and then highlighting them and often growing them into these big excuses or reasons.

So here is what I am suggesting.

Instead of looking for the differences and the ways we are different from these people, or those folks, or that group, focus instead on the ways we are the same. Find the similarities. Look for the things we have in common. The things that make us say, “Yes, me too.”

We can always find differences and feel we don’t fit in. But we can also almost always find commonalities and similarities and begin to feel a connection and sense of belonging.

We humans have so many common experiences from just living. The joy of laughing. Being a child. Getting in trouble. Being scared. Not being picked first. Public speaking. Feeling the anger of someone. Disappointing another. The pleasure of friendship. the pain of teasing. Being the tallest, shortest, or in between.

Our past experiences and even current experiences may be different, but we are all humans and can relate on so many levels.

Who, if you have lived awhile, hasn’t experienced a broken heart that was shattered into so many pieces that you were afraid a wind would carry away the dust of your heart? Different situations may have broken your heart, but we can recall what a broken heart feels like and how it shapes the day, week, and months ahead. Whether it was caused by divorce, the death of a loved one, our company downsizing us out into the cold, a friend cheating us, or our business failing, we can relate and say, “Yes, me too.”

So I am asking you to stop and take a breath next time you feel you don’t fit in, or next time you feel you don’t have much in common with someone or a group, and start noticing the similarities. Start looking at them like they are people just like you. With hopes, hurts, loves, and insecurities. Relate and connect through the commonalities.

Bullies like to point out the differences and how we don’t belong due to some trait or experience or belief we don’t share with the rest of the group. Don’t listen to the lies of the Bully. He will tell you over and over you don’t belong or fit in because it makes him feel like he fits in even more. It also makes his group more exclusive. Ignore his message.

Humans always have more in common, than we have different. Always.

Looking for the differences creates anger, isolation, them and us, and promotes disrespect.

Looking for the similarities creates comradery, connection, understanding, and promotes kindness.

What do you think this world needs more of?

Right you are! Kindness.

So next time you feel like a shoe in a pile of jackets, look for similarities.

Remember: You do fit in! More than you think!

Don’t forget it!

Look for similarities!

Join the Discussion: What helps you when you feel outside the circle?

Linking up at Jennifer Dukes Lee (#tellhisstory); and Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart)