Learning from Mistakes

4/18/21 Sunday

This skipper made a handful of misjudgments – wind, tide, draft, siltation, current. But what looked like a minor disaster was practically a non-issue. A line was thrown to him from the dock and tied off to a cleat, then as the tide rose the boat righted, popped free, and was pulled up to the dock without any further drama.

After-the-rain.org / grounded sailboat

I’m starting to wonder if there really is such a thing as a mistake. Decisions are made, and most of them have unintended consequences. The fatalist in me believes things happen for a reason, the buddhist in me believes there are no mistakes – there is just Now, and my protestant history tells me I’ve made plenty of mistakes and should probably feel guilty about them. Whatever the case, it’s probably healthiest to see life a constant chance to learn.

The most successful people in my industry are not necessarily the smartest people, but those who are most open to learning. Technology is the clearest example. As the hardware in our cell sites went from analog to digital, the button, dials, and calibrating machines were replaced with settings that were adjusted in laptop program software. Those reluctant to change retired, quit, or were fired. Those open to change were able to learn, adapt, succeed, and progress. One of the old timers who was able to adapt told me he just viewed a computer as a new kind of tool, which makes sense. I would go further to say it’s more like the biggest most versatile tool bag that has ever been invented.

After-the-rain.org / Laptop and sailboat

I myself am naturally reluctant to change. I’m stubborn, steadfast, loyal to a fault, old school, old fashioned, old, opinionated, and of Scottish and English descent. But life is teaching me how to let go, to recognize the futility of attachment, to be more like water. I’m learning to how to be more open, how to listen, how to be more accepting of myself and others, and how to move forward.

For what it’s worth I’ve recently learned how to whip rope ends so they don’t fray and unravel. It’s fun and I’m crawling all over the boat whipping every rope end I can find. I even canceled the boat showings for this weekend because they get in the way of me spending time working on the boat. Yes it is still for sale, but I haven’t found anyone quite yet who qualifies. Until then I’ll keep on learning about boat stuff, and learning about myself and where I fit in this wonderful glorious mysterious and unpredictable world.

After-the-rain.org / whipped 3 strand

Author: Rainey

after-the-rain.org What started out as chicken scratch notes on the back pages of my boat’s logbook has now grown into a blog. These words and images help me cope with a loved one struggling with mental illness, and they help guide me through divorce, and the process of moving on. Thanks for reading along as I learn about life the hard way, do the best I can for my son in my new role as a single dad, and find weird similarities between restoring an old blue water sailboat and putting the pieces of my own life back together. Come check out my story and feel free to say hi!

5 thoughts on “Learning from Mistakes”

  1. ‘Life as a constant chance to learn’. It’s interesting you should say that. My twitter name is Constant Learner. Say no more, right? lol. Learning to be more like water. Love the sound of that too. I am there also. Tall order but definitely trying. Hope Day is well and you guys are enjoying this beautiful time of year. MXO

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s hard to let a boat go. We have a 1977 29 foot Erickson Tall Mast. She’s not fleet but she holds a line well, she is pretty, below is designed well indeed. We are new sailors (started in 2014), we didn’t want to get in trouble with a twitchy boat. There is a zen to never ending boat maintenance but I am not physically able to paint the undercoat. This spring my husband was having a hard time doing the same. I know we’ll have to let her go, release her into the stream so someone else can love her..someday. The dream of our aging bones is to pick up a nice, previously owned whaler who is undaunted by Lake Michigan’s waves.

    If you visit my blog..I guess start at the Ice Boats Came and/or Getting to Know You…you’ll see our boating life and understand more of my philosophy…not un-similar to yours, there is a 17th Century Scottish Sea Captain up in my family tree.

    Liked by 1 person

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