Finding beauty in our mistakes

I know it’s very hip to say you don’t regret anything, but I’m not so sure how true it is. I don’t regret anything in the sense that I understand that all my past experiences have brought me to where I am today and helped form me as an individual, but there are some things I’ve done that I would definitely call mistakes.

That’s why I love the idea of kintsugi.Have you heard the term? It’s a Japanese word that roughly translates to ‘golden joinery’ and refers to the practice of repairing broken pottery with lacquer mixed with powdered gold: so that the cracks are obvious, and beautiful. The idea is that the mistakes, the cracks and the repairs are part of the history of the object, not something to be hidden.

I think that’s a pretty great life philosophy.

I used to get really upset when things got broken around the house, because I purposefully don’t accumulate a lot of random stuff, so the things I have I really love (and I have a low tolerance for even slightly broken items and would rather just get rid of them). But I’ve started playing with this idea and recently glittered a broken foot on a wooden sculpture. Needless to say, it drives Mark crazy (he’s not a glitter fan – say what?!) which is perhaps half the joy of the repair.

But back to the philosophical side of this idea: I read this article last week – A mistake is just a moment in time – and it reminded me of the same principle. No matter how hard we try, we are bound to make mistakes in life. Probably almost daily with parenting. Certainly almost daily with diabetes, seeing as it’s a condition that varies day to day even if you eat exactly the same thing (which I have tried – didn’t help much). Part of the life lesson inherent in diabetes, for me, has been to release control of mistakes – or the illusion of control. I used to think that if you tried hard enough, you’d get the results you want. But that kind of attitude just doesn’t work with diabetes – you try as hard as you can and sometimes the numbers still suck. It could be the weather / hormones / insulin / exercise / vague illness / any of a number of other things, and trying to figure it out every time is guaranteed to make you feel crazy.

So taking a step back and looking at life – and diabetes – as a whole, rather than something to get right or wrong, really helps me. Yes, I’ve made some wrong decisions in the past (haven’t we all?) but they are part of who I am now, cracks and all. Might as well stick a little glitter on them!

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