Mistakes and buffer zones. Greg McKeown has some wise words for us to carry into the new year, but first…

Happy Birthday, 2022!

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions, but I do feel like it’s a new start. Something about everyone celebrating one more revolution around the sun at the same time is energizing. I mean, the whole world does it on the SAME DAY! You can’t say that about Friday’s or the first day of any month.

How did you spend your New Year’s Eve? We went into town and brought Popeye’s chicken home for dinner along with a big bottle of rum (and yes, I sang “Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum..” on the way out of the store). We snuggled up on the couch with chicken and…mmm…biscuits…and watched “About Time” on Netflix. Party animals!

On any given evening we watch one or two series episodes before bed, but since it was a holiday we decided to watch a movie. But which one? Flipping through titles doesn’t help and the descriptions…well, they just don’t grab me. I wish they would play a couple random movie trailers that you cannot skip before everything else I watch, unrelated ones, not something similar to what I’m watching or the same trailer over and over like they with commercials on other channels.

Last night, we chose “About Time” because the title looked like it was funny and cute, different than what we usually watch, and it turned out to be so beautiful I cried and laughed and cried again the whole way through. I’m tearing up just writing this right now! So, if you haven’t seen it, go watch it. You will NOT regret it. It’s the perfect movie to start the year with.

PS If you’re reading this, Netflix, please find a way to help us see a better assortment of movies to watch. ‘What’s Trending” and “Based on What You’ve Watched” butters no parsnips!

And now, without further ado, some brilliant insight from yours truly. Two more of my favorite quotes from my latest read.

mistakes and buffer zones

“There should be no shame in admitting to a mistake; after all, we really are only admitting that we are now wiser than we once were.” From Essentialism by Greg McKeown

How’s that for an idea? If we drop the ego guard down for a moment, after every mistake we make we can think, “I’m am now wiser than I was. Yay, growth!” Much more useful than, “Well crap, I made a mistake. I must be stupid and I need to hide it better.”

“The only thing we can expect (with any great certainty) is the unexpected. Therefore, we can either wait for the moment and react to it or we can prepare. We can create a buffer.” From Essentialism by Greg McKeown

mistakes and buffer zones

By “prepare” he doesn’t mean have enough money, be smart enough, plan what’s going to happen and be ready. He means prepare yourself, be emotionally ready for anything.

I’m a naturally reactive person. I get very excited, very easily, and my emotions can run away with me. That’s great when things are going as I had hoped, not so much when I’m surprised by something I didn’t want. My space between stimulus and response has been microscopic.

Meditation has helped me increase that space. Like driving, the more space I have between me and other cars, the more time I have to reflect and then respond. This coming year, I hope to increase my buffer space even more and then (wait for it) remember that it is there so that I don’t jump to react at the first sign of a problem, like that guy that slams on the brakes when he sees a yellow light a mile ahead.

Ok, so here we are at the end of my first post of the year 2022. I debated whether I should skip the quote commentary and create a special post just for New Year’s Day. I do have my 2021 reading stats to share with you. I know you’re dying to know! But I decided to stick with the flow and combine things a little.

I’m still working on one more post about Essentialism. I finished reading it yesterday and this morning started reading, “The Path of the Human Being: Zen Teachings on the Bodhisattva Way” by Dennis Genpo Merzel this morning. It sounds like a great way to start the year off, don’t you think?

Go back to my first post, “Essentialism by Greg McKeown” to read more quotes from the book.