My Year of Making Mistakes

January 15, 2012 at 8:15 am (Life) (, , , , , , )

The old year has passed by and the new year is commencing. Like a snake I feel ready to shed my skin and become something else.

I’ve never felt that the new year should begin now at the beginning of January. When in school, the new year always started in September and having spent half of my life (currently) in school settings it feels right for the new year to start September 1st or, as in pagan beliefs, for the old year to end with the harvest and the new year to start November 1st.

None the less, I pass on New Year wishes to you all via Neil Gaiman.

A door closes. A door opens. Life has become too predictable. I wish to go beyond the familiar paths.

Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life. (Neil Gaiman)

I live a precise, ordered life. I make my bed every morning. I am early for all appointments. I don’t over spend. I live within my means, don’t travel beyond my station and can tell you what I will (probably) be doing tomorrow and all the tomorrows beyond that.

My needs are met. My wants are few, practically non-existent.

If I had magic, that is, if I were magical, if I were Samantha, Tara, Hermione; I would go about cleaning up messes, picking up litter off the streets, closing things/lids other people have left open. My life is too precise, too ordered.

Ask me where anything is in my house and I can tell you. Ask me what I need and I can tell you.

Ask me what I want and I have no idea.

WANT is a thing that unfurls unbidden like fungus, opening large upon itself, stopless, filling the sky. But NEEDS, from one day to the next, are enough to fit in a bucket, with room enough left to rattle like brittlebush in a dry wind. (p. 13)

High Tide in Tucson: Essays From Now or Never
by Barbara Kingsolver
N.Y.: HarperCollins, 1995)

This year I hope I’m brave enough to make a lot of mistakes. I need to push myself out of my comfort zone.

What do I want?

I want to keep my independence. I want to let go of fear & the bad habit of putting others’ needs before my own.

What do I want?

I find for myself that my first thought is never my best thought. My first thought is always someone else’s; it’s always what I’ve already heard about the subject, always the conventional wisdom. It’s only by concentrating, sticking to the question, being patient, letting all the parts of my mind come into play that I arrive at an original idea. By giving my brain a chance to make associations, draw connections, take me by surprise. And often even that idea doesn’t turn out to be very good. I need time to think about it, too, to make mistakes and recognize them, to make false starts and correct them, to outlast my impulses, to defeat my desire to declare the job done and move on to the next thing.

Solitude and Leadership
On the enduring value of being alone with your thoughts.
William Deresiewicz | The American Scholar | Apr 2010

What do I want?

This year, I’m determined to know the answer before the year ends.

Wish me lots of mistakes.


  1. Kathy said,

    I wish you lots of mistakes. I wish that you push your comfort zone out the window (in the middle of the coldest January day) and that you leave your bed unmade and that you wear something you’d never wear and do something you’d never do. Go for it, Gigi! The world will never be the same, and, even if it’s scary, the energy you’ll get will be greater than you can imagine. (OK, you’re now making me want to burst even further out of my comfort zone too. Thank you!)

    • solitaryspinster said,

      Thanks for the kind & inspiring words, Kathy.

  2. avisannschild said,

    Yes yes yes! To a year of making glorious mistakes! I love this post and I’m right there with you!

  3. Looking Backwards « Solitary Spinster said,

    […] January, I vowed that I would make a lot of mistakes. My new year’s resolution was to step outside my comfort […]

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