I’m a big fan of the comics page. That’s the way my typical day starts, Sudoku first, then perusal of my favorite soap operas. Baldo is one of my daily must reads. I’m a big fan of the Bermudez family—probably because I feel an affinity for Gracie, the straight A’s, straight-laced, perfect kid sister of the eponymous pseudo-hero. I didn’t have a clumsy older brother paving an easy road for me by setting a low bar, but I really wanted one!
Baldo is one of those lovable screwups who never exactly does things *wrong*, but he’s never really doing things right, either, in that teenage boy kind of way. Recently, Baldo had to break some bad news to Dad (Sergio). It seems that our pseudo-hero took some Wiki-liberties that he should not have in this day and age and low and behold, got in trouble at school, making a different kind of mistake.
We all make mistakes. Maybe not quite the kind Baldo made, but we do all make mistakes. I started this out admitting to being one of those weirdos who does Sudoku every day: I’m also one of those weridos who can tell you how my day will go based on how I do on Sudoku. One of the unintended consequences is that I now bound out of bed on Monday mornings with unbridled optimism. Sudoku gets harder as the week goes on; at this point, I can whiz through Monday with few mistakes in about fifteen minutes, making Monday the best day of my week most weeks. If I can’t get Sudoku on Monday morning, I know I’m in trouble.
Which is to say that even on Mondays, I am starting every day with mistakes. Not the type that Baldo made, and with few consequences (aside from my outlook on the day), but mistakes nonetheless. As the week goes on, my neat Sudoku grids with just a few scribbled notes and corrections turn into mess scratches of trial and error, self-correction, and sometimes, incomplete acquiescence to failure. Taking myself down a few pegs, as it were, a self-reminder that I, at least, am not perfect. A bit of a homespun empathy exercise, psychology solitaire, if you will. A lesson in the bounds of ego, that there is something out there that can, might and will (at least at times) whup you and put you in the dirt, a little scrap of recycled and to-be-recycled paper besting the mighty intellect of the 21st Century American.
Making mistakes is not that bad. As the man said, “They’re the only thing that you can truly call your own.” (Billy Joel, “Second Wind”, 1985.—it’s OK to learn from other’s mistakes as well. Thanks, Baldo.) So there I am, learning from Baldo’s mistake. Sometimes you can correct a mistake, sometimes the only thing you can do is learn from it. Realize it happened, accept the consequence, and try to do better next time. Some days I give up on Sudoku, my grid a hopeless mess of notes and possibilities, wrong tracks scribbled out in favor of second tries that follow the fate of the first try.
I often times think that the worst consequence of making a mistake is the way it is perceived by others. I’ve noted from time to time the work some people go through to cover up even the smallest mistake, concerned about what someone else might think, knowing they make a mistake. I’m really not much one for that. I guess I think of mistakes as akin to a scraped knee, better to leave it open and uncovered, fastest way to make it better, rather than hide it away where it will fester and ooze, get worse and cause even more problems. Of course, I think I suffer this way, many people thinking me a hopeless screw up. Hopeless? Never. Screw up? Possibly. Perhaps in the eye of the beholder, perhaps not.
Pretty heavy, all things considered. I guess I own the blogosphere something lighter, but not now. Gotta blow before I copy Baldo’s next mistake. :S