Friday, October 12, 2018

Insight: Lessons of the fall

By Lorraine Glowczak

Last Friday before working at my job in Portland, I went for a walk on one of my favorite nature trails. My hike in nature did not occur as I had imagined.

Deep in thought, I wasn’t paying attention as I was walking down a steep and narrow path. As my mind was elsewhere and not on the path ahead of me, I tripped. Instead of turning on the sharp curve on the downhill trail, I kept walking forward where no path existed – only an abrupt slope. I tumbled approximately twenty feet down the side of the hill. My yoga skirt slid above my head, exposing myself to anyone who was also enjoying the day in nature. I was embarrassed and mortified, walking away with bruises and scratches.

But that wasn’t the only fall I took last week.

When you are an editor/writer for a small-town newspaper, it is very wise to stay present with a focused mind. If you make one tiny misstep – any errors that are not spotted and corrected are exposed to the world to see. Yes. That happened in last week’s edition.

For the experienced readers among us as well as the grammarians in our lives, my error was cringeworthy and stones were thrown with accuracy. Some of the comments received were correct and deserving. As a result, I walked away from last week’s publication embarrassed, mortified and bruised. Making a mistake in public is a very challenging life experience, to say the least. Much like my yoga skirt sliding up my body and over my head, the exposure is humiliating - not only for me, but for the whole Windham Eagle newspaper team.

What lessons did I learn from this fall?

There are people who will support you through your mistakes.

What helped me the most through this public embarrassment were the words of encouragement I also received. Comments such as “We are all human and we all make mistakes”, were helpful as I picked myself up. Some people even helped me laugh at myself. Just before teaching my class last Thursday, employees of Windham/Raymond Adult Education offered humor and suggestions to turn the mistake around.

The newspaper team, even though my error reflected negatively upon them, continue to love me anyway.

Your mistakes make you more compassionate.

Although I’ve always been shy about throwing stones, I am more aware of how the power of words can play a role in an individual’s life.

You discover more about yourself.

The greatest lesson learned is that I may have chosen my career wisely, despite my errors. As I was leaving the Windham/Raymond Adult Education office to teach my class, Director Tom Nash said to me regarding the misspelling of the word Sergeant was, “Lorraine. No one died.”

Relief flooded over me. Of the many mistakes I have made in life, I will thank the heavens above that I have chosen the career path of writer and editor….and not a surgeon.

My apologies to Sergeant Raymond Williams, our readers and the whole Windham Eagle news team as well as to those hikers who may have seen more of me than they bargained for.

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