Last week, I was buying tickets to a comedy club for a fun group night out. I went to the website and put in my order. Everything went well until I got to the pay page and couldn’t find the submit button. So I started over. And that’s when things went really wrong. I’m still not sure what happened. But my receipt read the following: tickets bought on the 9th for a show on the 9th. The only problem was that I was supposed to be buying tickets for the 10th. And to make matters worse, the club’s website stated on every single page that no refunds were available and to check orders carefully before clicking submit. After a few minutes of useless cursing, I went back in and bought tickets for the right night.
There are times, few and far between, when I realize that I have made some progress to enlightenment during my many years on this planet. Previously, a mistake like the one above would have sent me into a days-long funk where I would have berated myself for stupidity, railed against any club that wouldn’t give a refund, and refused to even consider having a good time.
But now, I just chalked it up to a stupid mistake. As the Dalai Lama said (about much more important things): “If a problem is fixable . . ., then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying.” In my case, both ideas were appropriate. I couldn’t get my money back, so why worry? And I could still go on the right night, so I bought my tickets. Again.
Besides, it was a good reminder that mistakes happen to the best of us. Not that I so much needed a reminder of that since I make mistakes most days. (Today’s was mistaking my leave-in conditioner for hair gel. The result is not pretty.) But I did need a reminder that mistakes can be made worse by our reactions to them. And it makes little sense in most cases to make others or ourselves suffer because of those mistakes.
Of course, if the tickets had been expensive, this story might have had a different ending, and the Monday Motivator might have been entitled, “Screaming at the Zanies person is not helpful and can lead to a restraining order.”