In my early 20’s I ran around with a group of mostly guys that worked the pro wrestling indy scene in Chicago. One of the guys had a fun nickname for me. He called me Stupidhead. It was a childish thing, not meant to be insulting. It was great fun, particularly when he shouted it across crowded establishments. The odd silence that followed it was always good for a laugh.
Now, I know I’m not stupid, but I have to admit that I live up to that nickname a little more often and a little bit better than I’d like.
Mistakes happen. I don’t like to make them, but I do. However, it’s the stupid mistakes that really get to me, the ones that make me go, “Why did I do THAT?”
And sometimes it feels like I make more than my fair share.
I am my own worst enemy. Even if there are other factors at play, the blame lays on my own shoulders for not doing everything I could, everything I SHOULD, to prevent these mistakes from happening. It comes down to not following up or reading the fine print. I KNOW better.
I made two such mistakes in the same week. Talk about banging my head against a wall. Both mistakes were my fault. One was not following up and paying attention. I should have read the fine print. It was one of those things that I let go because I figured it’d be okay and that attitude got me snake bit. The other mistake was a product of not thinking. Period. I forgot to consider a big piece of important information when making a decision and as such, it could cost me in the long run.
Of the two mistakes, the first one was the most immediately costly and the one I’m working to rectify right now. The other one might actually not pan out to mean much in the end. There are other variables out of my control that will contribute to the outcome of that decision. The point is that neither are mistakes that I should have made had I been thinking and paying my due diligence.
Why am I being vague about these two mistakes? Because I’m embarrassed to have made them. Talking about them in general terms is as detailed as the burn of shame will allow.
I wonder why I do these things. I’m supposedly intelligent person, but I’ve made some dumb decisions in my life. Blatantly dumb. Now, I don’t count anything before the age of twenty-five because I’ve got the great biological defense of my brain not being fully formed yet. However, that defense doesn’t hold up now that I’m past thirty and I’ve got the advantage of not only a fully formed brain, but also experience on my side.
Part of my problem I know is laziness. I don’t want to deal with it. I don’t want to follow up or read that fine print or dig a little deeper. So I just let it ride and hope it turns out okay, which is unbelievably dumb of me as my life is a perfect example of what happens when I give the Universe a choice for things to go okay or to not okay. Unless my life is on the line, the Universe tends to prefer things go pear-shaped for me than not.
Part of my problem is forgetfulness. I used to have a great memory. Now it’s suspect at best. I forget to follow up on things. I forget key pieces of information when making decisions even if they are in some way a key reason why I’m making the decision in the first place. It’s like I get focused on an angle of a picture and it’s only until I look away and look back that I see the huge barn that’s supposed to be the focal point.
It’s a frustrating thing to be dumb in this particular way. Bad decisions made with all available information I can live with. I paid my money, I takes my chances.
Sloppy thinking that leads to glaring mistakes are a little harder for me to swallow.
I really need to stop doing that.