What To Do When You Keep Messing Up


It’s 10:03 a.m. and I’m just now sitting down to write to you, having lost a golden thirty minutes of my work time. My house is in disarray and I have already lost my temper encouraging the family to hurry up. We were ten minutes late to preschool and I delivered my child with both of us still wearing pajamas. He was the lucky one and had regular clothes on top, but insisted on keeping his pj’s on underneath. I spent an hour this morning researching home design ideas instead of my morning meditation ritual (which may or may not have contributed to us being late) and am feeling more than a little frazzled.

Days like this make me feel like nothing in life is working as smoothly as it should.

When I’ve already messed up several times before noon, starting over with better behavior and intention feels like it is best saved for tomorrow, not the present. After all, Anne of Green Gables said,

“Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it.”

Why not just wait until then?

As I pulled on some regular clothes to finish out my day I was reminded of one of the most important lessons that I’ve learned this month:


Life is a practice. It is not a destination.

Last month I read the most glorious talk on Grace that I have ever read. As one who constantly criticizes myself for not being more perfect, it was a sweet relief to figure out there is a better way to look at life and myself. Brad Wilcox compares our life to a child in piano lessons. He says,

“When a young pianist hits a wrong note, we don’t say he is not worthy to keep practicing. We don’t expect him to be flawless. We just expect him to keep trying. Perfection may be his ultimate goal, but for now we can be content with progress in the right direction. Why is this perspective so easy to see in the context of learning piano but so hard to see in the context of learning heaven?”

Perhaps it is because I spent more than twenty years of my life literally practicing the piano 🙂 but I can’t help but find true comfort in that illustration and feel a bit more gentle with myself.

I just hit a few wrong notes this morning. But that is the nature of learning the piece. I have all day to to practice and get just a little better.

Life is a practice. It is not a destination.

bwselfie Brooke Snow is a photographic artist and delights in the pursuit of a meaningful life. Sign up for her FREE e course “Living A Thriving Life” to learn more about how to find true balance in your life. Brooke lives in Northern Utah with her calm husband and adventurous 4 year old son.

3 Responses

  1. I loved this! It totally made sense to me…I relate to Anne of Green Gables, and piano lessons! Thanks for this! I love your picture on the bottom…you are so beautiful!

  2. I know this is old, and who knows if anyone still reads the comments, but I wanted to post a quote I just came across yesterday:

    “We can’t go back and change the beginning of the story… but we can start NOW and change the ending.”

    Its my new motto & I think it encapsulates the same thing as the call to “practice”… and keep practicing even when we hit a few wrong keys!!

    1. I love comments on old posts Jen! It was good for me to go back and read the post and realize that I need to learn this lesson again! Thank you for sharing the great quote, it fits perfectly!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *