“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.” – Neil Gaiman

As we enter 2013, this quote struck me. How often do we stop because we are afraid to make mistakes?

All my life I’ve been obsessed with perfection. Planning the perfect career, marriage, and road to motherhood, I’ve learned sometimes that the course is often unexpected and not as ideal as I’ve imagined in my own head. This reminder often comes at the most unscripted times like yesterday when I was fixated on straightening a napkin and my daughter, as she watched, said, “It doesn’t have to be perfect, Momma.” Those words simmered in my gut. I paused, wondering if I am teaching my daughter that only perfect is acceptable and mistakes are not allowed.

That conversation served as a telling reminder. I look back and recount all of the mistakes I’ve made, minute and gargantuan, and what I’ve learned from them. It’s taken me a long time to realize that in those mistakes, miracles are revealed. We learn the strength of our character and how so much grace depends on how we react. When we meet our mistake, the footing is certainly unsettling and we aren’t always capable of appreciating how it is strengthening us, but it is there. Tapping into that strength we didn’t even know existed is a liberating feeling.

My mantra this year is to make more mistakes. It is probably the best way to know that you are living a life.

Happy New Year to all. And I am grateful that so many of you read my words in this space. It means more to me than you will ever know. I hope to share more of my musings with you this year. Thank you.

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