I made a mistake today.

Maybe you know the feeling.

It was just a typo, but it was on a mass-email, which is among the worst places to discover one.

I found this mistake at the end of a stressful morning of managing multiple important and frustrating projects.

This stressful morning comes at the end of a frustrating week: one in which I’ve had to cope with the reality that things are not turning out quite as I hoped they would. I’ve been disappointed—and I’ve been disappointing.

This frustrating week marks the end of a draining month, as I find laughably inadequate every template I’ve ever had for healthy work-life balance. It almost feels like gaslighting to even attempt to emulate “normal”. (The rules aren’t working; is something wrong with me?)

This draining month sits at the end of a long, disappointing, and grief-stricken year. I make so many choices—some with potentially dire consequences—through a heavy mental fog of confusion, and uncertainty. This morning’s typo carries the weight of ten months of struggle.

Maybe you know the feeling.

I should have asked my wife to edit the email, but I didn’t because sometimes when we collaborate at work, we fight, and I just didn’t want to risk it. Not this morning/day/week/month/year.

I could’ve messaged a friend or colleague to look it over for me. I didn’t because this was one of several time-sensitive things I needed to do, and I wasn’t sure what else would demand my attention today. I’ve let so many projects stagnate, and I just couldn’t risk it happening to this one: not this morning/day/week/month/year.

And so I avoided the fight and completed the project in a rush—but missed the typo. When I found it, I felt the blood drain from my face, my heart rate slow and my breathing turn shallow and quiet.

Maybe you know the feeling.

The negative self-talk kicked in right away, fighting with the calmer self who knows it’s ok to make mistakes. This morning/day/week/month/year, being as it is, calm was the weaker self.

And for a moment, I just wanted to hide, and pretend it never happened. Punish myself with a few harsh words to hopefully prevent the next mistake, put this to rest and move on.

But this is the final month of a bad year the world over, and I’m telling you this because I want us to look at each other, and all of our typos, broken dishes, harsh words, missed appointments, lost jobs, drunk texts, break-ups, hook-ups, ruined recipes, misplaced keys, and every other stupid, inconsiderate, unthinking, silly, incompetent thing we all do and say:

I know the feeling.

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