Learn from Your Mistakes or You’ll Burn Your House Down

Improve and try new things, but accept your limitations, too.

Last night, I almost burned my home down. Thankfully, this wasn’t the outcome, but it very well could’ve been. So I’ve made a decision: I’m giving up all attempts at any kind of cooking.  I think I’m going to take all of my pots and pans and stick them out on the front porch, and let anyone who wants them come by and pick them up, because they’re not going to be needed anymore.

I guess I’m a slow learner, but this time I got the message.
Thinking back, it now dawns on me that once or twice a year, I’m opening all my windows, turning on all the fans, and trying to get the smoke out. All this because I forgot something on the stove, and it went from cooking to burning. Either cooking is not that much of a priority for me, or I usually have too many things bouncing around in my head to keep up with the fact that I have a live fire at work in my kitchen.

So this time, I’ve realized life is sending me a message. I can either accept it and take this potential for disaster out of play for the rest of my life, or explain it away and leave the door open for a bigger disaster in the future.

When things go wrong, you’ve got to make changes, or it will happen again.You’ve got to realize your limitations.

I guess I’m just either a microwave or “go to the restaurant” type of person. I rarely cook anyway, so it’s not going to be a big sacrifice. This time, I put some soup on to boil for 3 minutes, then I was plannng to turn off the burner and let it simmer.

Instead, in the space of 3 minutes, I totally forgot it was on the stove and walked across town to pick up something at the drug store, and make a few other stops. Upon returning, I heard this weird alarm sound from the sidewalk. I just assumed another car alarm was going off somewhere. I walked up the stairs, opened the door and almost got knocked over from the smoke.

That’s when it dawned on me: Stop cooking – you’re going to kill yourself. In case I had any doubt, my neighbors came over one by one to let me know that the smoke had also gone into their units, and whole-heartedly endorsed my decision.

It’s a new day.
An all-nighter of open windows, fans and air filters running on max has just about gotten rid of the smell – almost. So today, I wake up with a new memory, a new decision and a real sense of gratitude that divine intervention kept me from burning down the entire complex. That’s what would have happened if I had decided to hop in the car and go for a quick drive in the mountains before I came back.

Life wants to teach us lessons.
No one is good at everything, and just because you may be able to get away with doing something, it doesn’t mean you’ll always be able to get away with doing it. When life gives us these close calls, we’re smart if we pay attention and make adjustments.

I just made my adjustment, and if you’re invited to dinner at my house, you can be sure it will be catered.

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