“Mistakes are opportunities to grow, connect and learn from others. Don’t waste them.” Day 13

Our theme for today is learning and growing from our mistakes. This morning I was walking back to my cabin and somehow ended up on the steps of the cabin next to us, opened the door and was met with a scream, followed by successive yelling! “What the hell man, what are you doing!” Holy smokes was I scared!! The lady in the cabin was freaking out! And with good reason. I was absent minded, and Intruded on her first thing in the morning, for no reason other than I was nose deep in my phone reading silly news about Steve Bannon. I made a mistake that scared two people, and could have ended up with a call to the police! I immediately apologized and walked away. Still, I felt horrible about it. I went to my cabin, took some deep breaths, and went outside to wait, dreading what came next. I screwed up and I was going to own it.

The lady finally came out of her cabin, and I didn’t wait, “I’m so sorry Ma’am, I didn’t mean to walk in on you!” She smiled and said, its all good. Don’t worry, I’ve done the same thing before.” wow! Did not expect that response. So....

we started to talk. The event, my mistake, gave us an opportunity to connect that we would otherwise not have had. We were both traveling across the country, she started in Massachusetts, and I started in Virginia. We are both headed to Seattle. She served in the US Coast Guard and then the Merchant Marines, and just retired from teaching at Mass Maritime College. I told her I went to SUNY Maritime College. She laughed and said she knows a lot of guys from Schuyler (what we call the college). We talked a little about her trip and I told her a little about mine. In the end, the mistake presented an opportunity that I would likely have never pursued. Getting to know a fellow human being, a fellow traveler, a fellow Mariner, and an extraordinary person. I would not have had this awesome experience if I had simply gone back to hide in my cabin until she left. Lessons I have learned from my time in the Navy, since 1988, own your mistake, fix it if you can, learn from it, move on, and make the best of it. Connecting with a wonderful person, who understands we are all human and all make mistakes and is willing to move beyond? Bonus!

may she be blessed on her travels and arrive home safely, hopefully with a story that will be funny, and interesting, and profound all at the same time.

Pictures of our KOA in Spokane Valley!