Saturday, January 08, 2011

Lessons Learned

I had a case of the past coming back to bite me this past week. Let me take you back 18 months ago when a new member came to join my knitting group. She was expecting her second child and she was around my age. She found our knitting group through Ravelry and I really liked her. She had not read the book Twilight yet so I lent her my copy. Shortly after she delivered her son and never came back to knitting group. She still had my book.

I know what it is like to be a new mommy. It can be overwhelming and crazy and wonderful, all at the same time. I only have one child, I could not imagine having another child to take care of along with an infant (my son is destined to be an only child). Intellectually I knew that the young lady had more important things to think about than our knitting group or returning a book but I was still frustrated that she didn't try to get it back to me.

I sent her a couple messages over Ravelry trying to get it back, but by September of this past year I was done. I don't know if I was having a really bad day or something but I sent her a scathing message over Ravelry in which I called her integrity into question, indicated that she had no conscious, and concluded by telling her to have a nice life. I then bought a replacement copy and promptly forgot about the whole issue.

Imagine my surprise when I got an email this past week from the lady. I think in my mind I wrote the last email in order to wash my hands of the whole matter, but I only succeeded in making her feel horrible and I felt so guilty for saying the words I said. She was going to give me the book back, pay the cost to reimburse me for it, and then give me a gift card in an effort to mend fences. While she was definitely in the wrong to borrow and not return my property for over a year, she did not deserve my mean spirited email. I was humbled that she was brave enough to try to make the situation right. In the end, by some strange twist of fate, she lives within walking distance of my house, just around the corner. I told her that she could keep the book (which she happily agreed to as a reminder not to put things off) and I accepted a check to cover the cost of the book. I tried to decline the gift card, but she wouldn't have it. I definitely came out better in this situation but I think we both walked away with a some lessons learned.

Like she told me, she learned that she needed not to put things off. But I think I also learned some things. I learned that I need to be careful in my online communication. If I had walked up to this girl on the street, I would never, ever, EVER say the things I said in that message to her. Partly because I am not that brave, but also because I could never be rude like that to someones face. The lesson I took away was that if I cannot say what I am saying online directly to someone's face, I have no business putting it in writing. I also learned that I can and should let some things go. When I think back to the unkind words I used to this sweet girl, I almost feel sick. That vicious girl who wrote them is not me. I almost let someone thing I hate them over a stupid paperback book that cost less than a dinner entree. But isn't life too short to worry over the little things? I think it.

My life has changed so much since I picked up that original copy of Twilight. I learned about true love, even if it was only fantasy. But maybe the lessons I learned over this copy of Twilight were more valuable than anything the book contained.

Edward and Bella(and Stephenie Meyer,too) changing lives and mending fences since 2005.

No comments: