This is my brain on politics. I know you guys are used to some radio silence from me, but I’ve been having a hard time coming up with blog topics that aren’t politically related. For real, I’m consumed by this election, reading political blogs, Twittering politics and generally driving my husband insane with the latest “you know what happened today in the campaign?” every night when he comes home. Possibly he might want to start working weekends so he doesn’t have to hear me talk about politics all weekend.
Anyway, if you had any inkling of following me on Twitter, or are following me on Twitter, please be aware that I’m pretty open about my political views there. Twitter is the one place that’s not really remotely work-related. I talk so little about editing or work, you might as well not even follow me if you’re hoping for some juicy editing gossip or tidbit from me there. Occasionally, while I’m editing, I might make an off-the-cuff remark, but I’ll bet I’ve made less than five of those (of my 1100 updates). On the other hand, I’ll bet a good third to half of my Twitters have been politically inclined. So for real, especially if you’re a Republican, don’t follow me on Twitter unless you’re just that interested in what I’m having for lunch or other totally random and boring facts. For that reason, I’ve also made my Twitters private, so you have to be following me to read them. Because I wasn’t comfortable not knowing given how mouthy I am. It’s the one problem of being in a position where I can’t always say what I want. But I can assure you, I will NEVER use Twitter to spout off about inappropriate things having to do with my job. I am, after all, still capable of discretion.
Two things I’ve been thinking about this week are apologies and admitting when you’re wrong, or when the other person is right. Since Josh is a Republican, and I’m a Democrat, when we watched the debate together last night (or have watched interviews with candidates) we’re even more careful than normal, I think, to listen as objectively as possible, and give the other candidate props when it’s warranted or agree when our respective candidate has flubbed in some way.
I appreciate that about him, and I hope he does about me, the ability to apologize, admit when you’re wrong or when we’ve messed up, and move on. I also appreciate when he concedes I have a valid point in an argument, and I know he appreciates it when I do the same. It’s frustrating to debate someone or disagree with someone, have them never be able to say “you’re right” or “you make a good point”. I think it takes a balanced person to be able to do that. And if you watched the debate last night, you’ll know why that was on my mind.
But it also related to something else I was thinking on this week, about apologizing or admitting a wrong. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the people in my life who are able to say “I messed up, I shouldn’t have done that, I own that action/mistake/etc and I’ll work hard to be sure it doesn’t happen again.” Not only do I appreciate those people, but I find I admire them. It’s so hard to admit you were wrong or that you messed something up. It’s much easier to offer an excuse. But I also think the excuses can trip you up. I know for me, it’s often tempting to say “Oh, such and such happened and that’s why things got messed up”, shifting the blame to something or someone else (and there have been times I’ve done that, no matter how hard I try not to).
And okay, sometimes it IS necessary to offer that information, so the person understands where things went wrong so you can then say “this is what I’ve done to fix it, and what I’ve put in place to make sure it doesn’t happen again.” But for the most part, I think it’s okay, and best, to just say “I’m sorry, I messed this up.” No “but…it really wasn’t my fault, I didn’t meant to, if such-and-such hadn’t happened this wouldn’t have happened.” Just “I’m sorry, I messed up.” Try it, it’s both nerve wracking and freeing. Anyway, I was thinking about that this week, and no it’s not a pointed commentary at anything, so if you think you know exactly who/what/where I’m talking about, you’re wrong 😛