I love Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne. He has a big heart, great patience for other’s shortcomings, and is quick with forgiveness. Every person has things they stumble and struggle with. It is our reactions to these quirks, disabilities, or faults that give us a measure of who we are.
Pooh also has something he is less than perfect at. He has a pot he is giving to Eeyore as a birthday present. He wants to write on the pot “A Happy Birthday” so he goes to see Owl and their exchange is as follows:
Owl: “What are you giving him, Pooh?”
Pooh: “I’m giving him a Useful Pot to Keep Things In…”
Owl: “You ought to write ‘A Happy Birthday’ on it.”
Pooh: “That is what I wanted to ask you. Because my spelling is Wobbly. It’s good spelling but it Wobbles and the letters get in the wrong places. Would you write 'A Happy Birthday' on it for me?"
I have the same issue as Pooh, my spelling Wobbles. It is quite an awful shortcoming for a writer to have. Oh, but there is spellchecker you say- sometimes no matter how I try I can’t get the word I want to spell correctly nor can I find it in the dictionary. So, I substitute another word, but the meaning is not quite the same, and frustration has built, and I’ve lost the flow of thought. Also, spellchecker does not catch everything. HMW looked at some of my blog entries the other day and found three spelling mistakes (one she did concede was a typo).
Embarrassed, horrified, ashamed, yep, that’s how it makes me feel. I need to exemplify Pooh in my treatment of myself- I need to treat myself with kindness, I need to exercise patience with my shortcomings, and I need to forgive myself and I hope you can do the same. I promise I will do everything I can to make sure the letters don’t Wobble in my writing, but if they do and I don’t catch it smile to yourself and think of Winnie-the-Pooh.
(I kept count of every time the red squiggly line appeared under a word or a word was auto-corrected, in this one post I made eighteen mistakes.)
I’m not going to ask you to share your shortcomings, but I will ask you to be kind, tolerant, and forgiving with yourself. And read a little Pooh he’ll put a smile on your face.