If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make them?

I think it’s because we’ve been so conditioned to see mistakes as failures. Even after all the work I’ve done there are still times – especially when my mistake is particularly public – when I have to consciously remind myself to learn from it and move on.

How do we know that pleasure is good and pain is bad?

At the risk of sounding all whooshy, we only “know” this because that’s what we’ve been taught. The message has always been life is good when you’re happy and fulfilled and not hurting or angry. Except sometimes life hurts because life is hard – we’re supposed to feel all of it, so sometimes sitting with pain is part of living.

What problem or situation did TV / movies make you think would be common, but when you grew up you found out it wasn’t?

Love triangles, all night bar hopping, glamorous parties, love at first sight across a crowded room on New Year’s Eve, becoming a multimillionaire after growing up poor, or getting trapped in a fire/on an airplane/in the snow covered mountains/while cave diving/in an elevator/by bank robbers committing a high stakes heist.

If you drive, do you speed when no one is watching? Have you ever run a red light late at night on purpose, particularly if it doesn’t seem to change very quickly? If you don’t drive, what minor law may you have broken?

Yes, I typically drive over the speed limit but there’s a system. Local roads that aren’t known speed traps = up to five miles over. Interstate = about eight miles over. If I’m on a long road trip, it’s the dead of night, and nobody’s around sometimes I’ll hit ten over but I figure I’m pushing my luck there. I’ve never purposefully run a red light; the two times I accidentally ran a full red (both super late, tired driving) shocked me so much I pulled over so I could get myself together.

What positive things are you finding to do to occupy your time right now?

I try to get outside for at least twenty minutes when it’s sunny. Sometimes the kids and I will take the dogs for a walk. There’s also plenty of music and kitchen dancing going on.

Sparks from a Combustible Mind hosts Share Your World.