Saturday, July 24, 2010

On Being Me and Looking forward to New Years!

Yes, it's the end of July and I am thinking about New Year's Eve... Why?  Well, I've been doing a bit of self reflection.  Recently I fell prey to the comparison game.  I've been more than a bit hard on myself. 

As a young teen my dad took me to the New Year's Eve services at church.  We would gather and think about the previous year.  What did we do well?  What would we change?  What would we like to do differently in the coming year?  And for a girl like me, who loves lists, that started a yearly exercise I have continued most of my life.

In 2009 I reviewed my 2008 list of goals for the new year and simply crossed out 2008 and wrote 2009 above it... Well, many of the items in my categorized lists were fairly general...
        *Get more involved with the children's schools
        *Learn a few new recipes for dinners
        *Read my Bible more consistently

But, other items that I wanted to work on were a bit more personal...
        *Wear make-up more often
        *Find new hair styles
        *Dress up more
I remember feeling that I had failed because the things I "needed" to work on in the coming year were the same things I had wanted to work on the previous year.  I don't think I made a written list for 2010, but I did mentally go through the same self evaluation process.

Now, I don't think it's all that bad to reflect and set goals.  In fact, I love to do this!  But, when you combine that with the comparison game, it's not very helpful to how you may end up feeling about yourself.

For example, it's great to set a goal of budgeting wisely each month of the year... but to add to that the pressure to get "nice" things like "so and so" has... or to live a life that you don't have... I stopped appreciating what I had and felt disappointed.

To set a goal to take care of yourself is terrific!  But to add to that pressure to spend a lot of time with make-up and hair products daily when you just don't enjoy that... I started groaning inside... that's just not me.

To want to serve tasty, good food is wonderful!  But, to pressure yourself to be more like Rachel when your main goal in the kitchen is to get in and out quickly...

You see?

So, enough of it!  I began a new self evaluation process.  I decided to find out and accept who I am.  What makes me special and unique?  I don't need to be a career woman.  I don't need to focus on hair and make-up days on end.  I don't need to spend a lot of energy specializing on recipes...

Who am I?

I am an appreciator of peace... I am a daughter who accepts and loves her parents... I am my kid's mom and I am crazy about each of them... I am Betty.  I only like putting on make-up for special days and that is just fine... my husband thinks I am adorable!  I hate cooking, but I can turn out some delicious food anyway, thank you, it just cannot take up a lot of my time!  I love summer dresses and pretty shoes, but don't get me started about getting cold!  I enjoy waterslides and roller coasters.  I've never been a career woman, but I've taught my children to read and read many books out loud to them (oftentimes with an English accent when necessary... totally necessary when reading Chronicles of Narnia!).   I may not have a large, beautifully furnished home, but the sun sets just as lovely for me and the great white owl and her babies flew over my back yard just last night!  Music?  Oh, yeah, I like it lots... along with photography and writing.

So, you can be you.  I'm going to be me.  And I'm going to take hold of each day with a passion... searching for the beauty in it... and striving for Emerson's version of success:

To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.

And this next New Years Eve?  I am going to celebrate being me and being given another new year to live life!

So, leave me a comment.  Tell me a few words or phrases that let me know who YOU are.  What makes you unique?

No comments: