After a random conversation with my dear,dear friend Mary, she told me about an article she read. She said that "women don't ever speak positive about themselves because it's socially unacceptable." We seem to think as a society that giving ourselves credit for the things we do well is wrong. Well, how wrong it that??!
Ever since that conversation 3 weeks ago, I've been thinking a LOT about it and beating myself up (as usual) for the things I don't do, but I know that I can do but can't seem to figure out how to work into my life with two very busy kids.
But I'm tired of seeing my friends do thing that *I* love and can do for myself, but just can't seem to find the time for. I often think of myself as someone who is capable of anything, but can do so many things only mediocre and I'm not proficient enough to call myself great at just one thing. Backward way of thing? Yes.
So I'm going to toot my own horn. I'm going to list the qualities that I secretly love about myself and be ever so thankful that I've been blessed by God with and not be embarrassed or feel guilty about saying these.
My Awesome Qualities :
Sewing~ I can create a pattern out of my head and make it work. In fact, most of the time I DON'T use a pattern because it hinders me. Patterns easily confuse me. =P At this point in my life, I have yet to get back into it because I don't have a machine, but I am a good seamstress. Just don't ask me to make anything because I have no machine. But even after all that, I still prefer to hand sew. It's how I started. I love just sitting down and listening to a movie or music and sewing something by hand. It's incredibly soothing.
Cooking~ I am an awesome cook. Mary taught me that I can experiment and not worry about caring since, if it's terrible, you don't have to eat it or make it again. But if it's wonderful, write down what you put in it immediately so you don't forget when you want to make it again. Baking terrifies me, but I've never failed at anything I've made, so I don't know why I freak out so badly. It's not as if my husband is going to leave me if I mess up rolls or burn pumpkin bread. I need to start trying new things again once the weather cools down.
Party Planner~ I am a wicked hostess. I'm WAY into throwing parties and get-together's since we moved to a house. It allows me crazy creativity. There's something about it that makes my whole self come alive with excitement and tingles when I think about it. If I could do it for a living, I would.
Scrapbooking~ I have a milliondy things and pictures I have to catch up on and every time someone has a birthday, I get more and more behind. But, again, it allows my creative juices to flow. I love the idea of making things easier and going digital with those kinds of books, but I much prefer to make things by hand. I love making things, cutting things out, etc. all by hand. It gives a great sense of accomplishment when I see the spread I've created once it's done.
Photography Ideas and Settings~ Although I took a few photography classes in high school, I never really had the knack for capturing exactly what I wanted about 98% of the time. But I discovered that I'm an extremely creative person when it comes to making photography work; I can see things in my head the way I want them to work out, but I don't have the ability to capture it so I have to rely on people who have that talent to do that part. I'm also an incredible editor, something I learned and excelled in when I was in my classes. I think that comes with being an artist.
Cosmetologist~ Albeit it was something I was forced into and I really didn't have much of a desire to do it when I started, I discovered I have a special proficiency in what I do. It gives me great pleasure to help someone feel better and more confident about themselves. I'm getting pretty darn good with color, too. I think that trickles back to my art classes I took as a teenager. When I look at some one's hair, I get a flashback through all the color classes I took in art as well as in cos school. I see the color wheel almost immediately whenever I have someone in my chair. And actually, I LOVE giving pedicures. As relaxing as it is for the client, it's more so for me. Massage has a way of relaxing me when I do it for other people. I would have never believed in a million years something that I didn't want to become would be something that I really enjoy and gives me so much ability to create and learn from every time I do it. I mean, who wouldn't want to spend all day playing "Make Over"??
Organizer~ I take GREAT pride in my home. I've always had an incredible knack for organizing, but only recently have I figured out how to make it work for me in every aspect. I read this great article of how to organize your home and I cleaned and cleared out my house like a boss. My home is now ALWAYS clean. It might get cluttered with random piles of laundry or toys and trash might explode, but underneath all that, it's clean. The only thing that I need to do is a basic pick up. I now vacuum every morning, wash the dishes after every meal, and sweep every other day. If cleanliness is close to Godliness, I can personally attest to that because now that my home is always clean, I love my family more and worry less about messes because I know that it's not hard to clean up afterwards. There is nothing that can substitute a clean home for my level of sanity. No doubt about it, I'm a more loving mom when my house is clean. Are you seeing a theme here, because I am. I think I love to work with my hands. Very hands on type of person. =)
Musician~ I realize this is an incredible gift that I have been blessed with. But, only recently have I discovered how deep it goes. While talking to my mother last week, she told me that was I was really little while we were all at a concert, I covered my ears and said, "Mommy, make them stop. It's ugly and wrong." Apparently my ability for perfect pitch has been with me my entire life. I may not always have the ability to sing with perfect pitch (being tired, sick), but I always hear with perfect pitch. I admit I regret not staying closer to the piano, since I quit my junior year of high school after I learned to sight read all the hymns in the hymn book (parents requirement for quitting piano lessons) and I have a HUGE desire to start playing again.
Mother~ There are a million things I could say about what I need to change, since we are always our own critics, but I won't. I'll focus on the good. While talking to my really good Stacia during a very long color appointment, I confessed that I felt I was failing at motherhood. nearly crying, I choked back tears in how I thought how terrible of a mother I was. She laughed ans said, "Are you drinking, doing, drugs, leaving your children on the streets to fend for themselves? No? Then you're a good mother." Then she asked me what some things were that I do do as a mother with my children and I listed them off: I play with them for a solid hour everyday nearly everyday with no distractions, I've taught them to pick up after themselves with their toys and to put their dishes in the sink, I sit down with them for every meal, I bathe them every other day, I brush and floss their teeth every night (I sometimes forget in the morning), I help them say their individual morning and evening prayers, we always read the Book of Mormon together as a family before bed, we have family prayer together every morning and night, and I sing them each two Primary songs of their choice before I put them in bed every night unless I have a soar throat.
There are many more things I'm good at and capable of, I'm sure, but these are the things that come to mind. As a mortal being, there is much room for improvement, but we need to stop criticizing ourselves. God has said, "Love One Another" which, includes ourselves. We cannot hope to help another person strengthen themselves if we do not first strengthen ourselves, love ourselves. I want to love me. If I wasn't worth loving, i wouldn't know so many good people and have such amazing friends, right? The same thing goes for you.
I would LOVE to see each one of you who read this to make and post your own lists so that I can add to it. This world is hard enough without praising each other for what we excel in. let us take time to love and appreciate each other. And also, let us take time to say thank-you and not argue with those who took time to give you a compliment. it's just as important to tell someone thank-you for sharing their gift as it is to accept.
I look forward to reading your lists in the near future. =)