Tuesday, January 22, 2013

30 Days of Truth: Day 1


"Something you hate about yourself"

Well, for starters... 

I hate that I'm always late, like my inner clock is perpetually running five minutes slower than the rest of the world's. I hate the way I can be so critical toward my husband. I hate that some of my decisions in life have hurt people I love. I hate the way I allow certain people to walk all over me even though I've vowed to make changes. I hate it when I lose my patience and yell at Morgan. I hate that it took me so long to take charge of my health and start taking care of myself the way I should have been all along. I hate that I consistently make plans and end up backing out of them (granted, it's usually for a legitimate reason like choosing to spend time with my kids, or lack of money, or because I'm not feeling well... but still). I hate that I waste so much energy worrying about things I have no control over. I hate that on most days, I'm not even remotely close to being the person I'd like to be. 

But perhaps the thing I hate most is that I tend to be really hard on myself. 

It seems like everywhere I look there are people who are better than me at this or that, who do their daughter's hair in a cutesy new hair-do every single day, who have incredible jobs and make a lot of money, who seem to have the perfect marriage, who have four million things on their "to do" list and still manage to attend PTA meetings and read to their kids before bed every night, who have multiple college degrees, who never let the dishes pile up in the sink for two or three days at a time, who go on exotic vacations, who run marathons and climb Mt. Everest, who are brilliant and talented and funny and kind... and the list just goes on. 

The thing is, I'm pretty comfortable with who I am as far as my character and the fundamental parts of my personality. It's when I think about my accomplishments that I become incredibly self-critical. I went to a semester of college, then dropped out. I'll probably never have a career. I'm not particularly talented in very many ways. I don't keep an immaculate house, or even a respectably clean one most of the time. I certainly won't be winning any Parent of the Year awards anytime soon. Conquering an especially large pile of laundry is the closest I'll ever come to scaling Everest.

In the quiet moments when I have some time and can really think about it, I realize that most of the things I give myself a hard time about don't even matter. They're silly things. They certainly don't define who I am as a person or mother. In those moments there is a tiny voice in my heart that whispers, "You may not feel like you're doing much, but it's enough."

Unfortunately in the hustle and bustle of life, that voice is easily drowned out and often replaced by a much louder, harsher voice that taunts, "You'll never match up!" 

I know it's human nature to make comparisons and to judge. I also know that 9 times out of 10 we are our own worst critic. I think everyone sets standards and expectations, whether for ourselves or the people around us, that we expect to be met. And I think (I think!) that's normal. I just hope that someday I'll learn to be a little kinder, maybe a little more forgiving towards myself. 

Perhaps acknowledging that and writing about it here is a step in the right direction. 

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This post is part of the 30 Days of Truth challenge. 
For a list of all the prompts and corresponding posts, click here.
If you decide to participate, please link to your blog in the comments!

8 comments:

  1. I love these challenge prompts, btw! And I so hear you no this. No joke - one of my new year's resolutions is to be kinder on myself, to give myself a bit more grace.

    And have you ever read about what climbing Everest is actually like? It sounds like TORTURE, man! ;)

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  2. Cindy, maybe subconsciously that's why I likened laundry to Everest... TORTURE!! Haha!

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  3. If it helps to know, I think we could all write a blog about "ways we wish we were more like Jenny". Mine would include "I wish I was as funny, open, and honest as Jenny. I wish I was as passionate about anything as Jenny is about everything. I wish being an awesome mom came as naturally to me as it does to Jenny. And I wish I could make best friends with everyone in the whole world the way Jenny does." Yep, those would be some of the things on my list : ) I heard something once that I've always tried to keep in mind when comparing myself to others, that is that we usually are comparing our worst traits to other people's best traits. Which is true, I think. We pick things that we are particularly horrible at and then compare with people that are particularly good at that when they most likely suck at a lot of other things (I just think it would make me feel better if I the things they suck at were a little more visible.) Anyway, blah, blah,blah. Enough rambling. love this post. Love you.

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  4. Love you guys, too!!

    Teresa, tomorrow's prompt is "something you love about yourself" and fortunately, as I've started writing it, it's come almost as easily to me as this post. I don't think I'd be so willing to point out the things I dislike if there weren't things I also genuinely do like about myself. Thank you for your sweet comment, and I've also heard the same thing... something like "People are always comparing everyone else's highlight reel with their behind-the-scenes footage." I like that. :)

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  5. I so hear you on the cute hair thing. My 18 month old has a rocking mullet right now, that she won't let me do anything with we often call her Macgyver... Anyways, it is so easy to compare and get down on yourself and then I get the whole 'why try' syndrome. It's sometimes hard to realize we've all got our own path and that's okay.

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  6. I'm with Teresa, I'd totally be up to a "ways we wish we were more like Jenny" prompt. And although I know you have lots of things that you love about yourself (like your amazing derriere), I wish that I was as optimistic as Jenny is, I wish I had a large, close family with all those family memories as Jenny does, I wish that my children loved me as much as Jenny children love her, and I wish that I got to do all the cool things that Jenny does.

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  7. Jenny, I love every post I read of yours. You impress me and amaze me. I think I'm in love. lol.Seriously though, I hope I can be half of what you are someday.

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