Women waste too much time scrutinizing the crow’s feet at the corners of our eyes. We’re also quite good at making ourselves feel guilty when we don’t measure up to the one-size-fits-all expectations that other people have set for us. Other people who, by the way, we’ve never even met. Can we just make a rule right now? If we haven’t shared small talk over coffee, you don’t get to weigh in on my personal life.
Ladies, we obsess over trivial things that hold no make or break significance in our lives. In the end, does it really matter that you missed one of your son’s soccer games? Or that you faked a sick day to finish that delicious novel from underneath the warmth of your comforter? When I’m at the pearly gates, I doubt St. Peter is gonna be like, “Remember that time you rushed the kids’ bedtime routine because you wanted to catch the end of House Hunters? YOU ARE HENCEFORTH BANISHED TO HELL!”
If that’s what keeps a gal out of Heaven, I’ve got 99 problems but a brick two-story with a short commute isn’t one.
What would happen if, instead of focusing on the blah, we emphasized the TA-DA?! I’m terrible at tooting my own horn, as most women I know are; in fact, we’re sometimes too humble (afraid? shy?) to share our strengths at all. I feel like stifling our possibility can permanently change the landscape of our character. What’s the old saying: use it or lose it? I am good at a lot of things, and I’m excellent at some stuff, too, yet if you asked me to list the traits I view as my strengths, I’d be all, “Duuuuuuuuuuuh.”
But not today.
Today, I’m making a list of those traits. Of the Ways I Don’t Suck as a Human Being. I have my days–don’t we all?–but generally speaking, I’m A-OK and I can prove it:
- I’m hilarious. I really am. I make myself laugh allllllll the time. And sometimes, other people laugh at me, too.
- My three children are testaments to the three times I did something right.
- I’ve got good hair. When I brush it and style it, I’ve got GREAT hair.
- My husband never has to wonder how I’m feeling or what I need from him. I serve it up on a silver platter and spoon-feed it to him because ain’t nobody got time for guessing games. I’m all I HAVE AN EMOTION, WE NEED TO ADDRESS IT.
- Our home is nice and I have a lot to do with that.
- I’m passionate about education, which works well since that’s my job.
- I am proud that I earn my own paycheck. No one will make me feel bad about that, just as me feeling good about it shouldn’t make anyone else feel badly. Got it?
- German Shepherds got nothing on my kind of loyalty.
- I write pretty good. *see #1*
- My parents are proud of me and that makes me proud of me.
- I have and appreciate a good work ethic. There’s something sexy about breaking a sweat, even if it’s mental. Especially if it’s mental.
- Forthright and honest are my middle name…s.
- I’m not voting for Donald Trump. *confetti*
- As my husband says, I am “committed to constant improvement.” This has helped my cooking but not so much that he has stopped saying, “at least you’re committed to constant improvement” every time I try a new recipe.
- I put my loved ones before myself most of the time. And on the rare occasions I don’t, it’s because I need a moment just for me, and I do not apologize for that.
- My friends are the bee’s knees and I’d like to think it’s because I’m the kind of person who attracts bee’s knees pals.
- My heart is soft, but my fist strong.
- I try really hard to keep the faith. The world has been testing me lately, but I’m all I’LL SEE YOUR TERROR AND RAISE YOU A PRAYER.
- Animals. I love me some animals.
- I’ve had two VBACs (vaginal birth after cesarean) LIKE A BOSS.
- Admitting my shortcomings helps me seek out the things I need, i.e. I’m not Mary Sunshine in the morning, so I need a few minutes to myself as to not cut my Marty Sunshine husband.
- I’m not afraid to approach a stranger or walk into a crowded room without knowing anyone.
- I’m fairly organized and reliable.
- I’m a damn good Mom.
- I plan to add to this list as I remember or notice the obvious and subtle things I like about myself. You should start your own list. #26, I’m bossy.
It was difficult not to follow-up with an “but I’m impatient” or a “in spite of my tendency to pick chin zits…” I know this list doesn’t represent me as a whole, but it does do what I had hoped it would: it highlights the good Stephanie. It reminds me that even though I do pick zits, my awesome hair can take focus away from the quarter-sized lesion on my chin and give the people something pretty to look at. And if that’s not a big ol’ metaphor for life, I don’t know what is.
What’s your list? Go on, #loveyourself!
Can I come home with you?