#14 – Other people speak higher of me than I do of myself

I have gotten a lot of praise in my life, and things have gone really well for me. Which is of course subject to opinion, but in MY opinion, and by MY standards for living – things have gone really well.  Thinking about that statement helps me to actually believe the praise that I have received, which as of late, has come in tsunamis.

Of the more notable things is one of my bosses (sometimes they are many…) told me just recently that he was in awe of me when I mad e presentation to the International Dragon Boat Federation Congress in Prague two years ago.  My public speaking abilities and level of confidence I displayed while on stage was impressive to him.  And who am I kidding, I was impressed with myself!  But to learn that a “50-something” man was in awe of me, a 28-year old (at the time) woman, blew me away.

There was a point in my short life that I felt like I had been too blessed, that things were going too well for me, that I had been too lucky.  I actually assumed, and feared that something tragic was going to happen to me, or someone I love dearly.  I carried this dread around with for awhile, maybe a year or two.  Finally I talked to my mom about it, and as I verbalized it for the first time ever and actually spoke the words aloud, I realized that the fact that I actually recognized how lucky I was and was SO grateful for what I had that I thought I would undoubtedly suffer for it, meant that it was my own twisted way of being thankful.  Being appreciative for what you have goes a long way with this universe.  That feeling of dread slowly disappeared as I regularly began thinking about what I have and being thankful for it.

I’m not a person that is big on God and religion, but I do have faith, and mostly that faith is in the universe.  I strongly believe that I have a destiny, but that it is not written in stone.  I believe that the universe presents us with choices and clear paths.  We can end up at our destiny, if we take care, and make good, well thought out choices.  We can enjoy (guilt-free) when things go well for us, as long as we recognize it, appreciate it and give thanks for it.  Everything happens for a reason, and if you are too blind to even look for the reason, you may not find the right path.

I’ve recently begun to have some of these feelings of dread again, but this time it’s been specific to my husband.  I have actually started to fear that he’s going to get in a fatal car accident, or something horrible like that.  I worry that I’m going to get a phone call that’s going to change the rest of my life.  I think there’s a few things going on there… 1) I don’t appreciate him enough, and the universe is trying to tell me it’s time to starting getting out the thank you cards;   2) It seems like a normal reaction when you grow your family and you can’t imagine your children growing up without their dad, and you yourself can’t imagine being a parent without them, therefore you start to worry more frequently; and    3) Casey actually texts/surfs his way across the Howard Frankland bridge everyday on his way home and it drives me crazy!!  (I had to lighten the mood there… but it’s totally true, stay away from the HF bridge eastbound between 5:15 and 6 pm Monday thru Friday.)

Casey gives me a lot of praise, he thinks very highly of my professional abilities, and my value.  He’s also very generous with his praise towards me.  He’s a terrible wing-man because he talks about his wife and kids the whole time!  I tend to be modest when I get praise from him and other people, not because I don’t believe them, but because I want to make sure that I keep myself in check.  I, like anyone, also have doubt about myself, or don’t always see the potential that others see. I’ve spent the last 6 1/2 years as the only employee of a nonprofit organization, and it’s led me to see what a phenomenal multi-tasker I can be, but I haven’t had the chance to really excel in one area of my job because I’ve done all the jobs required to run a small business.  There is totally a huge value in what I have accomplished at this company/position, but I don’t know how that will relate to a “normal” company where people have a set of tasks and responsibilities.  I’m getting off topic, so the point is… praise is good, modesty is good.  Letting people tell me what they see in me, and what I’m good at is a hell of a lot better than me telling others what I’m good at, and being wrong!

As I turn over a new leaf in the coming months, I am looking forward to making a believer out of me!

#2 – I Turned 30 This Year

So sorry to be continuing in an orderly fashion… it is not on purpose.  I’m actually trying to turn over a new leaf and leave some of my anal-retentive tendencies behind, but… one step at a time right?!

Yes, that’s right!  I turned 30 on July 1st.  Halfway through the year, yet only a quarter of the way through life (bet you didn’t know I was planning on living to be 120 years old)!  I know everyone says that it is not a big deal to turn 30.  The typical retort to “Oh the big Three-O huh?” is “oh you know, just another day… just another year…”.  But actually, it IS a big deal.  Not the type of big deal that you’re thinking about though I imagine.  Getting ooold, leaving your 20s…

Leaving your 20s isn’t the problem, as fun as they were.  I’m actually quite ready to leave my 20s.  They were a BLAST!  I went to college, graduated from college, met my husband, had 2 kids, bought a house, traveled to a corner and a few middle sections of the globe, laughed a lot, drank a lot, cried a lot (which I love to do, but that’s another topic), grew a lot, and so very much more.  I accomplished a very commendable amount of “stuff” during my 20s, and I am ready for the next 10 years of fun, excitement, growth and accomplishments.  It’s clear that leaving my 20s is not the big deal here.

And getting ooold?  What is old really?  You’re only as old as you feel.  Or is it as you look?  I mean my hair is going gray faster than I can shuffle the brown ones around to cover the new wiry pigment-less ones.  I’ve been pruning myself somewhat obsessively (no thanks to Beautiful Princess Aunt Dara).  And I totally check out the 20-something girls wondering if there’s anyway I still look that good, then I remember that I’ve had 2 kids and haven’t made the time to do one single crunch in like 3 years, so how could my stomach possibly be as flat as theirs.  But it’s ok, because there really is an art to sucking it in, but the challenge is lasting through a whole cocktail party with the same profile.  No, none of that bothers me at all about turning 30.

It’s wondering if you’re making the most out of your life, because it has become abundantly clear to me that I have entered warp speed, and life is about to start passing me by faster than I could ever imagine.  You’ve all heard your parents and grandparents talk about how time just starts flying by as you get older, and can you believe it?  They were right?  So good job elders, 1 point for you.

My friend Nicole and I were talking over a pint just a few days ago about how we think that blogging is a product of our age, and of course the world we live in.  But how many late 20s and 30-somethings have started blogs recently?  Or maybe it’s not just blogs, maybe it’s yoga (I’m starting a class in a couple weeks… ha ha!  I’m reading the irony as I type away), and other new hobbies that people our age are getting into.  But the point is, people our age are starting to feel “settled” and that leaves us a bit unsettled, especially our Martian counterparts.  We settle down with kids, marriages, homes – LIFE – and things start to get a little lackluster.  So we start looking for ways to brighten our auras and re-energize.

I don’t really worry too much about whether or not I am making the most out of my life or not, because I truly know I am. I have beautiful children, I mean really beautiful.  I just ran the World Dragon Boat Racing Championships, which was an unbelievable feat.  I have what I consider to be a very successful marriage.  And I focus on today, the here and now.  I don’t have everything I want, but I have everything I need.  I don’t do everything I want to do, but I do enjoy everything I do.

So, that’s it, I turned 30.  It’s a big deal when I break it down, but really… it’s just another day… just another year.

Frequency Alert

As I am sitting at home on a quiet Saturday afternoon, Casey on his computer, Parker “napping” (he think’s he’s fooling us by keeping his eyes open) and Connor happily roaming around without a big brother to trample him and make him cry, I realize that it’s a good time to write another post… wrong!

I am starting to realize that my inspirational thoughts, or what I consider to be good material, only seem to come ’round when I am alone.  Driving, sitting on the couch after the kids go to sleep, spacing out at work…  Most often though while Casey was out of town last week.  Since I didn’t have anyone to converse with while sitting on the couch with the kids in bed, or anyone’s schedule but my own to think about while driving, or anyone else’s thoughts to consider for that matter, it seemed to leave my brain on vacation.  Also, in any other moment of my life in the past 6 years I would have been busy thinking about my job, or my pregnancies or any other array of “big things” going on.

What a relief!!  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to live alone, be alone, or not have anything “big” happen in my life anymore… it was just so new to me having my thoughts to myself.

So, as all of my ramblings will have one… here’s the point… quiet time/alone time/down time… well worth it!  I’m looking forward to more.

However… with 3 kids, I mean 2 kids and a husband, full time job, etc etc… quiet time can be hard to find, so here’s the Frequency Alert… I might not post daily.  I might not post weekly.  I promise I will at a minimum post monthly, with a goal of much much more often.  So far, my average is daily!

If you subscribe to this blog, then you will be alerted to how often I get a moment of R&R.

#1 – I love to write, I might be good at it and want to explore doing it professionally.

This is the only time that I plan to go in order of my list(under my very descriptive page “What For?“).  I have a huge desire to get things out of my head and onto paper (aka plastered all over the Internet).  So, that’s why I’m starting my posts with #1 on my list, because it actually is number one right now.
My mom sent me a text this week that was relaying a message from one of my high school English teachers, Dr. Fay.  I’ve known for some time that he has always thought highly of me, and my abilities in his classroom.  And I find it amusing that once in a while during the years since I graduated (12 years ago) he still mentions it to my mom when he comes across her.  Maybe it’s because she’s a beautiful woman and he’s playing to her soft spots (mom’s love to hear compliments about their children), but maybe, just maybe he really was impressed with the teenage version of me and my writing abilities.
But I digress… my point is, after hearing for a decade or so that I have some writing abilities, I’m ready to explore them!
In addition to the warm little story of my high school English teacher, I actually really like to write and I do think I am good at it.  Casey (my husband) does too, and I love when he tells me so!  It’s just rewarding looking back at the words that you’ve written, and the fact that you can delete and re-write when it’s not quite right is a nice perk too.
And now that I’ve shared how fond I am of myself… I really hope I’m not bluffing!
I must touch on the 3rd part of this posts’ title (I want to explore doing it professionally)… I’m not looking to write a book, or become a professional blogger (is that even a profession?).  I would just like to explore where and how I can put my skills to the test.  Again, that’s assuming that after writing this blog for awhile I (and others) still think highly of myself.  And what if, just what if, I got the skills baby?  Then I’ll write a book about something… who knows what, but believe me, it will be GOOD!
Ok, that’s it for now… it’ll be a fun journey, this blogging thing, so please join me!!