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!