Thursday, September 29, 2011

Three things

The other day Elle was sitting at the table drawing a picture.  As she drew she hummed a little song to herself and swung her legs.  I looked over her shoulder and peeked at her drawing of herself playing on the playground.  "That's a really good picture sweetie."

"I know" she responded. "I'm a really good drawer."

Just like that.  Matter of fact.  She went back to drawing and humming in general feeling pretty content with herself.  She didn't hesitate to say that she was good at something.  She didn't argue with me and insist she wasn't really that good.  She didn't follow her statement up with "But you should see my friend!  She's really good.  I'm only a little good.  I need to get better."

I was so struck by that.  I don't remember ever having the confidence she has.  Maybe I did once, when I was her age but then if I had it when did I lose it and why?  Why did I go from being a self-assured little girl into a woman who has no faith in herself?

If you were to ask me what I was really good at I would say nothing.  That would be my first answer.  I can't keep my house clean enough, I'm disorganized, every time I try to make bread I fail miserably, I never went to college because math is to hard for me and I get anxious in new situations, I have terrible eyesight, I forget things all the time.  And that?  That's what I see when I look at myself.  When someone compliments me I deflect it and deny it.  When people compliment me on my photography my response is that they only think it's good because they don't know any better.  I mean, I have literally said that to people.  It's why I have done very little with my photography business (even though I started a facebook page for it).  I'm certain that I'm not good at it.

That terrifies me.  I don't want Elle to turn out like this.  I don't want her to think that she's not good at anything.  I don't want her to always second guess herself.

So I'm trying to change the pattern.  I need to start seeing what I'm good at so that others can see it to.  I need to let my daughter see me taking credit for the things I do well so that she can know it's ok to credit for the things she does well.  So for days I have thought about what three things I feel like I'm really good at that I feel comfortable acknowledging.  It was hard and I had to stifle a lot of doubt and insecurity but I came up with a list that I think is honest and true.

1. I am really good at canning.  I have a pantry full of applesauce, jams, salsas, tomato sauce, pickles and other canned goods.  I taught myself how to do it and I'm proud of that. 

2. I am good at making people laugh.  I am a funny person.  I have a good sense of humor and I'm not afraid to use it.

3. I am a really good mother.  (And to that I'll also add that I'm a really good surrogate mother.)  With me my children have love, care, security, laughter, learning, and an endless supply of apple crisp.  I'm not a perfect parent but I work on improving the areas where I make mistakes.

Phew!  That was hard.  But good!  It feels good to give yourself credit.  So now I want to hear from you.  What are your three?  No putting yourself down!  What are you good at?

One year ago today some people were assholes and needed to be treated as such.
Two years ago today I was maybe in a cult.
Four years ago Elle was the easy child. Hahahahahahaha.

Friday, September 23, 2011

I wish I had half her self confidence

"Even when I'm not looking in the mirror I still know how cute I am because I can just remember it from the last time I looked." - Elle

Two years ago today I was pregnant with twins.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Some day I will grow up and stop worrying about this stuff

You know, you get to a certain age and you start to feel like you know yourself pretty well.  And then one day something happens that makes you shake your head and realize you still have so much left to learn.  I'm thirty-*mumbles* years old and yesterday I had a real "duh" moment about myself.

I take it really, really personally when someone is mean to me.  I don't mean that I get sad or upset if someone is mean to me.  I mean that I immediately start thinking "Oh no!  I did something wrong!  There must be something about me that's causing this person to be mean to me.  I have to try and figure out why this person isn't nice to me.  Surely it has to be an issue on my end!  If only I was nice/smart/funny/interesting/good enough they would like me and not be mean to me."

It never even really occurs to me that maybe the other person is just kind of an asshole.

Of course on an intellectual level I realize that there are mean people in the world.  And I realize that every so often I am going to run into one.  And sometimes I might have to interact with one of them.  And they might not be so nice to me.  When it happens though I'm thrown for a loop.  It always takes me by surprise.

See, I think I'm a pretty nice person.  I care about my family and friends.  I try to be polite to strangers.  I stop for people in crosswalks.  I am nice to waitresses and cashiers.  I like puppies and babies.  I like buying things for people.  I can laugh at myself.

So the question is, how is it that I can know that I'm a nice person who's generally likeable and know that there are mean people in the world and yet not know how to not internalize it when one of those jerks takes their jerkiness out on me?  And will I ever learn how to do that?  Or am I doomed to always be left to wonder what I did wrong after someone treats me poorly?

(And by the way, this is not a post about how I'm to awesome and kind to function in this cruel world and it's NOT an attempt to fish for compliments.  Believe me, I have plenty of flaws and I know it and I can deal with that.)

One year ago today Elle was wise.
Five years ago today Elle like bad movies.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Yesterday I got an email that made me sad and stressed out.  I can't go into all the details but it involves surrogacy and egg donors and people who are not totally honest and how now the plans for me to try to get pregnant in October have been flushed down the toilet because we have to go back to the beginning to try to find a new egg donor.  Frustrated does not begin to describe how I feel right now.

Also there is something causing my "d" key to not work right so when I need to use it I have to push on it really har hard.

In order to cheer me up here is a picture of Elle from our recent road trip. It makes me laugh. (Recap is coming!  I'm working on it between canning massive batches of apple sauce and folding massive piles of laundry.)

One year ago today I won the teacher jack pot.
Four years ago today I shopped when I was pregnant and it was bad.
Six years ago today I talked about my cervix as I am wont to do.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

The one where I divorce my husband because of a weight set

I was in the garage this morning getting ready for Garage Sale 2 - Revenge of the Overpriced Crap when I tripped over Jesse's old weight set and fell flat on my face.

Have you ever been falling and everything seems to happen so fast and yet so slow?  As I was falling I had time for this entire thought process:

"Ouch!  What was that? That goddammed weight set! Why did he set that weight right there? I've tripped over it ten times already?  I could have moved it but with my back hurting so much that seems like a bad .... AAAAAA!!! I'm falling!  I thought I could regain my balance but I couldn't!  AAAAA!!! I'm going to fall on my face!  I know, I'll drop this big armload of garage sale clothes I'm carrying and then I'll free up my arms PLUS then I'll have something soft to fall on.  Oh no!  I didn't aim right and now.....*thunk*.... Jesse is so hearing about this when he gets home."

The worst part is that I can't even be very mad at Jesse because not five minutes later I fell backwards over a pile of crap that I left sitting out.  So now I'm inside with my banged up foot and knees and arms and a rather large sore area on my hinder and I'm wishing I had some ice cream and thinking about how much I hate garage sales.

One year ago today I had money woes.
Three years ago today I found a good use for blogging.
Six years ago today I was boring.