I sat in on an interesting session on self-care this week. It was a reminder of what we all need to do to live life to its fullest. We often talk about how busy life is. Not simple, the way it used to be. We are constantly on the run. Making it from one commitment to the next. Nothing is ever good enough. We can always do better. Our expectations for ourselves are out of this world. Our expectations for others often become unrealistic. We try so hard to keep up to the Jones’.
There is some irony in that. Keeping up to the Jones’. What are we really trying to achieve? What do we really know about the Jones’. (My apologies to anyone reading this whose name is Jones) We know nothing about them. Outside appearances don’t tell the real story. Did you ever watch the show Keeping Up Appearances? It was funny. In a comedic way that show symbolizes what many of us do on a daily basis. Try and fool the people around us. Try to get them to think we are someone we really are not. It is tiring. Interestingly enough when you google the show the first thing that pops up is Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Now, wouldn’t that be a challenge. Pretty sure I don’t want that.
In our discussion, at our monthly support group meeting, we talked about stress relievers. One of the challenges given us was to think of something we felt we were good at. Excuse me. Think of something I am good at? Would that not show arrogance? The first thing that came to mind was the person who once informed me he was not arrogant, he just had a certain level of abrasive self-confidence. Sounds like arrogance to me. Anyway, back to trying to think of something I am good at. In my mind, of course, I thought of many things I am good at. But nothing I would ever dare say out loud. At least not with people around. The group leader asked us all, individually, to share our thoughts. I saw a lot of participants nervously looking around. Fidgeting in their seats. No one wanted to talk. Finally I quietly suggested that I was a good listener. Instantly qualified that by saying my wife would probably not agree. Gave a nervous chuckle. Then hung my head. That was tough. Did I really think that? Did I really say that out loud? Then I thought, Heck yes. I am a good listener. I have to be in my line of work. I take pride in that. As I should. I patted myself on the back. It felt good.
Many of us that face challenges become despondent and question our sanity, our abilities, our self-worth. One person I like golfing with will often say, after a bad shot, “I am such an idiot”. Not true. Nobody is an idiot. Sure, we make mistakes. We screw up. We wish things could have been better. We wish we would have made better decisions. But hey, we all make mistakes. The key is to get up, dust ourselves off and carry on. We all have positive qualities. We all are worth something. And instead of dwelling on the negative dwell on the positive. Go ahead. Pat yourself on the back. And always remember, if the grass on the other side of the fence looks greener it is probably on a sewer field. Or, as has been suggested by my son, grass is greener where you water it. Some truth to that. Make it a good one.