Congratulate Yourself!

I’ve become a big fan of memes these days. I’ve copied and shared numerous ones – especially about coffee and sleep! – on different social medias and with different friends, as appropriate. When I came across this one, it spoke to me loudly and clearly, and I determined that it needs to be shared here as well. It reads:

It’s said that we are all our own worst enemies. I don’t know if that’s true for everyone, but it certainly is accurate for me. I’ve written before about how I hold myself to a higher standard than I hold others, how I feel guilty at even the possibility that I might let someone down and other similar topics. I also know that when I do something nice for others, it makes me feel good, and I subconsciously add that to the “done good” column. But when I’m feeling fragilely depleted, as I am these days, and realize that I have nothing good to give unless I put on that fateful mask and pretend everything is okay, I’m at a crossroads.

I’m good at being chatty and cheeky. It’s a natural and oft seen part of me. I rationalize to myself that this is what people have come to expect from me, and that my silliness and positivity give them a moment to smile. I’m happy I can do that. But when I can’t do it naturally, an internal fight goes on inside my head. I like making people smile. I like creating a moment or two in another’s day that makes them chuckle or relax. But when it’s not something that’s coming naturally, I either tend to hide myself away because I don’t have it to give, or I ‘pretend’ at being that chatty, cheeky person. Neither is the right answer.

The mask frightens me. I wore it for so many years that it became a way of life and it often came close to destroying me pretending to be someone who wasn’t genuine and real. It took me a long time to release the glue that held that mask in place – and a painful time releasing it as well – so I shudder about the idea of putting it on and having to start that process all over again. The alternative is also frightening. I’m not a social butterfly by any means, so my life is generally secluded. My socialization occurs in places and with people who, with the exception of my bestie and my brother, have only ever seen that positive side of me. Plus, in this world full of problems, I’m not likely to lay my own on people whose problems seem so much worse than mine.

I’ve gotten off-track a bit. Thinking back to the meme, I might need to print it out and put a copy in several places where I’m bound to see it. Maybe if I learn to concentrate on the good vibes of the good things I do instead of keeping such a growing list of all of the ways I haven’t done good, I’ll be able to be more ‘okay‘ with myself and more willing to reclaim the funny, sarcastic part of me that people like seeing. It can’t hurt, can it?

Yes, I am, even if it’s not good enough for anyone else!

Finally Making Use of Time

It’s been many months now since COVID-19 came to completely change our lives. For some, the sheltering-in-place was a good time to clean out closets, do small household repairs, tackle bigger household projects, etc., etc., etc. Of course, we found time to whine and complain about the barriers of the pandemic as well!

As someone who routinely cleans out closets, who rents so she never has household repairs or projects to do, the days haven’t been any different for me than they would otherwise be. I’d see the occasional thing that needed to be done, but they were all insignificant things. Like sewing on a button to a winter top that will be months until I’m ready to wear it again. Like regluing loose pinecones on the pinecone wreath I made and hung two years ago. I’ve managed to keep up with the routine household chores in the way I’ve always done, limited, of course, to what I can do with my shoulder/arm at any given time.

I’ve returned to reading more and watching stuff on Amazon Prime to pass the time this past few weeks. I looked at those ‘projects’ but gave no thought to actually putting action into them.

Today, I finally did. I had a project that I’d been wanting to do which required me to dig out my hot glue gun, and since I also needed to take care of those loose pinecones, it seemed like the right time. Mission accomplished!

Well, that felt good – to have that one inconsequential thing taken care of! Finishing my project on the same day I started it was a major accomplishment, and I only considered once about letting it go to finish in the near future. Little bits of tidying up – like organizing my junk drawer, for example, are things I’ve started to do a few of daily. My two BIG projects still loom – finishing scanning photos into my computer and then transferring them to a disc drive so I can empty the boxes of unorganized pictures and going through three large totes and four shelves of crafting pieces and projects and making decisions about what might actually get done and what needs to be given away. Both of these projects require massive amounts of time, and both of them must occur in my spare bedroom, which is not air conditioned and gets warm even with a fan blowing over me.

Meanwhile, what time I can tolerate in this room has also been productive. I’ve cleaned out so many files on my computer, for starters. I’ve also done some research into recipes, like how to make risotto which I’ve never had but would like to try. I’ve spent time on Amazon comparing prices for grocery items I can purchase (and have delivered to my door!) versus what the same items cost in the grocery store (which I have to lug to my car and then lug into my house!)

I’ve been slowly looking at and starting to purchase Christmas gifts. Two years ago, I would have been 99% or more done with the shopping part, but last year I learned that I shopped too early and then found something I liked better as a gift after I’d bought something else.

Is any of this astounding? Nope! But I’m often very skilled at procrastination, so no matter how insignificant and menial these tasks may be, a feeling of accomplishment is a feeling of accomplishment after all! It’s not like anyone but me knows anything is different – for example, how my junk drawer looks now compared to what it looked like before I organized it. No one else would have even noticed the loose pinecones on my wreath. No one else knows how many and of what files I had on my computer to know that it’s been cleaned out.

But I know! I get to pat myself on my own back in acknowledgement of success and finishing a project that is important to no one but me. It’s kind of like darning a whole in the heel of your sock – no one knows the hole was ever there so no one knows you repaired it. But you can feel it when you wear that sock!

We all deserve to feel accomplished! Sometimes it’s as simple as putting fresh sheets on the bed! Congratulate yourself!