Almost 2 years ago, I started this blog, and truthfully...I am not as faithful to write as I should be. I do write a lot actually, just in a journal instead of on the computer. This is me...I'm "old school" still...can't seem to help it that I want to hold my words in my hands and read them in my own handwriting. But, I need to grow and adapt myself to the world around me...growing pains...ugg!
So, today, I'm committed to finish my procrastination of my "bad stuff" list from April 2012 and get this list off of my conscience once and for all! 3 of the 4 things I'll enlighten you about are still true, and 1 is only semi-true two years after I confessed it...here goes:
I USUALLY GIVE A BAD FIRST IMPRESSION...several of you who know and love me have experienced a first impression problem with me. I don't have any excuses that really matter, but here's my excuse anyway...I prefer to be a wallflower and fade into the woodwork, and if I feel on the spot or scrutinized, I often withdraw and hide. I will still say "hello" and portray pseudo friendliness toward people I meet, but I definitely hide the "real me" from new people. One great example of this is when I met one of my best friends "Emily." We taught at the same elementary school and soon after the beginning of the year teachers' meetings, Emily and I found ourselves chatting about our personal lives a little. My daughter's name is Belle, and because of the uniqueness of her name, I often get comments about it. Emily is a pretty bold person, not shy at all which is a personality type that intimidates me anyway, and when she said, "is she named after the Disney princess?," I immediately went into shut down mode because I didn't know her well enough to perceive her comment as genuine curiosity or a stab at humor at my expense. I answered her matter of factly, "Yes, she is actually named after the Disney princess." I turned away and went back to my work. Emily and I laugh at this first impression now, but the truth is that Emily thought I was not a warm person and somewhat standoffish, maybe even stuck up. Now that she knows me well, Emily says that she got me completely wrong by our first impression. Others say similar things about me. I don't open up at first, it's like a protection mechanism of myself, but I guarantee that after I know you...you'll see the real me is not too bad.
I DO TOO MUCH FOR MY KIDS, I ENABLE THEM...finding the balance of rearing my kids to be competent, independent young people is always a struggle for me and my protective, serving nature. I want the people I love to have it all, and I usually sacrifice myself to ensure that this is possible. My self sacrificing nature is not always the best at preparing my kids to take on the world. I fear that I hold them back, my intentions are sincere and honest...but, I enable them to stay in a rut sometimes. I am conscious of this trait of mine and do a lot to overcome it, like just this past weekend, my oldest daughter was in Chicago with me and our 2 international students...and she needed to go into a suburb to visit a friend...by herself! The whole thing was set up with the friend picking her up at the Metra train station, and my daughter had everything under control as she went up to the counter to purchase her ticket. It took all I have within me not to go up to the counter to "oversee" the situation and make sure she was saying and doing all the right things. I even commented to one of our international kiddos that it was hard for me not to intervene. I realized at that moment that 75% of my daughter's inability to perform things successfully was on her, but 25% of it was on my shoulders because I don't really allow my kids to fail. I hover and swoop in and "fix" things. That's not really my job anymore with my oldest who'll turn 18 this year...I'm running out of time! I'm not going to just let her have a free for all, but within boundaries, I need to let her make decisions and go up to train ticket booths without me. My middle daughter is not going to need as much intervening as my oldest because she is strong-willed and independent already, and my youngest is not ready for me to stop my hovering yet. Each kid is different, but I need to make sure that they are more of their own self and less of me guiding their every single step as time moves on. I need to make them able to do things on their own instead of enabling them to need to depend on me every second for the rest of their lives.
I THINK I'M GOOD AT SEVERAL THINGS, PRIDE OR CONFIDENCE? This is the one I wouldn't put on my list anymore if I wrote a list today. I have come to realize that I'm not good at balance. I am like a jack of all trades in my life without a clear thing that standing out that I have any expertise in. I'm okay or pretty good at a lot of things, but not really, really good at anything. This is okay with me now, and I'm not sure it's a bad thing. I'm confident that I can get a job done, almost anything someone asks of me I will do to the best of my ability...and usually my best is good enough for them. I take pride in accomplishments, but I'm not really proud of myself. So, this one is tricky to write about because it doesn't really apply anymore...
I OFTEN HIDE CHOCOLATE SO THAT I DON'T HAVE TO SHARE...this is true. I often give out chocolate too though. I grew up with a mom who hid a bag of peanut M&M's on the top shelf of our pantry, so I come by it honestly. I know if I buy a bag of mini Hershey bars that within a couple hours at my house with 7 people...it will be gone. I love Hershey bars dipped in peanut butter, and I know it sounds strange...a Reese's just isn't the same. Sometimes, I just like to have something for myself. Chocolate bars can now be replaced with my preferred flavor for Kehrig coffee maker which I have resorted to writing my name on the box so that the little people who love drinking coffee will stay out of the "good stuff." I do this and feel bad sometimes because I'm generally not a selfish person at all, but I don't really think I'll devote much energy to change this "bad thing" about me much...or maybe I will...and, I have much better hiding places than my mom did!
Thank goodness I am done with my confessions that I started almost 2 years ago. Now, it might be about time to make a new list which I'll refrain from doing on the blog next time...but the important thing I wanted to impart to you is...
USE EVERYTHING, EVEN YOUR BAD STUFF...QUIT FEELING SHAME AND HIDING...SOMEONE ELSE CAN BENEFIT FROM THE THINGS YOU'VE GONE THROUGH.