Thursday, January 29, 2015

Seeing Yourself

Have you ever stopped to think about how others might see you?

I'll be the first to admit that most of the time I am my biggest critic as well as my own worst enemy. Surely when people see me they just see the huge nerd that I am.  A woman who loves (and has a great deal of respect for) books. A woman who enjoys writing and actually writes as often as she can in hopes of one day getting some more stories or articles published; especially a novel. A woman who loves Wonder Woman and believes that Audrey Hepburn was not only a fabulous actress and a beautiful woman, but also an amazing person.  A woman who lives in a house that does not look like an adult lives here. A woman who absolutely loves all things vintage, retro . . . OLD! A woman who loves art and color! A woman who jokes around with her children and acts goofy with them.  A woman with a plain face, stupid hair, and an imperfect body.

Wait, what?

The truth is, we can be hard on ourselves.  I have learned (and am learning more every day) that those closest to me see me in a very different way than I see myself.

I was talking to a friend this morning and she surprised me.  She said, "It must be nice to be brave enough to have such a cool place."  What?  Her comment threw me.

Without thinking, I let out an uncomfortable laugh.  She said, "No, I'm serious.  I feel like my house has to be boring and look as if adults live there."  I shrugged my shoulders and said, "Everyone has their own taste.  Some might even say that my taste is weird."  To my surprise she smiled and said, "Your place is happy."

What a great compliment!  Who cares if my house is new, big, nice, fancy, stylish . . . but happy?  That is a great word!  I love it! What better compliment for your home.  I love that she sees my home as happy!  My aunt once told me that she loved how my husband and I made our home fun for our kids.  That is partially true.  The fact is, when our kids are grown and it's just Jacob and me, we will still have the bright colors.  We will still have tons of books, art, and cool old things.  It's what we love, it's who we are, and our home reflects that.

Another person told me she loved my hair; that I look like a french artist.  Okay, well, that's cool, I guess. Now, Logan keeps telling me he "really likes my curls" and if I straighten my hair he will say, "I like it better the other way.  I like it that you look like a french artist."  Now, odds are he has no idea what a french artist is, but he thinks it sounds cool and that's good enough for me!

Yesterday, while wishing me a happy birthday, a friend actually said, "You're just an awesome person."  I laughed and said, "Thank you."  I have a bad habit of caring about how others feel.  Logan is A LOT like me in that respect.  We want to encourage people, build them up, and see them smile.  While I don't see myself as an awesome person, it has been really neat to see myself through my friends' eyes over the past couple of days.

The fun fact for today is that we are who we are.  Odds are, that person you see staring back at you from the mirror isn't the same person seen by those who love you.  I think that is pretty cool.  They see me as this great person, a person worthy of their love, worthy of their friendship, their support, encouragement, honesty, and a million other awesome things.

Be yourself, but more importantly, be happy with yourself. I have some truly amazing friends who are constantly reminding me of this.

I'm so thankful for them and thankful they see me differently than I see myself!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

I Have Learned

I left the living room to put folded clothes away.  I could hear the laughter filling the house as I headed down the hallway.  It was obvious my gremlins were running around the room like crazy people.  I returned a few minutes later to find the sofa pillows on the floor.  Several of Kaitlyn's toys were strewn about, as well as two of her blankets.  The couch itself had even been shifted.  All three gremlins sat perfectly still as if they had been that way all along.  I laughed and said, "What did you guys do?"  Alex looked around and said, "What? I don't see anything."

I have learned a lot since Alex was born over a decade ago. I have learned that I can spend all day doing laundry and cleaning and at the end of the day there is no evidence of it. I have learned that Goldfish, when stepped on, crumble into such a fine powder that it sinks deep into the carpet.  It is nearly impossible to vacuum up every last crumb.  It can be done, but not without sighs and annoyed groaning! I have learned that Legos end up all over the house and hurt when you step on them.  It never fails; you WILL step on them! I have learned that when my 10-year-old is quiet it doesn't mean he feels sick or something is bothering him.  It just means he's growing up, he's not as rowdy as he once was, and he just wants me to leave him alone and stop asking him questions. I've learned that children can set a new record for how quickly they can destroy a room, but when it's time to clean it up they can drag it out all day.  I have learned that 3-year-old girls prefer to be in nothing but a pull-up when they're at home and really (honestly and truly) ARE just like little teenagers, except teenagers are potty trained!  I have learned that siblings will fight over anything.  I'm waiting for the big fight over oxygen.  It has yet to happen, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

Over the past decade I have learned that household chores can wait when your little girl looks at you with big blue eyes and says, "Mommy, you want to play with me?"  I have learned that hearing my eldest son read to me is one of my favorite things.  I have learned that 8-year-old boys really do think about things more than I ever imagined they could and might actually be more noble than most people five times their age! I have learned that time moves fast and you are forced to keep up with it! I have learned that I am raising my children in a world that is much different than the one I grew up in, yet frighteningly similar.

Every day our children wake up a day older.  Eleanor Roosevelt said, "Today is the oldest you've ever been, and the youngest you'll ever be again."  I have learned that having a clean house is ideal, but having happy children and enjoying them while they're the youngest they'll ever be again is more important.