I am hard on myself. So, so hard on myself. I don't know if it's a mom thing, a woman thing or maybe even an American thing, but I am sure that many who read this can probably relate. I am not a generally negative person. My life is good, and I thank God for that every day. I make a daily effort to come from a place of gratitude. Most situations, even the tough ones I am able to spin in a very positive light. That is, unless they revolve around...me. I am so good at pointing out my shortcomings. I am very self aware. And so, I am also aware that this trait of mine, this self-deprecating tendency is anything but helpful, and yet...I can't shake it. Now, this is not to say that I lack self confidence. No. The two are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they may actually be quite co-dependent. I am very confident in my abilities, but when I fall short of my own expectation I am most unforgiving. I would never treat anybody else as harshly as I treat myself.
Just tonight I came to learn that a young woman whose family have been longtime friends with my family is a published author. Bona fide, books on a shelf and featured on my i-books app, author. At first I saw the name and thought what a crazy coincidence, but after some investigation I have come to learn that the name actually matches up to the real life flesh and blood girl whose diapers I once changed. Wow. I am amazed. Seriously. I was at her parent's wedding. Heck, I sat outside on her grandmother's stoop giggling with her mother and aunts while her father was inside asking permission to become engaged to her mother! Unfortunately, through the years I have mostly fallen out of touch with her Mom, but I still receive a Christmas card each December with her smiling face (gorgeous, gorgeous face) and that of her younger sister and baby brother. I dutifully send my card with my smiling cherubs. Now, I come to find out that she is a grown (young) woman with a talent for beautiful, insightful prose and that she is indeed making a career for herself. It is so...cool.
And now the logical next step is...to beat up on myself.... how do I not know this? Clearly I am an awful human being who is entirely too self absorbed to even realize that life is happening to those around me. No, they have not stayed frozen in time like some dolls on a shelf just waiting for me to notice them again. Life goes on, and I should have been noticing. I mean sure, I have had a few things of my own going on. You know, just a few. There simply is no excuse, I should be all things at all times, right? Of course the expectation is ridiculous, and I know that. I am more sad than mad at the fact that I have been missing out. I will shine on the positive angle here, which is that now that I am aware I will start following this young talent whose writing style and subject are so good. I will be inspired!
Ok, but seriously...I am not going to let myself off the hook so easily. The whole thing brings up more dark self condemnation. Tonight I laid in bed, texting away in a fun and lovely conversation with my sister in law about everything and nothing at all for a good hour. Very important considering the original point of the text was to say, "hey let's get together tomorrow around 2:30, so we can talk some more about everything and nothing". Then I spent some time doing my all important, several times a day task...surfing Facebook. I mean, heaven forbid some other person who I haven't had actual human contact with in over 20 some years posts a picture of their cat and I miss it, right? Then...I watched an hour long drama from my cable on-demand service. Remember the days when we would rush home or have to "set the VCR" so that we could catch the latest episode of our favorite show? Ancient history.
Next, I decide to shut the lights and get some sleep. I have a very busy week coming up. Only....I can't sleep! My mind just keeps going over, and over my inadequacies! I start to review in my head all of the time-sucking wasteful nonsense that I did this evening. Then I start to think about all of the things I should have been doing instead...like getting ready for K'Lil's fast approaching first birthday party which will be attended by nearly 100 people and for which I have done...nothing! Or how about finishing the dreadful task of switching out the boys' summer clothes for winter clothes? There's also that Pinterest project that I started 5 weeks ago...And finally...Why the hell am I not writing?
Seriously? Could I be any more of a complete failure as a person? Here is this beautiful, young, talented girl who is doing it. Writing. That's what she is, a writer. Now, here's where the self-confidence we talked about kicks my ass. I am just as good as she is. I have what it takes. I was a one time blogger with potential for a following. The thing that killed it for me though, was a lack of consistency. I need to write often if I am going to be successful. I need to get my ass off of FB. I need to shut off the TV and put down the phone. I need to get time management down. I need to...to finish my 15 loads of laundry, 10 dishwasher loads, grocery shopping, 21 bottles of formula mixing, food shopping, couponing, PTA Volunteering, child shuttling, homemade play dough making, lunch packing, religion class teaching, dog walking, meal prepping, baby proofing, appointment making, and bathroom cleaning done. What the hell is my excuse? I have smart insightful things to say. I have a vocabulary. I have a lap top. I also have bags under my eyes, but still. I should do better.
The ironic thing is that one of the articles I read tonight from this lovely young girl talked about her deep desire for motherhood. She is however, very young and is not quite ready to pursue that calling. I on the other hand have a strong desire to write. To write all of the witty and analytical things that come to mind each day. However, at the moment I am a mother. I want to find the time, make the time. I am going to continue to push myself. I want to be inspired by my young friend's success. I can do better. Always better.