I typed out the title for this blog post:
Dear Self, Have I Told You Lately I Love You?
No…that’s not quite right. Maybe:
How To Love Yourself
No…that’s not it either. What about: Why Can’t We Just Be Happy? Hmm. Nope. That is just not doing it for me either. I REALLY want people to see this post and have an epiphany. How do you get people to read a blog post about self love and happiness? It seems impossible. (Post Script: Use a click bait title like What do Jam, Flight Attendants & Poodles Have in Common! Read to the bottom to find out!)
We all want to be happy but…
we’re often so wrapped up in our self loathing, happiness just seems impossible. Even when we’re on a high from a good day with the family, or a day when we got great exercise or ate healthy, we end up right back in the dumps again sooner or later. The very next morning we have a fight with our spouse or our jeans don’t fit or gosh that person has a much nicer house than me! WHY CAN’T I AFFORD A HOUSE LIKE THAT?! Why am I so unsuccessful!?
I was listening to a motivational book on Audible when I got the idea to write this blog post. Specifically it was: Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant To Be by Rachel Hollis.
Now that’s a mouthful.
It’s a great book, really. It made me laugh and think ok…maybe I could just be happy all the time. At least the first half of the book did. I got halfway through when I decided I needed something a bit different and switched over to The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck by Mark Manson.
Oh gosh. I’ve become that person. The one who is so unhappy she needs to listen to self help books every day to remind herself that she’s allowed to be happy!
I’m constantly trapped in the self loathing cycle that Mark describes in his book. I try to be happy, I succeed for a while, I get down in the dumps, then I get mad at myself for failing, insult myself for being so sucky at life and finally I decide to start all over again.
That’s where this post comes in. As part of my journey,
I’ve decided that I need to be more grateful.
Most of us are striving so hard for success and perfection that we’re rarely appreciative enough of everything we’ve done so far to get where we are in life.
If you’re reading this post and you’re like “Oh I’m very grateful and thankful. I rock at life.” than this post is NOT for you. Move along. This post is for the sad mother who thinks that she’s failing at being a parent, the entrepreneur who hasn’t made a million yet and thinks he should quit, the writer who has been turned down by every agent and publishing house and all of the other millions of you who don’t have it all together all the time.
Right now you’re going to drop whatever you’re doing, grab your computer or a notebook and write a list about yourself. You’re going to list 50 things that rock about you. Things that you’re grateful you have done, things that you love about your body, things that you loved as a kid, things that you survived. 50 Things that are absolutely amazing and make you an incredible, accomplished individual. Things that make you happy. Things that make you sad. Just make sure they make you proud.
- I love my green eyes. They look like deer eyes and are multi-colored and beautiful.
- I know how to ride a bike. It still scares me but I know how to do it! No training wheels mom!
- I am a fully trained flight attendant. Well I was 10 years ago when Canjet hired me, trained me, flew me around Atlantic Canada and then I quit. It just wasn’t right for me at the time but I’m SO PROUD of this skill that I have. I am sure this skill will come in handy some day!
- I know how to make jam. I just accomplished this last night! Knowing how to can and jam is a great life skill!
- I love to sing. I keep telling myself I suck at it but that’s just more negative self talk so that’s it. I love to sing.
- I ran two 5k races. I’m very proud of this and I would love to do a 10k next.
- I had two beautiful baby girls. I often say I’m sad that I didn’t get to use a midwife or go pain free but that defeats the absolute miracle that happened when I grew and delivered two incredible babies into this world.
- They’re both still alive so I must be a GREAT mom.
- I graduated from Barnhill Junior High School in the French Immersion Program and I designed the yearbook cover!
- I graduated high school in the IB program with a certificate of bilingualism in French.
- I graduated from St. Mary’s University with a BA in Anthropology
- I really, really care a lot about everyone. If you’re wondering if I care…I do!
- I’m really great at solving problems. Be it mathematical (my favorite) or situational I just LOVE a good problem to solve.
- I took swimming lessons right up to Bronze Cross and diving lessons.
- I used to be the only person I knew who could do a back dive.
- I can sew.
- I love to drive. I could drive for hours just to get somewhere and enjoy every moment.
- I love big trucks and I can actually park a 31 foot trailer. Oh yeah!
- I learned how to navigate and sail.
- I know how to tie a bowline knot and splice a rope.
- I have been in the paper numerous times and I won an award for a poem I wrote about the Holocaust.
- I am proud to have been married to my husband for 17 years now even though we have had hard times.
- I am not afraid of heights and have zip-lined across canyons in Mexico and above people in Vegas.
- I was able to sit for 7 hours in a row to get tattooed at the Halifax Tattoo Festival.
- I am physically and mentally strong.
- I have faith in karma, goodwill and people.
- I have faith in the unknown.
- I am proud that I cannot tell a lie. Lies hurt everyone around you.
- I used to smoke in high school. I quit.
- I have been a cat mom to 4 cats now. If you didn’t know…I’m a cat person.
- I have been through depression, a separation from my husband, anxiety attacks and many, many sad days. I survived.
- I have suffered through my mom’s illness with Alzheimer’s. We’re both still here but our relationship is different. I miss her a lot but…I will survive.
- I learned how to scuba dive even though I get terribly sea sick. I probably won’t do it off a boat ever again but I still want to dive.
- I suffered through more than 4 miscarriages. I say more than because who really knows how many I didn’t know about. It takes a strong person to go through all of that!
- I had my appendix out when I was 14. Two days later I flew on a plane to Ottawa so I wouldn’t miss my grade 9 school trip.
- In grade 12 I skipped my high school graduation to live in Ireland for a month and learn how to sail an 18th century long boat. Wow! I’m so proud of that one.
- I travelled alone to a conference in BC by myself. This was super scary for me! I had never really travelled alone. Now I can’t wait to explore the world alone again some day.
- I learned how to play hockey in grade 11 just because I wanted to. I had never even watched hockey much before then!
- I had to say goodbye to my cousin Alanna who passed away when I was in University. I never really knew pain before that day. It tore me apart. Now I know she’s with me every day.
- I am good at math. Not genius level good but I love it. It’s part of the whole problem solving side of me. And It’s why I LOVE excel. Plus my favourite saying is “It’s just math!”
- I’m also good at art and have loved it forever. I think there’s probably a math reason behind this too.
- I have an great sense of adventure even though I’m very practical and love planning!!
- I had two little sisters with Big Brothers Big Sisters. I loved them both and it was a very special time for me.
- I love helping people. In any way I can. I’m terrible at fundraising but I try!
- When I really want something I don’t stop until I get it.
- I learned how to drive a standard vehicle but not until I got married! Don’t ever give up on something you really want!
- I learned how to waitress and worked at the coolest restaurant at the top of Grouse Mountain in Vancouver!
- I decided to join a network marketing company at 37 years old. I wanted to try something new and it looked like an amazing opportunity. Whatever you do…make sure you have multiple income sources! It’s smart!
- I talked my kids out of really sad scary moments in their lives. Don’t ever stop talking to your kids. No matter their age, they still need you!
- I wrote this list. Damn it’s good. Maybe I’ll write another when I turn 50!