notquiteold

Nancy Roman

You’re Fine

Last year I wrote about Being Kind – To That Special Someone.

Meaning YOU.

I think in this difficult time – and in good times too, all time, really – we need to be a lot nicer to ourselves.

Use the good china. Buy yourself flowers. Take a walk and look at the trees instead of your phone.

And please, please, please –

Don’t be so hard on yourself.

I don’t understand where all the self-criticism comes from.

Why, I like myself more than I like just about everyone else. And although I can readily admit my mistakes… (well, maybe not ‘readily’, but ‘eventually’)… I am also extremely forgiving of my mistakes and shortcomings.

After all, I have to be with myself one hundred percent of the time. It’s so much easier if we don’t fight.

I see and hear people fighting with themselves all the time. Self-criticism. Discouragement. You need to get over your disappointment in just how much you let yourself down. Forgive yourself a little. I forgive myself for so much I am constantly surprised by my generosity.

“Don’t worry, you’re fine,” I reassure myself.

“Oh, you are too kind,” I answer.

For example, I just wrote that I will readily (eventually) admit my mistakes. I have found that it is much much easier to admit a mistake, and then get on with your life. At work especially – the sooner you admit to your mistake, the sooner everyone else forgets it too.

But – once in a while – I have found myself covering up a mistake. Finding an excuse (the file got corrupted) or just plain lying (I missed the deadline because I was sick). Oh, this is a terrible thing to do. But holy cow, work is hard and getting yelled at is hard and confessing to being stupid is hard.  So try not to make sad excuses. But if you do, forgive your excuses as much as your mistakes.

Or sometimes you pay a bill late. Someone I know had just completed a hostile phone call informing the credit card company that the check was sent WEEKS ago, only to discover it was really six weeks ago, and that was last months’ bill. Oops. So: Apologize. Apologize to the billing person you hollered at. And then apologize to yourself. Time flies. It’s trite but it’s true. It’s so easy to think you JUST did something that you didn’t do at all.

Sometimes your standards are just too high. You have not failed as a mother if you give your kids Cheerios for supper. My mother used to say – “I can have a clean house or I can have happy kids. Sometimes I can have both. But not always.”

And it’s not only the kids eating Cheerios. We all intend to eat healthily. And sometimes we do. And sometimes we have chocolate covered caramels for breakfast. In this country, we are bombarded with food. It lures us from the cupboards. It seduces us from the refrigerator. It beckons us from the pantry. It shouts to us from the TV. Shit, even the gas station sells potato chips. Just do your best.

I just read a story a woman wrote that was filled with guilt. She bought something expensive she did not need. And came home to find her husband had lost his job. Crap, that is bad timing. But that is all it is. We all buy unnecessary shit. That’s what seems to keep the country going. You did not cause your husband to lose his job. Your purchase will not directly result in your car being repossessed. But do return it if you can. And if not, try to find real pleasure in what you bought. It may comfort you during difficult times.

My husband worries that our dog Theo is not very well behaved. Well, I suppose he isn’t. Theo’s spoiled and willful and I give in all the time. Discipline is not my forte. But when I think back to the dog I had as a kid… to the dogs we all had as kids, expectations were different. We didn’t expect a dog to spend four hours in a crate. Or stand perfectly still while a squirrel ran by him, or keep quiet when the mailman walked into our yard. (By the way, do you know that my dog can set off the house alarms if the UPS truck comes while we are not home and he barks too near the windows? We know that now. So do the police.) 

Anyway, maybe you should think about your crazy dog with a different perspective. You are brave enough to have An ANIMAL living in your house and he doesn’t poop on the furniture and hasn’t eaten you yet. Pretty damn good!

I am appalled and saddened by how hard people are on themselves when they are learning something new. “I suck at this,” I heard someone in my painting class say.  Really? Did she never fall down as a toddler or crash her bike? Was she fluent the first day of Spanish I? Why do people expect to be so good at something so quickly? I have been practicing Yoga since 2001. I am still in the beginner class. That’s why they call it “practice.” It’s been many years, and I may still improve, but if I don’t, then I am proud of my patience and perseverance.

To that lady in my painting class – and to everyone learning a language or learning to dance or to play a musical instrument; to teenagers learning to drive or learning a sport; to older people filling in Medicare forms:  You don’t suck at it. You just don’t know how to do it. YET. You will. Don’t say “Holy Shit, I suck!” Say “Holy Shit, I have POTENTIAL!”

**

yoga.jpg

My Yoga practice: Tree.
I drew this several years ago, but I have improved.
My drawing, not my Yoga. But who cares? I have POTENTIAL!

 

46 Comments

  1. Ha! Thank you. I was eating two Pepperidge Farms cookies for breakfast as I read your post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We often find it easier to be kind to others over ourselves, took me a long time to feel ok about being good to myself

    Like

    • I don’t really understand why we expect so much more of ourselves than we expect of others.

      Like

  3. Good advice!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Deb

    Cheerios for dinner…sounds excellent to me!

    Like

    • I like a nice crunchy granola .. or soggy wheaties…. I can go either way.

      Like

  5. Reblogged this on NANMYKEL.COM and commented:
    Perfect. That helps. New resolve! I’m reblogging.

    Like

    • Thank you for the re-blog!

      Like

  6. Love the Yoga tree picture.

    Like

    • Thanks. I am afraid it is a very accurate self-portrait.

      Like

  7. I loved this post. Thank you for sharing it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great post. I agree on every point. One of the best pieces of advice I ever read was to stand in front of the mirror every morning and say, “I love you just the way you are. You are perfect.” The more you repeat it, the easier it gets and the more you believe it (and, let’s face it, each of us IS perfect just the way we are!)

    Like

    • Good advice. But I laughed too.. remembering a birthday card I gave my husband years ago. It read :”I love you just the way you are.” But inside it said…. “But don’t get any worse.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • LOL! I’ll have to remember that on my husband’s birthday (next month!)

        Like

  9. LOVE this! And I’m not just saying that because I let my dog have Cheerios for dinner…again.

    Like

  10. mychaoticbrain

    Special K with Strawberries for me or popcorn! Great post when you have hard truths mixed with humor! Now back to work for me so I don’t miss my deadline😉

    Like

    • My husband and my dog are partial to Special K. He buys several boxes at a time – my husband, not the dog,

      Liked by 1 person

  11. manojkumarghadei

    You are soo lovely

    Like

  12. It was kind of you to write this 😉

    Like

    • Oh, but it is so much easier to write than to DO,

      Liked by 1 person

      • True, but you gotta start somewhere!

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  13. That was a beautiful read 🙂

    Like

    • serenityrock

      I agree, we must learn to appreciate the person we know best …ourselves

      Like

    • thank you.

      Like

  14. I’ve always thought breakfast was the best time to eat cake. Never after a meal when it would be just too much. Of course cold pizza was also intended for breakfast. Of course one of our favourite dinners around here is sausage and eggs with home fries. Hmmm, I may have the whole thing “backasswards” as my Mom use to say.

    Like

    • Years ago, there was a really great restaurant that had even better desserts. But we could never eat the dessert after all that dinner. We found out that the restaurant didn’t mind at all if you ate dinner at home and just came for dessert. So we did.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. green tiddy milk

    Like

  16. Michele LaMont

    This was fantastic. I’m going to light the pretty candles tonight:)

    Like

  17. This is very nice

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I really enjoyed reading this.
    Nicely done.
    Have a good day….

    Liked by 1 person

  19. ‘Use the good china’. Oh, hands down! screw the mani and pedi, tonight i’m treating myself with the good china. This was an endearingly friendly read. Thanks for writing this, love! It’s been hard being kind and forgiving of myself but “I have potential” for that haha

    Like

  20. This was really inspiring! I’m the first person in my family to go to college, so I constantly think that I have to be a perfect child to live up to my families expectations. I shouldn’t think this way though. I’ve accomplished so much in my life so far and I should be happy for myself! Thank you 🙂

    Like

    • I tend to think your expectations for yourself are higher than those your family has for you. They love you the way you are. So why not follow their lead?

      Like

  21. Nice

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I have always struggled with expecting myself to instantly master any new thing I try. Working hard on learning to let myself suck!

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    • When I am learning something new, I often get discouraged too. But when I find myself criticizing myself, I say, “OK, enough for today… my mind is telling me to stop for a while.” Then I take a smaller bite the next day.

      Like

  23. This is so refreshing to read. It’s so important that we notice little successes in our lives and take pride in them and not get bogged down in those things that haven’t gone so well and we should be proud in all that we have achieved.

    Like

    • I remember taking a class in Investment Finance that was WAY over my head, and I felt pretty stupid. Then one day I was talking to another professor and she said, “Oh, you have Professor Smith! If you understand one-third of what he says you have learned more than understanding 100% of someone else’s class.” And suddenly the clouds lifted and I felt so much better!

      Like

  24. Great timing ❤ Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. this is an amazing post!

    Like

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