Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Love Yourself More this Valentines Day

 Take this test  Strong Life Test
 I decided to join the book club in my neighborhood. I tried once before but I didn't like the books they all chose to read. I'm not a Jane Austin fan like everybody else.  I think her books are boring and too provincial for my taste. I like to read biographies and non-fiction more than any other genre anyway.  So I thought it was interesting that this non-fiction book I'm reading now,  had a Strength Finder test in chapter 7. I love taking these kinds of tests to show my strongest traits.
I love the song "TRY" song  by Colbie Caillat HERE 

So it was a happy surprise to find out my two top strengths are CREATOR and TEACHER. Go figure. And the quiz said I probably mostly read non-fiction and that whether I write, draw, paint, sing, make presentations, or bake,  I am drawn toward making things and creating things. Maybe this is why I have 5 different blogs. This hit the nail squarely on the head for me. Take the test above. It is fun!
We need to love ourselves more and be less hard on us! 

I'm finishing the book Find Your Strongest Life this 3 day weekend. It says since I'm creative, I should walk around with a notebook in my hands,  to jot down my creative ideas. haha. I actually already do that in some shape or form. I talk to Siri, I write stuff down in my blog, and I take notes. lol.
Women tend to be less happy as they age according to statistics. And statistics don't lie. 

The book talks about how when they did recent research on Women,  and their descriptions of how happy they are in life, the bar graph had a downward trend as women got older! What the heck! But, it ran totally the opposite for men, as they have an upward swing as they get older. This is intriguing to me and a little upsetting too!
Why do we always feel like we are not good enough? We ARE! 

I wondered why, in this day and age, with so many choices and so much freedom and economic ability we as women have,  why would our feelings of contentment be lessened? It doesn't really make sense.

But, as the book details, it has something to do with all the myriads of choice women DO have, and the judgements we make of ourselves, and the judgement we feel from others,  and then there is always the guilt we feel. We do that to ourselves a lot as women. Men don't feel as much guilt, nor do they feel so judged, like women do. That is a big part of it, according to the research the authors did.
We need to love ourselves more....and guilt ourselves LESS! 

I've decided this year to not feel guilty anymore. And to apologize more and faster. So I don't feel guilty. lol. Seriously though, I remember when my son Danny died in a car accident. I felt guilty for letting him drive to school that day when he woke up late and was going to be late. I had a premonition to just let him sleep in instead of waking him. Who knows why I wouldn't wake him up though. But I felt that premonition. It was like a sixth sense. So I felt guilty.

I felt guilty looking at his math packets left on the kitchen table that  he was trying to finish for credits that he needed to graduate. I felt guilty that he only reached Life Scout as I looked at all the merit badges he had earned,  trying to reach his Eagle Scout.  He had always hated scouting though. I pushed him just to get him to achieve life scout! So why feel guilt? Why do we do these things to ourselves? Feeling guilty after the fact is just silly. It was just sad. Especially on top of every other emotion I was feeling at the time.  But that is what we do. We are SO hard on ourselves!

Every year I have my classroom kids write about what they love about themselves at Valentines time. We need to love ourselves more! 

 I'm not feeling guilty anymore for my messiness, my creativeness, (which causes my messiness) and my bluntness. It is the person I am. Why do women always over-guilt themselves? That is why we probably have less happiness as we get older as a whole. Although I don't think I personally am less happy. We do have so many duties as women. I think more so than my mother's generation had. She had the card club and the coffee klatch,  and didn't work outside the home. In my generation, our work is never done,  We have a lot more of it, and we make it seem like what work we do is never done well enough! We need to stop doing that. We are enough!
Don't let the storms of life color your world. Don't try so hard. 

I listened to this song on the radio called "Try" yesterday morning on the way to work. It is a great song by

Colbie Caillat

 TRY is all about this stuff.

"You don't have to try, try, try"....she sings over and over again. "You just have to "Get up, get up" and "When you're all alone do you like YOU?  You don't have to change a single thing, you don't have to bend until you break, you don't have try so hard". 

She knows the heart of a woman. We think we have to be everything to everybody and be perfect, and it just isn't so. We need to relax a little more and be maybe a little more tuned in to our own wants and desires. I know for me just going shopping with a $20.00 bill sometimes makes a bad day better. (I call it retail therapy with a little chuckle lol) Chocolate always helps too. And maybe going to get a favorite movie dvd and watching it up in my bedroom with some popcorn. Sometimes just going to a bookstore or the library and getting some books helps refresh my world view. Whatever it is, that time spent alone, helps me feel better about life, if I am getting the guilts or feeling overwhelmed, or just not very happy.

We need to give ourselves days off like that once in awhile. Especially if we are in the young mother stage, where you get used up and feel unappreciated a lot. My those clean toilets don't really ever sing your praises now do they? No they don't unfortunately!
Notice more of the delightful things in life that you miss everyday. This balloon launch was just down the street one summer day. 

So take some time to take a leisurely bath, take some ME time, and find out why you feel guilty sometimes, or figure out a fun thing you can look forward to and set it up on your calendar.

We went to a party the other night and a counselor friend of mine was telling everybody research he'd read on happiness. He said there were basically 3 things we need to be happy. And it was 1) feel passion about the work you do 2) feel passion about something coming up that you look forward to (plan fun things) and 3) give back in some way (give service to others).

Those were the 3 things researchers have come up with. And they make sense. If you are unbalanced in any of those 3 you feel low. Some people give too much service and they get drained. Some people hate their work and don't want to get up in the morning. Some people never plan anything fun and never have new experiences to look forward to. It has to be a balance of the three.

Remember to give back or give service to others once in awhile. That always fills my bucket back up.  Unless my bucket is empty. It is a fine line, that giving to yourself before you can give it away to others. 

So I am taking away from that that I need to appreciate myself and my work that I do. And I need to plan more fun stuff. (I already do that though, don't I, maybe too much! ) I think they need to add 1 more thing to the list. Don't put guilt trips on yourself for things that you are not all that great at, but appreciate your gifts instead.

 Don't beat yourself up about things that are not perfect in your life. "You don't have to try, try, try". It is a losing battle this guilt thing we do to ourselves. Accept your weaknesses and just forget about it. Make your strengths the thing you feel good about.

Nobody is good at everything. Nobody is perfect. Nobody is always put together. And nobody's kids are perfect or good at everything either. We don't lead lives of perfection and we shouldn't be seeking after it I don't believe. I think an escape to the cabin and skipping church once in awhile does me good. And although I feel guilty just saying that, I'm going to overlook it, and smile, remembering the good times we had there.
Find things that you love and make more of your focus on those things this year. Find the joy along the way more. 

Take the test above. And focus on something about yourself that is a strength or that you love about yourself, a talent, a gift. And appreciate what you are good at. Go out and be creative, be a leader, do your craft, or be a fantastic teacher, or whatever your gift is. And give back a little something, and plan your calendar so there are happy road trips and getaways, or concerts or plays or whatever you love.

I'm going to try doing more of it this year. That is my goal. Less guilt. More creativity, more planning for fun, and a little more giving back. More joy in the journey. More happiness.

Hanging out at Bear Lake....happy times. 

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