What defines a good daughter, mother, wife, friend? I suppose that definition will vary according to your background, your circumstances, the people who raised you, the people you choose to hang around, and how you see yourself.
I used to think that being good at something meant you put all of your heart and soul into it…”giving it all you’ve got” and never backing down until it, whatever it was, was complete and perfect. But how on earth can you possibly do that in every single part of your life, all at the same time? I’m learning that it’s just not possible, required, or necessary to sell your soul to be good at something.
My new definition of being good at something really has more to do with me personally than with the action or finished product. It consists of learning to be content in the moment, with how things are right now, even though it’s incomplete and not perfect.
Part of being a good xyz is being good to yourself…treating yourself with the same importance and respect that you treat others. Do you notice when someone looks tired and advise them to get some rest? Do you see a friend trying to take on too many projects at once and gently tell her it’s ok to not finish today? When is the last time you said those kind things to yourself? Why do we hold ourselves to a much higher standard than the people we love and care about?
Part of being a good xyz is taking care of yourself. Drink water, get enough sleep, exercise (even a small amount has health and stress relieving benefits), eat right, do something you enjoy, take a break now and then, ask for help with a job that seems overwhelming to you. These things are not selfish…they are the very same things you would tell your best friend or your daughter that she needs to do. You are someone else’s friend and someone’s daughter and they want the same things for you.
Being a good xyz is being honest with yourself and with everyone else when you like or dislike something. It’s OK to say “I love that” but it is equally ok to say “no thank you.” The minute you are comfortable with your own “no” everyone else will be too. Most people want the people around them to be happy and if they found out you covered up what you really don’t like to make them happy…they’d probably be upset about that! Be comfortable and confident with your “no”
Being a good xyz means learning to be content with the way things are at the moment, while knowing at the same time, tomorrow is another day and changes can be made then, if needed. Soak up what’s good in the process instead of always being worried about the finish line. If we don’t pause and enjoy today, what is the point of working so hard day in and day out? There will always be another project, another task, another responsibility to complete…take a moment to pause and find the beauty in today, right now, this moment. Look for the good in everything and cherish it.
I hope this encourages you today…I’m still a work in progress at 50 and I’m still learning how to do these things for myself. What else do you think could be added to the definition of a good xyz? I’d love to hear your insight…