Wednesday, April 14, 2010

In recompense

So, InkMom left a comment on my last post about self-deprecation. She said:
I have this theory (based on observation of other blogs, not only my own) that if you want to get a lot of comments, you have to make sure what you're writing doesn't make it seem like your life is too much better than anyone else's. (The exception to this rule is supremely happy news, like having a baby, which draws comments the best of all.) ...

And it's also a reflection of how hard we are on ourselves that we can't just own it when we do something great. But all of these little idiosyncrasies are what make us identify with each other, and solidify kinship and love. It's authenticity, in it's own way -- even if the reality is that you look completely fabulous for having a baby so young.
Her comment plunged me into at least ten minutes of reflection, and I've decided to dedicate this 'ere post to some major bragging. Oh wait - I mean authenticity. Plus, it'll be good to have this post to look back on when I need a self-esteem boost.

Okay. Here we go. Things I'm good at:


I'm a genuinely happy person. I like to smile, and I do it a lot. I try hard to make others happy, too. I think I'm pretty good at it.

I'm good at GOING in the morning. I wake up, exercise, read my scriptures, and take a shower. I am dressed, mascara-ed, and earringed by 7:30. Ish. (The earrings are a special effort I'm trying out lately ....)

I have a fairly clean house. My floors, especially - they glow.

My Man and I have a fantastic marriage. Too sweet and perfect to talk about here.

My will power is enviable. I don't set goals lightly - because when I decide to do something, I do it without fail. (Although this superpower of mine does not extend to food.)

I make beautiful quilts.

I cook real darn good. Always from scratch. I'm good at inventing and experimenting and knowing what went wrong and how to fix it. I'm especially good at coming up with fantastic meals at 5:00.

I make my bed every day.

Service has become a habit. This characteristic has been developed just this past year - and I love it. I'm especially good at writing notes to people. What started out as a goal to write two a month has become too easy. I usually end up sending out three to four a week. Today I sent out seven.

Those notes are genuine. I try hard never to say anything trite, but make each note heartfelt and thoughtful.

I do the dishes right away. Every meal.

I spell good and read good. I don't know if I've reached Word Nerd status level, but my vocabulary is slightly ridiculous.

We have Family Home Evening every week.

We have our year's supply of food storage.

My house is beautiful. It's a joke in my ward that my house looks like the Pottery Barn with an international twist. I'd show you pictures, but photography is not part of this list.

I can be pretty darn funny sometimes.

I'm a good mom. I am.


You know what - that was hard. REALLY hard. Hard not to qualify or joke or shrug something off. And equally difficult not to follow up with a list of what I'm bad at. (Which would be twice as long.)

Hmmm ... once again the sarcastic belittling of myself. Old habits die hard.

SO. I'm intensely interested to hear what YOU are good at. Any brave souls want to do a post of their own? It's therapeutic, I tell you. I'm feeling amazingly good right now.

I think I'll go hug myself or something.


Shantel said...

I felt really seriously happy for you just now when I read your list. So that is something that I can do well - I can be happy for other people's strengths, and I feel uplifted when other people are. I didn't think of that as a strength until just now - I am going to go hug myself too!

Kristina P. said...

You are adorable, Laura.

I was thinking about your post after I posted my Glamour Shot from senior year. Because it IS hilarious.

And I'm OK with making fun of myself. And guess what? TONS of people also have one and I think those things make us relatable.

Just as when you post the good things about yourself. I can relate too.

Dorothy said...

This post is so great. You know how you said in a previous post that one of your daydreams is that women flock to you and ask you how they, too can be so awesome? Tell me, please, how you keep a clean house? And can you suggest some good dinners? I would love to hear what you have to say!

And good job for doing this exercise. I'm really impressed with you. People are typically pretty judgmental, especially in the internet. But they're also gullible, so I think that, if you tell the internet you're awesome, it'll believe you. I do. And I love you and this blog, and I totally don't even know you.

Dorothy said...

Oh, and what am I good at? As soon as I take the bar and get sworn in, I'll make a fantastic lawyer. (I just deleted the self-deprecating comment that followed. Good for me.)

Danielle said...

I wish you still lived in Brazil so we could be friends. :)

Kazzy said...

I might steal this idea and do a list like this.

I agree with Inkmom. Every time I am ready to post something I ask myself if it will be off-putting to people. If i post about how cool my husband is, or how much i love my job, etc. I have readers that struggle with these things, and I never want to offend. But my blog is my space. I need to get better at real honesty. Ugh.

You are someone I would want as a real-life face-t0-face friend. Except the Pottery Barn beautiful house might tick me off. :)

Lara said...

I love your list. I wish I could have your will power. You should teach me how.

I love InkMom's comment, too.

I think so many times we feel like we aren't "humble" if we say things that we are really and honestly good at. When in reality, the only thing that makes us prideful is when we don't acknowledge the Lord's hand in all things. So maybe all the self-deprecating stuff is actually showing PRIDE and not humility, because we are refusing to recognize all of the blessings and talents and gifts the Lord has given us. All because we want to seem humble.

Kimberly said...

I think self-deprecation is as much a social nicety as it is about humility. Very thought-provoking! I think I'm scared to talk about my good points since I made friends while talking about my bad ones. How messed in the head is that?

KC Mom said...

Oh boy, that list would take me all day to think of.

DeNae said...

Y'know, I don't really have this problem much any more. I know I keep saying, "Hey, girls, wait til you hit your forties..." but it really is a great time in your life. I've made it through those earnest, insecure 'young mothering' years, I've got 25 years of marriage under my belt and we love each other more every day, so we'll call that a success, I've been around the service block and the callings block and the kid raising block and the 'dealing with other women' block enough times that I finally have something meaningful and helpful to bring to the table, and while I try to look my best there's no denying those little wrinkles around my eyes are there to stay - so I'm over it.

I've hardly arrived, but there has been something incredibly liberating in my 40s, something that has allowed me to embrace my strengths, make peace with my shortcomings, and somehow reminded me that life is short so if you're going to learn, do, or be something new, ya better get crackin'!

(And you are amazing, dear Rebecca. There isn't one thing on your list - besides the mom thing - that even makes my top 500. What a blessing that we're all different!!)

InkMom said...

I am SO going to do this.

Although, I may not have been self-deprecating enough in previous posts to have earned the right to toot my own horn.

But I'll do it anyway.

Here's my first thing:

I am GREAT at thinking, and making other people do it, too. You're my evidence!

Just SO said...

I think this is a great idea. I need some time to ponder on it before I jump in an do this.

janel said...

I'm good at reading your blog.
And also at the self-deprecating humor.
Too food for my own good, I think.

Boy Mom said...

A beautiful post.

Weird how fun it is to drop out of the blogisphere for several weeks then come back and catch up on peoples lives in one delightfully long read.

Congrats on boy #4. Beautiful, precious!

Love your blog!

Marcia said...

Oh yes, DeNae! You took the words out of my mouth. I'm not 40 yet but I'm "pushing-40" and rather unhappy about arriving there. But I have been feeling lately just as you said... that I'm so much more comfortable with myself now. Not so insecure, not so trying to keep-up with everyone. I am what I am and I don't worry so much about what other people thing of that. It's a nice place to be. Maybe it makes up for the new decade. gulp.

Happy Mom said...

Wow!!! I'm seriously impressed. A number of those things (mostly in the homemaking category) are some of my greatest weaknesses.

You go girl!

Annette Lyon said...

This post has been up in my browser all day--I keep trying to figure out what to say . . . I can come up with things I'm good at, but immediately want to qualify them.

So here's a stab at a couple of things, in your honor (and trying to be brave).

I am good with grammar and language (thanks for the Word Nerd plug!), and I'm a good editor.

I have nice eyelashes and cute pinkie toes.

I am fiercely loyal.

I am not afraid to state my opinion.

If I decide to accomplish something, I won't stop until I make it.

I'm a good mom.

(Dang, that's hard to write a list without qualifying each and every item!)

Melissa Bastow said...

You should give yourself a hug - you deserve it.

Harmony said...

Who is Laura?

Joni said...

Well, it's good you wrote this because our growing list of seeming similarities has just hit a major roadblock.

All that housecleaning stuff. Not me. And the getting up and getting going in the morning. Nope. I need at least 2 hours to become fully awake.

But I am good at some things.

I'm a loyal friend and I keep my word.

I'm funny. I guess that's subjective, but I think I'm funny.

I trust people.

I'm nothing if not honest.

I sing well.

I admit my mistakes.

I never stop trying.

My kids know I love them.

I'm a good wife.

JustRandi said...

You are awesome!!

And can you come decorate my house!?

Anne said...

Your family is quite lucky to have you : )

Melanie J said...

I like your list, but I thought you were awesome anyway. I'm really good at loving my kids.

Melanie J said...

I mean that I thought you were awesome before I read it, anyway.

Tobi said...

You are awesome and I wish you could come and decorate my house.

I'm a good blogger and I'm a good commenter.

Ugh...that really was hard.

Also I moved my blog and I can't remember if I told you.

Rae said...

I don't know your name--found you through my darling sister, Qaptain Mommypants--but this is the COOLEST post! This is wonderful, and I have concluded that you are wonderful, too.


Sharon said...

And she's cute, too! Additionally, she has an adorable little family! Want to know how I know? Because I MET That Girl today. In person! It was the highlight of my day. :)

Kathy @ Real Mom, Real Life said...

What a fun post. This is always hard for me to do -- especially without qualifying the statement.

This would be such a fun idea for a blog carnival or something -- get us women thinking about all the good we ARE and CAN do...

I am good at loving.
I am not afraid to try new things.
I can make things happen.