Thursday, September 1, 2011

No Thyself

Lately I've been trying to make myself a priority. The life of a stay-at-home mom means giving nearly every part of yourself to others. The kids demand most of my attention and energy, and what's left over goes into running errands, staying on top of chores, paying bills, scheduling appointments and making sure everyone else is alright.  Then maybe, if there is any time left, I can do something for myself. With the schedule I keep, that something is nearly always sleep. I'm determined to change this before I lose my own identity completely. The problem is, I don't know what to do with myself.

Of all the people who know me, you'd think the one who knows me best would be me. I live in this skin, peer at the world through these wide-open eyes and hear all the thoughts that click around this brain of mine. But when it comes to knowing myself I seem to have a rather large blind spot. I've tried those personality assessment tests (No, not the Scientology one, thank you very much.)  and I can't choose an answer. I'm never sure if I should put down they way I usually behave, what I value but rarely accomplish, what I'm hoping to be, or some mix of the above. I'm all over the map.

In my quest for identity I've been given an assignment: Ask friends to write things they appreciate about me. The idea is learning what others see in me might help me see myself more clearly. I balked at first. Blatantly asking people for compliments seems a little uncouth. But I realized this happens all the time, usually in the negative. We complain about something - a bad day, a rejection, an insult - and then people rush to praise us. Your boss is an idiot. You're a terrific cook. They don't know what they're missing. Why not skip the self-pity and go straight to asking for the good stuff?

So now I'm asking you. If you're so inclined, let me know what you appreciate about me. What am I good at?  What do you think of when you think of me?  Post it or send me an email or whatever. Or don't. I won't be keeping a list of those who don't respond and imagining they secretly hate me. It's not a tally of BFFs, just an little experiment to see if I can see myself better through the eyes of those that know me.


  1. You tell a story like no one else...take fantastic're a giver...have an amazing sense of humor.Not necessarily in that order. I'm not sure if that helps...but that's what I think about when I think of you :) OH and that we still need to get together for a cocktail :)

  2. You're an amazing writer, great listener, compassionate friend :)

  3. You sing some bad ass Karaoke and when I hang out with you, no one says, "that Joy is a big talker"

    I just tend to gravitate toward other people who are extroverts I guess!