Thursday, March 3, 2011

Nobody Special

Ever have one of those days - or maybe weeks....or months when you just don't feel special - or even significant? Oh, well, you know, me neither.


Okay, so, maybe it does happen occasionally. Like many women closer to "middle-aged" than I care to admit I find myself asking "Just what have I done with my life?"  When I compare myself to seeming "successful" women in the world it is rather depressing. Nothing stellar in the occupation department (legal assistant-NOT lawyer, and part-time to boot), definitely lots of work to do in the healthy/physically fit department (won't even get started on listing this one), less-than-perfect kids(only slightly less-than-perfect), less-than-perfect faith in God(Oy, vey) and the list goes on.

For crying out loud - how did I end up to be 40+ and I still haven't got it all figured out?

When I'm really having a hard day I can let the most ridiculous things drag me down. I was washing dishes the other night (oh, yes, housework - another arena for much self-flagellation) and for some reason I started thinking about the D.A.R. - you know, the Daughters of the American Revolution? To belong to the D.A.R. you have be able to trace your family tree back someone who lived in the U.S.A. at the time of the American Revolution. My own three daughters, supposedly, could belong to the D.A.R. if they wished. But not because of me. Nope. Their membership qualifications come through their father's side of the family. All of my ancestors, that I know of, came to the United States too durned late. Maybe that's why procrastination is another of my life's challenges. It seems silly to let myself feel inconsequential because the D.A.R. is picky about their membership. As U.S. citizens my daughter's are special because of that historical connection. And me - well, not so much.

Now, one of the things that I don't beat myself up over (too much) is knowing that I am smart - at least somewhat smart. And being somewhat smart, I know that I can't just measure myself up against what the world tells me makes me special or worthy. And, I am smart enough to know that in many ways I am my own worst enemy, because when my narcissitic, low-self-esteem kicks in, it can be rather difficult to believe the tiny voice inside my head saying, "No, you really are special! Don't listen to them!" It gets drowned out very easily. The world is LOUD. So, I find myself incredibly grateful that in spite of my less-than-perfect faith God constantly finds ways to break through all the surrounding noise and reminds me just how special I am.

I am special - to my daughters. I get regular reminders in the form of cheerful greetings when I walk in the door from being gone. My 6-year-old draws me beautiful pictures for my fridge. My 14-year-old sends me funny texts. My heart swells with happiness when I call my College Girl and she greets me with a cheerful "Hi, Mommy!!" I will NEVER be tired of hearing my girls call me "Mommy." Usually I am just "Mom", but Mommy is something special and tells me that they still need me. I like that.

I am valuable(it seems weird to say I'm special to them) - to my employers. My personal goal at work is to help take the load off of the full-timers, so that their days are easier and more productive. I'm still here after nine-years, so it must be okay with them, too. I work part-time because I choose to work part-time. It means that I give up some things materially due to reduced income, but what I gain is exponentially worth every cent in the form of time with my family

I am (working on being) special - to myself. I hit the big "4-0" a few years ago and realized that if I don't get busy taking better care of myself I might not get the chance at another 40+ years. And I want that chance. So, I'm working on making better choices in diet and exercise and sleeping enough.

I am special  - to God. When He makes me sit down and recite the list of how special I am, the tiny voice in my head gets much more powerful and the noises of the world's judgment are muted out. I can't justify why He cares so much - I am just so immensely grateful that He gave me the faith to believe that He does!!

I will close with the words of song that I found very inspirational the other day. My 6-year-old's choir group sang it at church. Afterwards I walked away, humming it, and feeling very good about who I am.

(If I Were a Butterfly)
Words and Music by Brian M. Howard
If I were a butterfly
I'd thank you Lord for giving me wings
If I were a robin in a tree
I'd thank you Lord that I could sing
If I were a fish in the sea
I'd wiggle my tail and I'd giggle with glee
But I just thank you Father for making me, me

For you gave me a heart and you gave me a smile
You gave me Jesus and you made me your child
And I just thank you Father for making me, me

If I were an elephant
I'd thank you Lord by raising my trunk
If I were a kangaroo
You know I'd hop right up to you
If I were an octopus
I'd thank you Lord for my fine looks
But I just thank you Father for making me, me

If I were a wiggly worm
I'd thank you Lord that I could squirm
If I were a fuzzy, wuzzy bear
I'd thank you Lord for my fuzzy, wuzzy hair
If I were a crocodile
I'd thank you Lord for my great smile
But I just thank you Father for
making me, me
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