Monday, January 26, 2009

A New Year.... Same Old Me

I'm a little late in the annual "taking stock" of my life, but better late than never.

I guess we always focus on what is wrong or undisciplined about ourselves when we make these benign promises to lose weight or stop smoking or be nicer or get more exercise or do something better than we've done it in the past.

And maybe (ya think??!!) I'm too sensitive, but a recent set-to with a friend brought into clear relief that doing something well -- doing ANYTHING well -- and stopping to feel good about it is a very healthy practice. Likewise, taking note when someone ELSE does something they are pleased with, and giving them an ATTA GIRL, is also a good practice. God knows, after the last eight years with Bozo's hand on the rudder, we have plenty to feel bad about that was none of our choosing.

I've always tried to be grateful for the blessings that come my way, but I also tend to wallow in self-loathing when I've screwed up or made a really bad decision or succumbed to some temptation that my "better angels" warned me against. We are each our own fiercest critics and harshest jury/judge. But self-flagellation or recrimination has never been an effective deterrent for me. I learn more by doing or repeating what makes me feel good than I do by hating myself for something that went awry.

So in 2009, I'm going to step up my sometime habit of highlighting what is good in the world around me. If it is something that I do that feels right, I'm going to bask in that glow a little longer. And when it happens around me, whether it is friend or stranger, I'm going to take note and slow that person down just long enough for them to have a chance to feel the warmth that comes from someone else noticing a good deed or a job well done.

Feeling more comfortable in my own skin - even if that skin is going to be 59 in March - is a good start to helping others see the good in themselves. Who knows, it could be contagious!