When my son Connor was six years old, he wrote a hilarious Christmas wish list.
I still remember his creativity and boldness in choosing the many, many, many, many items. I smile when I think back to the wintery day he asked to get out my laptop and type out his Christmas list for him. He stayed serious and thoughtful as he dictated each item.
When I found it recently, I laughed out loud and thought you may get a kick out of it too.
Forgetful. That’s me! The thing that drives me crazy about being forgetful is that I can’t remember what I forgot! How about you?
I forget my kids’ names. I forget phone numbers and appointments and birthdays. So, I write down all that important stuff (not my kids names, I really do know those) and then I forget where I put the paper. Girl, it’s bad sometimes!
I’ll get right to it. My husband, Phil, has always been a great guy, but there was one big issue with his greatness. He was perfectly capable of dropping his dirty clothes in the hamper, which has always been placed conveniently in our closet. But did he ever do this simple thing that he was perfectly capable of doing? Nope. Most of the time, he dropped his dirty clothes right in front of the clothes hamper. Right in front.
At first, I tried to handle it with humor. I conducted a dirty clothes protocol seminar in our closet.
I invited him into the closet with me, where I used exaggerated gestures while standing varying distances from the hamper, all the while counting out loud how many seconds it took me to toss laundry into the basket rather than in front of it. Of course, I also pointed out that even though I cannot see, I rarely missed.
I had said yes one too many times and my life was too full for me to pull it off. I was forgetting appointments, neglecting my family and feeling like I was so busy that all I had time for was guilt.
Ever felt like that?
Busy. It’s such a loaded word, isn’t it?
Some people think busy is a bad word! When a woman says she is “way too busy,” it can be code for “I have no balance in my life and it is totally out of control!” Some women wear busy like a badge, as if her level of exhaustion and the number of things on her to-do list indicate her level of importance and her amount of significance.
Busy is relative. For one woman, busy may be a hair appointment on the same day she has to grocery shop. For another woman who starts her day at 6:00 AM and follows her first cup of coffee with six appointments, four phone calls, her part-time job, car-pooling the kids, and making dinner, the thought of being busy never even enters her mind! She still has time and energy to spare.
There’s not just one way to define busy. The definition of busy is as individual as each woman.
When I was a girl, every summer we visited my grandparents in northern Florida on the Apalachicola River. The closer we got to their house, the louder the cicadas sang and the thicker the humidity became. The sky was as black as the river that ran behind their house. On those sticky summer nights, to a little girl, it just seemed like there was only vast emptiness ahead of us.
In the vast darkness, our headlights seemed to be the only lights around. But, once we got close to Granddaddy’s house, we could see a tiny light blinking in the distance.
Granddaddy would always leave the porch light on and when we saw the porch light, we knew we were almost there.
Without being able to see, I have to risk trusting other people. I have to let go of my perfect timetable and my to-do list. It’s not always easy to let go and trust, but if I don’t choose to risk or release, I truly will never receive what I need.
So, for me, being a blind control freak is completely counterproductive!
“Jennifer, you are just so confident.” I cannot even begin to tell you how many times some wonderful woman has said that to me. Every time it happens, I cringe on the inside and think, Yeah, right!Girl, I’ve got no real confidence. Me?
I over-think everything and it leads to insecurities, fears, and self-doubt… but, confidence? Not so much. When women tell me how confident I am, what they are really commenting on is courage.
Courage. Confidence. Do you realize how often those two concepts are mistaken for each other?
“I can’t believe I am 53 years old! I don’t feel qualified to be this age.”
That’s what I told Phil as we drove home from seeing our new grandbaby.
He laughed and reminded me that I say that about most areas of my life. Unfortunately, he is right.
I mean, there have been days I’ve thought, What am I doing writingblogs and books? I am way too under-qualified to write – like I have all this life stuff figured out?!
Or, I will be standing in front of my kitchen sink, self-doubt covering my heart and suds covering my hands, reviewing my latest parenting issue and think, Why can’t I master this mom-job? It feels so much bigger than me.
Or, inevitably before I get on stage to speak, I’ve fought the feeling that I am too immature or too inexperienced or too inadequate to open my mouth!
Do you ever feel out of your league when it comes to living your life, or pulling off your purpose, or following your calling?