[Added Post-Publication because I was nodding off as my deadline loomed]:
I heard this challenge from someone I admire. Yes, it’s Jody Moore the Life Coach. I thought I could never come up with 100 things I liked about myself. I had to stop telling myself things like, “Well, I can think of times that isn’t true,” or “I shouldn’t say that because it sounds like I’m bragging or suggesting this is the only acceptable way to be,” or other nonsense. When I just asked myself, “Do I like this aspect of myself or not?” it got much easier.
The reason I decided to take on this challenge on this particular day was two-fold, but both because of school friends whose birthdays take place today: Jack from kindergarten and Erica from junior high and high school. I think Jack moved away mid-year, but I am rather tickled because my kindergarten daughter now has a crush on a classmate named Jack, and it just warms my heart to see her get all gushy over a boy the way I used to.
Erica, on the other hand, is still a friend. I admired her from a distance beginning in eighth grade when we both made the volleyball team. We then both entered an optional–and I felt, rather elite–academic program for our high school years. I soon developed a mix of admiration, jealousy, distance, and judgment toward her, which is what I did to most of my classmates in order to feel safe.
Fortunately, I let Facebook reacquaint us ten years ago, and honestly, she is one of the most beautiful human beings I have had the pleasure to admire even if it is still mostly from a distance. It occurred to me recently that the reason she was amazing in athletics, academics, confidence, friendships, and getting what she wanted out of life was not simply that she was disciplined.* That’s what I had decided in high school–she must be so much more disciplined than I am.
It occurred to me recently that her success comes from something so much more enjoyable than discipline: she isn’t at war with herself. So she is free to fight for the things she’s passionate about–as in “beyond Facebook arguments” sort of focus, and she gets real results. Plus, she can live the life she feels inspired to live even if it seems daunting or untried. I’ve heard she and her family are on the move, so I am hoping that our paths cross again in the next ten years [hint, hint].
Also, it was magical to write this list. More ideas kept occurring to me today (even though I spent the morning hating myself for blowing up at kids), and I decided it was time to dust off the furniture and open the curtains in that wing of my brain where self-appreciation once resided).
*Edited that sentence for clarity.
Now to the list.
1-I have an identical twin
2-So do a lot of my freckles
3-I can decipher roman numerals
4-Feet are beautiful to me
5-I’ve probably had a funny dream about you
6-I might have even told you the funny dream
7-I talk to strangers
8-I give useful things to beggars
9-I get a kick out of thrift shopping
10-I donate my unneeded and useful stuff
11-I tidy up my table at a restaurant before I leave
12-I daydream and then successfully retrace my thoughts
13-I mispronounced a lot of words I had only ever read when I was growing up, and I like the sound of my third grader’s mistakes so much that I almost don’t correct him
14-I feel connected to my family, the living and the departed
15-I can make a friend from any generation
16-I help parents who are struggling with kids in public
17-I tried out for a comedy troupe in college
18-I can french braid my own hair
19-I earned a Bachelor’s Degree at BYU in one of their most challenging programs
20-I passed the Nursing Certification and License Exam on my first try (my 24th birthday)
21-If we were children together, I probably remember your childhood better than you do
22-I cry when I sing patriotic songs
23-I apologize when I realize I’ve done wrong
24-The kitchen is an old friend, and we make great food together
25-I match my kids’ socks
26-I listen to classical music, classic rock, and everything between
27-I quote movie lines
28-I love the smell of dirt
29-I don’t like candy or soda
30-I sing to the background music in stores
31-I can grow a garden
32-I know the lyrics to some of your favorite songs, and you had no idea what they were saying all this time
33-I am a vanilla snob
34-I lick my plate if no one is around
35-I get into the fray of opinions and ideas even if I don’t feel qualified
36-I consider myself a leader even if I have no formal commitment to do so
37-I can hold my own in a Will Shortz crossword puzzle
38-I love my name
39-I wear sensible shoes
40-If I say I’ll pray for you, I do it right then (I forget otherwise)
41-I give great back scratches and decent massages
42-I’m only mean because I’m scared
43-I’m working really hard on not being scared
44-I have witnessed births and deaths (all in expected settings) and felt reverence every time
45-I can decimate fruit fly populations
46-Head lice? Calm down, I got this.
47-I reduce, reuse, recycle, upcycle, re-purpose, and compost
48-I thank my grocery bagger by name
49-I don’t spend a lot of time on my hair and make-up, but I would if I knew how to do glam
50-I can extrapolate from my scant knowledge on any subject to come to conclusions that are entirely wrong, but sound so good to most of you
51-I have wanted at times to be an actor, but since the only acting I tend to do is overreacting (with PMDD, is that ovary-acting??), I’m really good at putting on role plays for my kids
52-I know a lot about poop
53-I wash my mouth out with soap when I swear in front of (or at) my kids
54-I try new foods
55-I always tip well
56-I speak well in front of an audience
57-I listen to public and community radio
58-I donate to so many causes that I had to cut back when we moved so that I could still donate to local causes
59-I don’t catch colds very easily
60-I try to be compassionate to those who do
61-I can draw well enough to impress my kids
62-I mix my metaphors
63-I appreciate what goes into a delectable meal
64-I brought four remarkable people into the world
65-I once kept a pair of goldfish alive for five years (I finally gave up and gave them away)
66-My houseplants know they are loved
67-I made cuddles at bedtime with kids a priority even though I so want to be done at the end of the day
68-I get a flu shot every year and keep up on vaccinations
69-I am careful about what I believe from the world around me
70-I am doing the work to figure out what beliefs I’ve accrued that I can dismiss now that I know better
71-I take myself for a jog because I know it helps me feel my best
72-I treat refined sugar as a rare treat that is otherwise poison
73-I lose my own things a lot, but I have a pretty good success rate in helping others find missing things
74-I have had to look up my own address
75-I am writing several semi-autobiographical books
76-I can click my heels
77-I dance even though it ain’t pretty
78-I cut my kids’ hair for them
79-I persuaded my husband to do his hair the way I like
80-I know when the Holy Spirit is working on me
81-I learned a foreign language well enough to communicate with half the population of this area better than I otherwise would be able to
82-I offer to help customers at the grocery store who forgot their reading glasses or need a tall person’s reach
83-I have fun with color in my decorating and dress
84-I think about words and learn their origin (or make stuff up until I get a chance to look into it)
85-I tackle clutter often
86-I take good care of my things out of intention now more than the neurotic compliance to some standard that used to drive me
87-I treat insects and spiders and other creepy crawlies with respect
88-I truly believe everything can eventually make sense
89-I have an untold number of doppelgangers out there. I get told that/asked if I am related to so-and-so because I look just.like.her. fairly often.
90-I get along fairly well with my body and put effort into that relationship
91-The cadence and quality of my voice makes conversation or reading aloud more enjoyable to those listening (unless I’m losing my mind, and then it’s terrifying)
92-I save funny stories about myself for moments that call for them
93-I clean up litter
94-I fall for gimmicks sometimes, but I don’t let it jade me
95-I have kept this blog going for five years
96-I formed a Facebook group for civil political discourse that was enlightening and useful at times
97-Others trust me with private and sensitive information
98-I have mad weed-removal skills
99-The dimple on my face is from a car accident, but I just think it’s cute
100-I use my creativity foremost in working with the weird, annoying, gross, inexplicable things that my kids do so that I’m angry only some of the time
4 thoughts on “One Hundred Things I Like About Myself”
I haven’t reached one hundred on my list- may I copy some of yours (that are true)? This is a wonderful list! Candid, adorable, brutally honest.
Of course! Except the freckle thing since you didn’t believe me. Scoffed, in fact.
#32 should say that you know alternate versions of lyrics from my favorite songs. I recall a cross-Wyoming road trip during which I taught you the actual lyrics of several songs from the Killers and Coldplay.
#37 impresses me deeply.
You taught me to try #48 when I was maybe 9 and our bagger at King Soopers had Down Syndrome. You chatted it up with Lorraine and told me about my great-aunt who shared the same name and chromosome difference.
#8 is true and inspirational to me. In Mexico, you couldn’t help all the beggars, but you did try your best while I thought the best way to deal with it was to turn a blind eye. I’ve never forgotten.
#75 surprised me for about 3/4 of a second, but you are such a good writer that I immediately knew your books will be dang good.
#92 is a habit that has brightened my day more than a few times.
Oh Natalie! #32 You’re right! I am also amazing at mis-hearing lyrics and pretty much any words I hear. I collect mondegreens among my funny stories about myself. And will your sister be alright when you dream of home tonight? #37 I use crosswords to calm my brain so I can sleep, so it can take many moons for me to finish one. #48 I’m so glad I did this and that you remember!! I have no memory of that moment. Which KS? #8 You’re going to make me cry! Many thank you’s and I miss you’s and ‘Til We Meet Again’s. Want a blog post for your birthday?