Thursday, December 3, 2015

Calling it even

“Come Friday, we’re even.”
I had called the man years ago looking for a job. The man had worked for years and years at his job, and though the hours were often long (well over 40 hours) and the pay was not good, he continued to pick up his pay check each Friday and considered his account even.

Paid in full.

No matter how difficult the task had been, in his mind, the check he received at the end of the week covered the debt. Each week, he marked the account paid in full and moved on.

Do you?
Or, do you, like me at times, look at your compensation for a job well done and complain that it isn’t enough, complain that you aren’t appreciated more, complain that the task was more than expected, complain that the glory doesn’t equal the effort?

To make matter worse, each week we keep carrying that balance forward, adding a little more to the “what’s owed us” column.

We will never be paid what we think we’re worth. We can never be appreciated to the extent we think we should. Friends will never be as loving as we think they should. Traffic will never go as fast as we think it needs to.

Peace of mind can only come when we change what we think . . .
. . . when we get to the end of the week and mark it even;
. . . when we get to the end of the day and balance the books with our friends and family;  
. . . when we realize that give and take sometimes means giving more and taking less.

And when you’re okay with that, you’re finally okay with everything.

PHOTO: so why Jenny Mae? Because I don't know anyone who lives this philosophy more than she does. This is a photo of her after the Chicago Marathon... 26.2 miles and still smiling, regardless the finish, regardless the time. Every day she accepts what life gives her and calls it even. 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

I am who I am, and that's enough

“Do you swear you are the person you attest to be?”
I read the question on the application again.

“Do you swear you are the person you attest to be?” I couldn’t help but laugh out loud and was tempted to write, “Who else could I possibly be but me?” or “Who do you think I am?,” but I really needed a copy of my college transcript and I doubted anyone in the transcript office at the university was in the mood for humor.

I am who I am.
You are who you are.
Yet, how often we pretend to be someone else!

We pretend we’re happy when we’re not. We pretend to be healthy when we’re not. We pretend everything’s okay when it’s not. We’re afraid someone will talk about us if they really knew us. We’re afraid we wouldn’t be liked or wouldn’t be admired if “only they knew the truth.”

So we hide.
We create lives we show the outside world which hide who we really are. Only problem is, that pretend life never does fit as comfortably as real life. We feel the drain of carrying this other life around with us all the time.

It’s okay to just be you.
You don’t have to be the best housekeeper in town or the bravest lady on the block. You don’t have to be drop-dead beautiful or pretend to have more money than everyone else.

It’s okay to just be you.
It’s okay to get scared when you’re home alone. It’s okay to be lonely when you lose someone close to you. It’s okay to have a problem you don’t know how to fix.

Never be afraid to just be you.
I hope that if I have taught my children nothing else, I have at least inspired this belief in them, penned by Pablo Casals: “Every second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that never was before and never will be again. And what do we teach our children instead? We teach them that two and two make four and that Paris is the capital of France. We should say to each of them ‘Do you know who you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In the millions of years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. "
And, it’s okay to just be you.