Every Friday we unite for five minutes. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on praise.
Words of affirmation.
Words of gratitude.
Words of praise.
I love and live for words.
I am calling myself a writer because I have this teeny tiny little blog that only my children will read and follow.
But maybe because of my writing and my love of it always is why I love and live for words.
Maybe because it is my love language.
Maybe because I also chased their approval and never got it.
Maybe because I quietly worked so hard all of my life and not a single person noticed.
Maybe because now, as a mom and CEO and wife and business owner, I never ever hear them.
Unless I tell them to.
Unless I ask to be acknowledged and I cannot even begin to tell you how shitty that feels.
I made you dinner, what do you say?
I landed a donor, what do you think?
I found us the right fit, how is it going?
It all goes unseen, not recognized.
So, I spent a month acknowledging myself.
One solid month of each and every single day writing about something that I am proud of me for.
It was sad at first and a few times it made me cry but in the end, to look up from my desk and see 30 reminders and thank yous to me, well, that made me believe in myself again.
I gifted the words, all the praise, to me.
And one day my daughter wrote something.
A handful of days my husband wrote to me and both were lovely.
They instantly made me feel warm but this was a gift I gave myself and I followed through.
I was so proud of myself for fighting through the feelings of sadness
the feelings of "this is icky"
the feelings of "does it even count if it's coming from me?"
because it does count.
We are our loudest voices and we are around us all of the time and we are the worst at building ourselves up so yes, it mattered.
Yes, it counted.
Yes, I found my praise.
I praised myself for being a good mom
I praised myself for my strength
I praised myself for running a company
I praised myself for always being scared but always doing it anyway
I praised myself for training and running a half marathon
I praised myself for being 40 and handling my birthday like a grownup
I praised myself for the work I do for my agency
I praised myself for my work, my determination, my grit
I praised myself for my health and my priorities
I praised myself for my traditions and how special I make time, critics be damned
I praised myself for my nurturing nature
I praised myself for my love.
Words are important to me.
I stopped being shy about
I stopped asking for it from others, I can't even pretend that forcing it is okay.
And I just started with me.
I allowed myself the gift I always want, one that can't be wrapped, one that can't be put in a box.
One that takes time and consideration.
One that takes thought and notice.
I got me.