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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bragging Rights

Today's challenge (and the end of the 30-day challenge!):

Play that horn. Want to hear a secret? You’re awesome. (It’s actually not even really a secret.) This is going to be hard for you, O Modest One, but you gotta give yourself props today. Write three things you love about yourself – things you’re great at – or just want to share. Don’t you dare signpost or undercut those self-compliments!
1. I am honest and ethical. I won't say I have never lied. Everybody lies. But I try to be as honest as I can be without unnecessarily hurting others. I look at what I say and do as if it were to be posted in the newspaper the next day. Some days that paper would say, "Lautner barely moved all day. Hooked on Real Housewives". I'd admit that anyway.

I understand what it means to do the right thing. It is not always obvious and sometimes the "right thing" could actually be more than one choice. I try to do my best, without slanting the action in favor of myself. My brother made me executor of his will and he could not have made a better choice. I knew from the start that I was representing him, not his heirs, and I did my best to represent him as he would have wanted me to. At times it was difficult because others in the family did not agree with my decisions. But I knew what it meant to have this responsibility and I did not shirk it to make somebody else happy.

2. I am compassionate. It may be that my own early experiences prepared me. I was fat and dirty as a child and other children ridiculed me. I learned, on the one hand, how to ignore those who were cruel to me, and on the other, how it feels to be on the outside. Ever after I felt compassion for others in similar situations, from small children to difficult adults to farmed animals. What makes me most proud, though, is that I did not shut down my feelings. I feel deeply. It hurts to feel pain deep inside me but I do not shut it out. I embrace it. And this, too, helps me feel for others.

3. I am big on reading. I read for pleasure and for information. Even books read for pleasure often have in them feelings, emotions, experiences that move me, make me somehow different. I have read such a wide variety of books over the years that I feel this reading has shaped my view of the world. It is as if I were a world traveler or even a time traveler in that I understand much of other cultures, other times, as well as the world within our heads, the way our brains work. I am no expert in any of these things but the accumulation of such wealth makes me see the world more clearly and be able to question assumptions, even those I have held since childhood.  I believe that reading has opened my mind in the best possible way.

I'll take this opportunity to mention a few things I am good at, just to gild the lily: photography, cooking, teaching one-on-one, sewing, writing, math, music. In this I follow in the footsteps of my mother and grandmother, both of whom pursued several interests through their lives. Let us celebrate this Jill-of-all-trades-but-master-of-none, for it makes for an interesting person.

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:

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