The last 2+ years that I’ve actually had friends that I get to see and visit with on a regular basis – I’ve learned something about women. It seems that most (if not all) of us put others on pedestals for one reason or another. In the last few weeks I’ve had several repeats of the same conversation where a friend of mine mentions admiration of someone else and I’m forced to come clean with my own admiration of them. It occurred to me as it happened again yesterday…that none of my friends realize how awesome they are.
And therefore – I can only assume – that I probably don’t realize how awesome I am either.
But I’ll be honest…I am not as hard on myself as I used to be. Getting to know women who are amazing but full of self-doubt has shifted my perception and helped me get a realistic view on my life. Sometimes I look back at my messy hair and filthy house and still think, “DAMN. I’m awesome.”
BUT YOU DON’T DO THAT ENOUGH. So lets discuss YOU.
I get praise a lot for exercising, or volunteering, or whatever crazyness I’m doing in that moment that someone else isn’t doing. But the funny thing is, I think most of that is inconsequential compared to what I see my other friends doing in their lives. So…I thought I’d take a moment to list out the things that I legitimately find admirable that you are probably doing and don’t even realize it’s causing some women to put you on a pedestal.
Basically…I’m telling you how awesome you are. Have a seat.
You Consistently Get Less Than 7 Hours Of Sleep A Night
I don’t know anyone else who needs/values sleep as much as I do. I can NOT function after a few days of getting less than 7 hours of sleep in a night. My goal is always sleep by 8, up by 4 – to give me EIGHT hours. But most of the time I’m up later than 8 and wake up before 4. But still – I TRY. All of my friends and all of you people out there who get closer to 6 hours a night? I feel like we are made from different materials and I wish I could be more like you. If I could get an extra hour or two in a day and not be a crazy person after three days? I would. But I can’t because I’m not as awesome as you are. If you are still full functional on six hours (OR – GOD FORBID – LESS!) then you are my hero.
This is one I actually laughed about with a friend yesterday. She mentioned ironing her clothes and in my head I thought she irons TOO? I don’t even remember the last time I ironed. When we sold our last house we left the ironing board attached to the laundry room door because we forgot about it. The only time I’ve ironed since then is for craft projects. I actually donated my clothes to goodwill that required ironing because I realized I never wore them because I don’t iron. I have convinced myself that only rich wives with no kids and no jobs iron. I don’t know why but I like to think it’s one of those things that NONE of us normal people do because it makes me feel better for not doing it. So, if you do it? I’m torn between admiring you and hating you.
If you have ever sewn anything in your life – I put you on a pedestal because I’ve tried and I just can’t do it. Sewing machines confound me. If you’re a quilter you’re even more idolized because I love quilts. If you have ever mentioned a sewing project to me then I put you in this category of Women Who Are More Awesome Than I Could Ever Dream Of Being. And you probably didn’t even know that?! Same goes for knitting and crocheting. Really anything related to fabric or yarn or thread or however you group all of that stuff. I AM IN AWE OF YOU.
Now – I cook all but one dinner for my family every week. I cook a lot. But it’s never anything complicated. Sometimes I’ll get fancy for family dinner on Sundays – but most of the time it’s simple prep and simple cook times. Those of you who do things with your blenders or food processors, even if you’re just making yourself smoothies – I’m in awe of you. Half of my boot camp makes smoothies in the mornings for breakfast and I wish I could do that! But I’m just too lazy to dirty up an appliance. I have a friend that has to bake a lot and cook a lot due to dietary needs of her family, and I just think there is no way I could do all that. I mean – I guess I would – but I don’t think I could. If you do more than the 3-step meals I do on a regular basis, and especially if you make smoothies? I hate you a little.
I love Moms who play with their kids. If I’ve seen you at the playground going down the slide with your toddler, or kicking ball at the soccer field, or playing barbies with your girls – then I am in awe. I try to play with my kids some, but I’m not as good about it as I should be and when I see Moms who are, or read about Moms who do, I’m just inspired to be better to my kids. If you play with your kids you make me want to be a better Mom to my own, and there’s no greater compliment than that.
I’ve got so many friends with professional careers that they really nurture. Teachers who do projects before and after hours. Business women who travel constantly or teach training classes. Friends who manage or market with the community. I try to nurture my professional career but I don’t know how. I’m super-shy at work because I’m intimidated by every one I work with. I’ve never been really confident in any area of my life, but definitely not professionally. I just admire people who are and aren’t constantly plagued with self-doubt. Women who KNOW they’re good at their job. I love that.
Even though I do a lot of volunteering for E’s theatre program – I sometimes put it in a different class as those of you who are room Moms or do stuff for your kid’s sports teams. I do things with E’s program because he’s 17 and it’s the only time I get to see him. I’m not sure if I’d do it for the little kids because I SEE THEM PLENTY. I’m just not motivated and I sometimes feel like Moms who do that stuff obviously have more patience than I do. Room Moms, Team Moms, Library Moms, Cafeteria Moms…I find myself hiding from all of you because I’m so intimidated because I feel like you’re so much better at being Moms than I am.
My sister-in-law mentioned cleaning her baseboards recently and I thought, “MAN. SHE CLEANS BASEBOARDS TOO?” Because she’s kinda the complete package of awesomeness. It’s hard for me to see people like her and not feel intimidated so I like to think that deep down their slovenly creatures to make up for everything else that they do that’s perfect. She’s about to put their house on the market so I told myself maybe she’s doing it to sell the house! But then I remembered I didn’t do it to sell my house – so that still puts her ahead of me. I’m very open about not cleaning, but I wish I did it more and cared more. When I see or hear about other women cleaning I wonder how much more my family would appreciate if I cleaned once in awhile instead of vegging out in front of Doctor Who marathons.
None of my friends know how beautiful they are and it makes me so sad. I feel like such a troll all the time because I rarely fix my hair, I never wear makeup other than the periodic bit of mascara on special occasions. I only wear wash/wear clothes and if you look in my closet you’ll find duplicates of several shoes in different colors because I don’t branch out from what I know works. If you ever fix your hair or wear makeup and I’ve seen you like that – even if it’s only once – I put you 10 miles above me on the beauty scale. If you have an actual hair style (I haven’t had one of those in years) I’m very jealous of you. If you know how to wear eye shadow? I’m probably stare at your eyelids more than you realize. I sometimes hate myself for surrounding myself with such beautiful women because I often walk away feeling like total crap.
Have you ever been kind to anyone? Then you are admired. It amazes me how much a simple, sincere comment to me can cause me to put women in my life in a position of idolatry. That’s something I really strive to do – be kind and sincere and considerate – so when I feel like other women have already mastered those skills? I sincerely look to them as Who I Want To Be When I Grow Up. The funny thing is – they probably don’t even realize that. I’m sure all of you who cook/clean/sew/volunteer can look at those things and see other women who don’t do them and know that – on some level – we admire you for that. But did you ever realize how much you’re admired for your kindness? For your sincerity? For the moments you take in your day to do something for someone else…even if it’s just a text message saying, “How are you?”
Do any of these things describe you at all? Then know that I admire you. You are on some sort of pedestal in my life and you didn’t even know it. And if I put you up there, then other women did/do too. And I want you to know that. I want you to realize that for every woman you see and wish you could be more like her — there are women who look at you the same way. And if you don’t have any friends then you need to trust what I say and get out and make some because there are women who are waiting out there to be inspired by your sewing, cooking, volunteering….and especially…your ironing.