How many of you also battle to accept compliments graciously? I have been trying for years to get that one right, and am, at last, now able to simply smile and say thank you, instead of brushing it aside, and mumbling something inane. How did we get so stupid? We are women. We are amazing. We should be proud of who we are and what we do.
My strengths. Um. Yes. I was born a warrior, in a way. I fight battles for other people, and am super cool in times of crisis. I am not so good at fighting for myself though. But, if you need someone to fight for you, I am good at that. I can think very quickly in moments of stress, and my mind seems to process stuff faster than lightning as the adrenalin is pumping. So that is why people come to me in times of crisis, and need help. I am good at that. I can sort things. I am strong and confident. On the outside. Inside? Well, not many people get to see that part. The wobbly bit. I have been heard to say that I am coming back in my next life as weak and feeble, so that everyone will run around fixing my life for me, but I have a suspicion I would not last more than a day or so before I died of boredom.
(This is much harder than even I thought it would be.) Where was I? Strengths. I like people. I mix easily with everyone, and people talk to me. I like people. I like to talk. They seem to like to talk back. I can get an entire queue in the supermarket chatting together in seconds. I have been known to do this, to the mortification of my children. I mean, really.... what would you do if you saw a young man at the checkout with a 2 steaks, a bottle of wine and 2 potatoes? I asked if he was cooking for someone special, and he blushed and said yes, his new girlfriend.... so I said ( as you do) ...you need a salad. Go and get one quickly. Do you think so? he said. Absolutely, said I. So off he trotted, while the lady behind me agreed with me, and the cashier said, maybe he should get some dressing too, so by the time he got back, we had more stuff for him to go and get and we all chatted amongst ourselves. Then he needed chocolates, as the man behind the lady behind..... I digress.
I am a good friend. A great friend. My friends really matter to me, and I never take friendship lightly. Friendship, like any relationship, takes work. It does not just happen. I am an optimist. I have always been able to see the positive side to things, and I am eternally grateful for that, especially after the stuff life has thrown my way recently. I never give up. I believe. I try. I might fail, but tough, at least I tried. Like teaching. Heaven knows this is a "trying" time. I do my best. I don't believe in half measures. So I do tend to throw myself into things with vigour. This is not always wise. I also tend to get swamped.
Most of this is stuff I think you will know about me by now, anyway. (It would be MUCH easier to do this for someone else, MG. ) I am very good at textile art. I love designing beautiful things. I love kids, and I think I have been a good Mum. My children have certainly turned out very well, despite having me for a mother, so I must have done something right!
This is ridiculous. I am just me. I was shy once, but being married to a man who was away for 9 months of the year meant my children and I would either die of boredom alone in my home, or I would have to conquer shyness and get out there and make a life for my kids too, so that is what I did. In a sense, I was a single mother all my married life. It was how things were. It made me strong. Ironically, that same strength can also be intimidating, which is not great. (But it can be useful when I am out in warrior mode though! The inquest could be interesting.)
I am the sort of woman who cares too much, loves too much, tries too hard, attempts too much, doesn't know when to give up, doesn't know when to say no, and always believes the best in other people until I am proved wrong. Does this make for blissful happiness? Not always. But I would rather love and know the pain, than never love at all, try and fail, rather than never know if I could have done something. I AM going to be one of those women who gets to the end of her life, and knows that she has lived with all of her being. Why let fear rob you of life? Why build barricades around your heart? What is the worst thing that could ever happen? Is it likely to happen? And if it does, as it did to me, you know what? You pick yourself up and you plod on one step at a time, one day at a time, one mountain at a time, and one day, you find that you can look up and grin. God put me right here in this place for a purpose, and I am going to find out what it is. One day. I hope. But right now, this is who I am, and this is my strength. I am as good at mopping up tears as I am at shedding them. I feel. I hurt. I dream. But I am not afraid. I am a woman. I believe in life, and love and laughter.
That is it. I am finished. I do not want to do this again. It was like pulling teeth.