I got a haircut today...and I realized something. There are two things that it's hard for me to do - and I don't think I'm alone in this.
The first is to accept a compliment graciously. Three people told me that my hair looked great after I got back from the cut. Instead of just saying, "Thank you," like my mother taught me, I went on and on about how it was never going to look like this again. I am ridiculous. During the third time, I realized what I was doing. But I couldn't stop myself (picture little me on my shoulder saying, shut up!). At a certain point, I realized that I was actually making this person uncomfortable because they thought I looked pretty. Seriously, who wants to give someone a compliment and then have to convince them to accept it?
Thinking about this tonight, I realized that I do this all the time. Someone says, you look nice today. My response, really? There are a few exceptions to this for me...if someone compliments something I'm wearing, that is easy for me to accept. If someone compliments something I have done, sometimes I can accept those, but sometimes I downplay my role in whatever it was. I don't know why I feel so reticent about accepting compliments about the way I look, but it's something I'm going to work on. For now, I'll just blame the image that the media portrays of women. (I'm at least half joking about that.)
The second is asking for and/or accepting help. This is mostly confined to my personal life, but sometimes falls into my professional life. The work thing is about me being a control freak. I get that and am much better now than I was five years ago. Or even six months ago. The personal thing..who knows where it comes from. But, if there is one thing that my mom's cancer has taught me it's that we all need help sometimes. I've gotten better at accepting help - it has literally poured in from all directions to all of us since September. The only thing I can say is Thank you. Thank you for your million kindnesses, all of your prayers, your notes and for just being you.
Asking for help is a little harder than accepting help that's just offered out. I have to remind myself that the people I would ask have left an open invitation for me. Maybe it's because I'm flailing a little bit here. Not really sure what I need. But I'm working on it...thinking about it, writing about it - that's helped. So, a big thanks goes to Katharine for starting her blog a month ago. For making it look easy to be brave. And for helping me without even knowing it. And to think, she thought her blog was about her!