When I woke up this morning I knew I wanted to write something about how quick we are to see the negative in our lives and in ourselves and how seldom we celebrate ourselves or feel bad talking about something that went well for us. We can shout it from the rooftops for family or friends but all too often we can’t do the same for ourselves. Many of us have negative loops that play in our head, telling us we’re not as good as we think we are, telling us that book we’re trying to write is a waste of time, that piece of art isn’t really art, and that meal you thought came out so well was boring and overcooked. I’m all for changing the tape on that background noise. How about you?

Here’s the new chorus I want to hear in my head. I’m forcing myself (I’m saying “force” because it’s not a habit yet.)

  • I’m good at writing. Not just writing in general but I’m good at writing the kind of stories that get under your skin and tug at your heart and sometimes make you cry.
  • I’m good at taking every day moments, like something that happens in the garden or an observation of my dog or a teaching moment in the classroom, and writing about them so that most people can relate to the situation and the story.
  • I’m good creating a home that is welcoming to all who come to visit.
  • I’m good at reading fast.
  • I’m good at supporting my friends and kids and encouraging their dreams.
  • I’m good at listening.
  • I’m good at making other people feel at ease.

This isn’t an easy thing (for most people) to do. I know I’m good at other things but when it came to actually putting them on the list I found myself hesitating. Maybe next week it will be easier to add to it. I also stopped myself from being snarky and saying how good I was at doing things that were bad for me because I don’t think that goes with the spirit of the exercise. You don’t have to qualify your talents. You do have to accept them.

It takes practice for most of us to be able to talk about what we do well so here’s your chance. Tell me what you do well. Don’t counter it with I do this but I stink at that.  Trust me, I had a corresponding negative thought for everything I posted. Start each sentence with “I’m good at . . . ”

Ready, set, go!


Today, in some parts of the blogsphere, it is known as Thankful Thursday. Thankful Thursday was started by writer L.K. Madigan, an amazing woman whom I met on Livejournal.  Today is also the one year anniversary of Lisa’s death. Jama Rattigan has a wonderful tribute to Lisa on her blog.