Saturday, November 20, 2010

Five Women, One Topic, 365-ish Days

Five women, one topic each week, all wrapped up in the phrase "If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things." That was the middle-of-the-night idea behind Praiseworthy. And I was immediately sold on it. What would each of us come up with; how would our posts be different; how would they be similar? Was I up to the challenge?

Over the past year, sometimes the answer to that last one has been "yes" and sometimes it's been "uhm ..." It's been a hard year. A life-changing year. And sometimes I've been so tired. But writing here every week - even when I'm late! - helps. It helps to have something to think about; it helps to feel surrounded by my best friends even though we don't live around the corner from each other anymore; and it helps to know that we're doing just what we set out to do - putting a little more lovely in the world, maybe inspiring somebody along the way.

Last year around this time, I was dreading the holidays. I was overwhelmed by impossible expectations of myself. I felt like I had to do everything all at once - I'm sure you know the feeling - and I knew it was ridiculous, but I didn't understand why I couldn't just be as talented as so-and-so, or as tidy and organized as what's-her-name, or as playful and patient with my kids as that-other-mom, or ... whatever ... the list went on and on. And then I realized that I was being unfair. To myself, yes. But also to those other women I was comparing myself to. I mean, really, why did I feel like I had to be the star of the show anyway? When we all have strengths and are willing to share, we're all blessed. And that's one thing I've learned here. Five women, five different women; one topic. Think of how boring it would be if we all came up with the same post - it wouldn't matter how fabulous it was, it would still be boring. Writing for and reading Praiseworthy, I've learned to honor others' talents rather than just want them all for myself.

This year, my house is still cluttered and untidy, my brain is still scattered and my lists are endless, my dishes are still not done, my laundry is still sitting there folded (at least it's folded!) on the sofa, but my heart is in the right place. And that, to me, is definitely a blessing worth seeking after.