Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Five Star Challenge

I got this idea from one of my new favorite blogs, The Clothes Make the Girl. Mel is very inspiring to me. We have much in common--we're about the same age, have some similar medical issues going on, and are similarly obsessed with becoming Bad-Ass via paleo and CrossFit. But the reason she's inspiring is because of her attitude, the way she approaches things, including challenges and obstacles.

Oh I am in need of that inspiration. These last few days, the Perfectionism Monster keeps trying to rear its ugly head and scream in my ears about all of the ways in which I do not measure up. And as I've decided to fight the monster--because it's stupid and because listening to it diminishes my ability to be Bad-Ass a great deal--I am going to take the 5 Star Challenge that Mel wrote about on her blog today.

I think the idea is to, over five days, list:

Five things you love about yourself.
Five things your body can do.
Five things you’re grateful for.
Five things that make you happy you’re alive.
Five people (or pets) who you love.

I may not do it in five straight days. I can't commit to that right now. But I'll revisit it from time to time.

So, to start: Five things I love about myself. Here we go!

1. My sense of humor. 

I can be funny and enjoy being funny--in person, in writing, on the spur-of-the-moment, and sometimes after putting a lot of thought and effort into it. I am sometimes the only person who finds my jokes funny, but that's okay, because that's just the first principle of my humor philosophy: Firstly, Amuse Thyself. Usually, though, I get other people to laugh. And THAT is supremely awesome. :D

2. I get shit done. 

Really. I don't mean that I'm 100% productive every single second of the day. But somehow I manage to accomplish quite a bit. It sometimes takes looking back in time over a week or month or months for me to fully appreciate it.

In addition to being a wife and the primary caregiver/homeschool teacher to three kids, I am working hard like peopleguys on ATLOS and Cultivating the Virtues (well, we're kind of on a break but still) and doing cabin stuff and doing much of the household stuff like paying bills and groceries and planning vacations and taking the car in for oil changes. I read and think and talk about parenting and philosophy a lot. I knit and CrossFit and sometimes clean the house.

And I do all of those things with three kids tied behind my back! No small feat. ATLOS especially has been like a part-time job in the last couple of months. I cause things to happen and get shit done.

3. I look on the bright side.

Though I'm not Pollyanna-ish in personality, I do tend to be optimistic (even while planning for contingencies!). I can find the thinnest silver linings--but I find them.

This is not how I started out, though. I started out my adult life thinking I had to be cynical and sarcastic and pessimistic, thinking I had to be surprised by the good things that happen. I'm not sure just how it happened, but sometime in my late 20s that started to change over.

Now I know that bad things sometimes happen, but I don't always expect that things won't work out. I don't fool myself about how things really are, but I don't let myself wallow in expected miseries or try to protect myself from future hurts through sarcasm and cynicism. Not any more. And I am much happier this way. I think this means I've truly accepted the Benevolent Universe Premise. Evil is the exception, not the rule.

4. I think I look pretty decent without makeup.

I don't know, maybe this is a weird one, but it's true. I can't be bothered to wear makeup hardly ever, and when I do, it's not very much at all. Granted, I probably do look better in makeup, but I look just fine without it. But I've got nice skin and naturally pink lips so I generally feel like I don't look hideous. (Note: this does not apply to any sort of post-CrossFit or running time frame.)

5. I have a freaky awesome memory.

Actually, it's my Super Power. I've mentioned this once or twice before maybe, but I can remember birthdays and phone numbers and dates and yes, even social security numbers pretty easily. And once they're in my head, they rarely fall out. Even though I've noticed an age- or pregnancy/motherhood-related slow down, I'm still pretty on it. I am collecting birthdays--my goal is to have a birthday for each day of the year, usually someone I have met in person (or at least know pretty well online). I should add it up and see where I am on that--I think somewhere in the 140s.

I also have lots of poems and Shakespeare passages floating around in my head. I can still do Kubla Khan at the drop of a hat, as well as more obscure little bits of literature, such as the poem at the very beginning of The Great Gatsby (which is admittedly short, but still). And like Mel, I have Jabberwocky in there. When I need a mental exercise, I will go through my repertoire and see if I still remember everything.

In addition to numbers and poems, I apparently notice and remember lots of details about life that pass others by. You remember that? You noticed that? is something I have heard a lot. When I need to go to an unfamiliar part of town, I just stare at a map for a minute or so and then it's in my head. Very handy. I also remember certain concepts I learned in grad school by visualizing the page of the textbook I used to study them.

Like I said: freaky. But it comes in darn useful!

So, those are five things I love about myself. And thanks to Mel for this--her post was great timing for how I've been feeling lately.

If you decide to do this, too, leave me a note in the comments. I'd love to read your list!


Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan said...

I love your list! And now I totally want us to have coffee together... or, even better, coffee after a workout together. We can recite the Jobberwocky as a duet!

You are delightful. Thanks for playing along with me!

bofroggy said...

There are so many things I like about you, Jenn! You share so much of your life and it helps me stay on track. You crack me UP! I needed this particular post today, so thanks :)

Kelly Elmore said...

I did it, of course.

You are pure awesome sauce, and when we pour you on parenting, or on ATLOS, or on inefficient businesses, or on cake decorating, or on stand-up comedy, you make all those things tasty.

Kate Yoak said...

You don't just get sh*t done. You are scary! You are like that girl next door my mom always told me about who got up, made breakfast and woke her mother up every morning since she was eight.

And I did it too - found it first on Kelly's site. It was just what I needed - on a morning I was not feeling up for loving myself.