August 25, 2014

do your thing

We had a church meeting a while back and we decided to do a last-minute potluck for lunch. A friend brought a beautiful huge, gourmet, work-of-art salad that she had made and we all kind of made our light-hearted comments about how what we brought looked compared to look what she brought. I felt awful when she had enough and pleaded: “please don’t give me grief about it. It’s just my thing. It’s what I love to do.” She was feeling the need to ask forgiveness for her talent, her hobby, her thing.

A pit came to my stomach because I’ve felt that before. That feeling when some people come over (and maybe I took the time to clean up?) and start looking around and making comments about “how do you have TIME for this?” or  “I guess I would rather buy new than take time to paint old things” or my favorite: “I’m never letting you come over to my house -- you would die.”

And all of a sudden I feel guilt and the need to apologize for something I love to do and if they could only know how flawed I really feel in so many other aspects of life.

Oh, but I do it too. I didn’t do a huge back to school dinner with a theme and gifts and new outfits and so I make fun the ridiculousness of putting so much effort into it--who has time for that? A friend just finished another marathon and I’m struggling to get back up to 2 miles-- why is she so into her body? Or the fun mom that is always out on an adventure with her kids -- is her energy for real? She’s got to be taking something.

We tell our daughters not to play dumb, be yourself and shine on, be kind, and don’t worry about what others think.  We still need to give each other that talk.

So I’m giving it today: Do your thing. Don’t apologize for it. Bless others with your talents. Own it.

And let others do their thing - not only do it - but excel at it. I want to be in the camp that applauds, lifts, encourages, restores, give the benefit of the doubt. To your face, behind your back, and behind a computer screen. And when the green envy, jealousy, and guilt start rearing -- simply say:

that’s her thing.

I love to see people

love what they are doing.

A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms.via simple sally

A little thought for a Monday morning --

thanks for listening.

 photo signature_zps45983bca.jpg



37 comments:

  1. Love this! I had never thought about how comparisons not only bring the one who feels "less" down, but also the one who excels by making them apologize for their talent/joy. Good point!

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  2. I LOVE this post! I have been thinking about this exact thing this weekend (from both points of view) and you put it quite beautifully. Thanks for taking the time to put your thoughts into words-I needed it! Adore your blog! It's the first one I check. And I'd welcome you into my home anytime :) ps-fun trivia: after 2 years of stalking your site, I just found out you are old friends with my sister. Funny! Small world!

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  3. So well said!! Thank you for putting into words what my heart has been feeling.

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  4. kathyscottage8/25/14, 7:09 AM

    Fabulous post! I saw myself in here and didn't like it much, but I needed the thoughtful kick. Thanks

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  5. the quote “I’m never letting you come over to my house -- you would die.” I have heard that many times...why do women do this to each other? Thank you for your comments...I plan to share this link...because I so understand this and hope it can help someone. Thanks

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  6. I actually really needed to read this today. It is way too easy to compare our worst to someone else's best (especially in a social media-dominated world)! Thank you :) Hope you guys are doing well!

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  7. I so needed to hear/read this today. We all want to do it all but it's not even possible because we are all flawed and have different talents, as you said. I want to the be the fit,crafty, involved and chef Mom but I can't be all those things at the same time and so the Mommy guilt visits and tries to make a home in my heart and mind. But really it is the evil one that wants to reside in my heart but I will not allow it!! I have always loved the quote "I can do anything, just not everything." I try to remember that and try my hardest not to compare to others.

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  8. melissa*320 sycamore8/25/14, 8:15 AM

    Thanks, Cheri :) Who is your sister??

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  9. I have had this done to me before too, when other women say things and you feel the need to apologize or rationalize what you did and why you did it. It is a great lesson for me to be more aware of not doing it to other women and help to bring out the positive in them.

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  10. Ashlei Folsom8/25/14, 8:36 AM

    This is wonderful - I know I am guilty of making the kinds of comments that you mentioned, which are completely a reflection of how I feel about my lack of whatever talent they have. Instead, a really simple, "this is beautiful!" or "how great!" will be the comment I'll extend instead.

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  11. I had this same realization this past week (and it was huge for me). Except... I was the one that was afraid to shine because it felt like bragging, or that it made other people think I was showing off. Finally I have just come to realize that if I can be the sort that is a champion of other women, I should expect the same from them. Anyone that would tear me down for doing my best is not really someone I want to waste time trying to please. We all have times when we feel jealous, but it's so important to remember what you said, "that's her thing." Other people's accomplishments do not detract from the goodness that we have. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  12. SarahCloverLane8/25/14, 10:05 AM

    Melissa I LOVE this!!! I hate that teasing we do to each other-and sometimes it turns mean. Everyone is good at something, we all have different talents and abilities. I have told my daughter, "Don't be less of yourself just because you are afraid of those comments!" We all have done it-both ends-I think. Such good thoughts!

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  13. Jessica @ This Blessed Life8/25/14, 11:02 AM

    Melissa, I feel like clapping! You are SO right and like others who commented, I'm guilty of it both ways. We all seem to do that subtle "put down" of others when we feel inadequate, and even if (though) we mean it innocently, it still shouldn't be done. I will probably always long for a spotless house and feel inadequate in that regard - but I'd much rather decorate and "fluff" my house instead! So I will probably perpetually feel jealous of my friends with squeaky clean homes and their ability to maintain a house well, but you know what? They compliment me on my decor, seasonal touches, and paint colors and often ask for my advice in those areas. Realizing our strengths and admitting our weaknesses allows us to celebrate others without viewing their accomplishments through the icky lens of jealousy. So well written! :)

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  14. Yes, ma'am! YES! This is the perfect post to start out this back-to-school week for me. Thank you so much for having the courage to say what needs to be said. Love you so much!

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  15. What a great post, so so true. Great reminder for all of us. And LOVE the quote!!

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  16. Thank you! I've been struggling with this lately! Great job!

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  17. This was a great post !

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  18. Wow, that really needed to be said. Thanks for putting it into words so well.

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  19. This is a "sermon" I've been giving for years. I even call it a "thing." I read something once talking about how women have a tendency to look around a room of other women and wish that they could cook like A, have a clean house like B, sew like C, teach like D, etc. When in reality we should be celebrating our differences and appreciating each others talents instead. Thank you for this reminder. I also love the quote: "Comparison is the thief of joy."

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  20. Thanks Melissa. That was just what I needed today.

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  21. Kimberly Hill Hight8/26/14, 8:22 AM

    I would just like to add that your salad friend was probably doing her best in order to bless her friends, offering a gift for them to enjoy. We hear a lot about being generous givers, but I think we could all learn some important lessons about being gracious receivers. We really rob ourselves and the giver, of joy, and yes the satisfaction from doing something well, when we make it about comparisons.

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  22. melissa*320 sycamore8/26/14, 8:33 AM

    Yes!

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  23. tweet
    https://twitter.com/eswright18/status/504342821269016576

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  24. Tina Becker8/26/14, 1:49 PM

    What a great fireplace and built in design. It looks stunning. I love what you did with the paint around the fireplace as well. It looks great. If anyone else is looking to achieve what Melissa did with her fireplace and built ins you have to check out http://www.customfiremantels.com/gallery/ They have gorgeous custom fireplace mantels.

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  25. sarahhirsch8/26/14, 3:50 PM

    what i would like most about amex offers is being able to save money

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  26. I am especially impressed that I can save money without clipping coupons!

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  27. Thank you. I needed this reminder today. I make those kinds of comments all the time. I want to be better than that.

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  28. Melody Warnick8/26/14, 10:24 PM

    I was probably one of those people who moaned, "Please don't come over to my house!" after going to yours. But that kind of knee-jerk defensiveness ascribes the worst motives to other people. As if they're being awesome just to one-up me or make me feel terrible! I've been feeling jealous of some fantastic women in my life, and this is just what I needed to hear. Thanks, Melissa!

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  29. Thank you! I've also been on both sides...the judging and the apologizing. It's important to remember that we all have different gifts and talents and we should OWN THEM! And recognize others for theirs! I love your blog and very rarely leave a comment but I couldn't pass this one up! Thanks!

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  30. Ann Yawornitsky8/27/14, 5:49 PM

    Thank you for this post...it is great ! You made a very good point...be yourself, enjoy it, and don't compare or apologize. My sister came for brunch this weekend and called to say "don't fuss"....but fussing is what I like to do, and I am pretty good it. It was my gift to her to make it special...and I have to be aware and appreciate other peoples talents...enjoy them, and not compare !!!

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  32. Tweeted :) - https://twitter.com/Enter_Now/status/504784266488594433

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  33. I like that they have an Iphone app.

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  34. tweeted: https://twitter.com/KerryBishop/status/504808366581895168
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  35. I am usually not one to take the time to comment on a blog but this was perfect! In fact I even PINNED it! A first for me also!! I just wanted to make sure I had it saved so that I can read it over and over and remember to do my thing, and embrace when others do their thing!!
    Thank you! Thank you!

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  36. I like that I can get them from various sites.

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