Accentuate the Positive…

Whenever a birthday rolls around, I usually get to picking myself apart… kind of an assessment of the past year.  I’m also a sarcastic bugger.  If you regularly read these here ramblings (WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH YOU?) you may have figured that out.  Sarcasm is my survival skill… and often sarcasm can come off as bitter and negative and depressing in the wrong tone of voice/mood/attitude.  I’m also really good at self-deprecation.  It’s a habit I’ve had since I was a teenager.  No one can ever think that I think I like myself… EVER!  Because… just looking at me they can already see approximately 53324244342423 things wrong with me… and that’s just my front side.

My annual birthday assessments usually turn into a long laundry list of the things I did wrong… and then that turns into the thought that I’m pathetic… and then that usually turns into an eating smorgasboard of stoo-pid!   I think too much.  I harp on every little thing I do wrong until it makes me feel loserish.  For example… this past weekend I carried the work pager.  I got a call from a doctor who woke me out of my sleep, so my brain was already confused.  I lost train of thought a lot and stumbled over words during that 2-minute conversation… and I’m still beating myself up for it.  EMBARRASSING!  When the memory crops up in my brain, I usually have to yell, OH MY LAWS!!  Or D’OH!!!!   That’ll teach me to ever be brainless!

The positive things have to outweigh the negative things… for one thing… I’m still alive!  That’s pretty much worth passing the GO spot on the Monopoly board.  Those positives get lost in my constant beratings… and that’s just sad.  So what I haven’t lost a pound and just maintained weight within a 5- to 10-pound radius over the last year?  Sure that sucks, but I should also know that it takes work to maintain weight.  I could have gained the regular 30 pounds per year that most folk put on… but I was still conscientious.  The healthy lifestyle was never far from my mindset… I just didn’t always accomplish it.

Let’s look at what else I did right for a change.  After 12 years of saying I was going to go back to school… I did it.  This was the year I turned that stagnant to-do list item into a reality.  And in the meantime, I had to adjust to a new normal and that adjustment period did not go so smoothly, but I will figure this out… and pretty soon I’ll be back to losing… because that’s the game of life.  It’s dips and dives and roller coasters so freaktastic it puts Lady Gaga’s costume closet to shame.  I just had to go back through the last 2 paragraphs and trade out the word “you” for “I.”  Somehow it always makes it less that I’m trying to compliment myself like an arrogant jerkface when I refer to myself in the 2nd person.  Because “YOU” could mean any one person.  Nope… no more… moving on to Egotistical-ville!

When we were in St. George a few weeks back, Lindsay found this sign in one of the gift shops (I know… can you believe she went shopping… that almost never happens… in prison!)  I liked it, so I took a picture of it.  It really does apply to my self-deprecation situation   Quit thinking about what other people think of you.  Eight times out of ten, they don’t even remember the times you made a fool of yourself… and those two who do… eh, forget ’em!

Question of the Day:  Do you find yourself self-deprecating?  

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20 Comments

Filed under Getting A Life

20 responses to “Accentuate the Positive…

  1. Katbaran

    I used to be very self deprecating. Then, I ran into/met a woman who took it to an art form. She was REALLY annoying to be around, with EVERYTHING being “With MY luck” and “With THIS body?” It was depressing. So, I scaled it way back and tried to think more positive and didn’t go for the laugh every time. I can’t say the change in my attitude made me win the lottery or be crowned Mrs. USA, but it sure helped me have a better outlook on life. Sure, I’m still sarcastic and cynical sometimes, but I’m told I’m a lot more fun to be with now.

    Whitney, you are doing great! You said you were going back to school and you did. You lost a ton of weight and are maintaining. That is a HUGE accomplishment. Think of it as a break from losing, not as just a plateau or not losing. You’ve come so far and you will go farther! You’re determined and dedicated–it will happen.

    Btw, LOVE your pics from your area. Just lovely!

    • You are so right. It can get trying to hang around folks who are always sarcastic and cynical. I don’t think I’m that bad in front of other people… just around myself and family… but I certainly need to work on being less that way! Thanks for the encouragement, Kat! As for the pictures, it definitely helps to have beautiful scenery to take pictures of! 🙂

  2. Susan

    Yes! I can’t take a compliment. I find more bad than good in myself/actions/clothes/etc. on a daily basis. I recently stepped on the scale and have gained back 10 of my 84 lbs lost. So that just piled on to.

    I don’t know why any of us do this to ourselves. We are all beautiful, wonderful people who have more good qualities than bad (unless you’re a serial killer – then definitely more bad than good). I think it’s part of the psychology of being overweight – pick out your bad qualities before anyone else can and it won’t hurt as bad.

    Wish I could figure it out!

  3. Avster

    Oh definitely! I’ve had a number of people telling me that I’m too hard on myself… but growing up if I wasn’t hard on myself (which made me try harder in areas) then my multitude of brothers picked up on my slack and that made it worse.
    I’ve gotten better about it, but there are still times where I’ll beat myself up over something stupid that I did.

    Whit, if you didn’t rock the awesome factor so much then those pounds wouldn’t stick to you so much! They know how fun you are that they don’t want to leave and miss out on the fun!

    • LOL! That’s probably what’s going on up in this joint… I’ll ask the fat molecules! As for the 8 brothers… you had to be in survival mode around them I’m sure. Stand up for yourself or they’d pick on you, the youngest and only chica!

  4. Karen

    Whitney, we all love you or we would not be starting each day with you! You are a wonderful person. I promise it is not better to be “skinny.” Hang in there and Happy Belated Birthday and enjoy the snow.

  5. cl2

    Do I have to answer that question?

  6. dessawade

    I think we all beat ourselves up at times but the key is to look at the glass half full instead of half empty. We have far more blessings than we have curses but it is really hard to see them when we are down on ourselves. Getting outside of ourselves and doing something for someone else always helps too.
    You just hang in there Whit! I know you will because you are a different person than you have been. Awesomeness!

  7. Julie

    Like you, I used to be very hard on myself. I used to think I was being humble, but now I know I was way too focused on my faults and not the talents and gifts God has given me. You have so many talents! How I’d love to capture those beautiful sites thru photography and share them with others, like you do! How I’d love to have your sense of humor and fond memories of childhood! But God has given me freedom from focusing on things I can’t change. I am who I am, nothing more and nothing less. And I’ve learned to value the talents He gave me. The only purpose worth anything in this world is glorifying God in all we do. Even my struggles can be helpful to others. So, I no longer worry so much about what I look like, or what others may be thinking. God made me just the way He wanted me to be and can use each and every flaw I have, or even mistake I’ve made to glorify Him. I no longer try to hide the mistakes I’ve made either. Others can benefit from knowing we aren’t all perfect… and we all struggle from time to time. But I do try not to repeat them. 🙂

    • What a great attitude… I love that confidence, Julie! One of these days I’m going to fully adopt it, too! I just need to keep on moving forward. Thank you for your sweet words.

  8. LOUISA

    Lovely pic Whitney – breathtaking…

    Question of the Day: Do you find yourself self-deprecating?
    Yes, of course.
    We all do it just to varying degrees.
    My mom always said “you are harder on yourself than anyone else ever could be”.
    When she is right – she is right.
    I always thought if I just worked hard enough at something it could be perfect. Well, as I have grown and matured, I have figured out that I can work my hardest at all kinds of things and still only be mediocre in my own eyes ( my marriage, parenting, homeschooling, my weight, …I could go on and on ).
    I like to have high expectations and standards of myself and others and I guess I always will but I have learned to take a compliment and to have fun along the way.
    There is a saying that touched me and it is in regard to many things in life so whenever you are sad/upset/angry ” get into the sunshine as soon as possible”.

    • I love that sunshine quote… it’s very true. No need to wallow in mediocrity… and it’s always true that we are our own worst critic. It seems ridiculous, but it happens! Hang in, Louisa. You have the bull by the horns!

  9. Great quote! Great picture! You are beyond great! And you are doing such a fabulous job of grabbing life by the horns–I want to grow up to be more like you!

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