Monday, May 11, 2009


It struck me rather suddenly the other day that I hadn't ever picked a winner from this post! How lame is that?? So I went to (I considered just asking my 13yo to pick a number between 1 and 14, but the website seems so much more official and unbiased), and randomly selected Julie!

(This Julie)

Hooray! Julie, send your contact info to yearofnofear{at}gmail{dot}com and I'll be in touch.

Thanks to all of you for your thoughtful and helpful comments. It really helped me to direct my focus, and gave me such great information to work with! The workshop went well . . . my favorite part was all the insight I gleaned from the discussions among the fantastic group of women that attended.

One of the best comments came during the discussion about women's tendency to downplay their efforts and successes. We respond to compliments with self-criticism about what we did wrong and why our efforts were sub-par. Why do we feel like we have to apologize for making a creative effort? Why can't we just say, "Hey, not bad for a rookie, eh?"

(One woman pointed out here that it's in our nature to aim high, and we ought to, but we shouldn't give up when our first efforts aren't perfect.)

So then, Grandma Jan (I want to be just like her when I grow up) spoke up and said, "The only response you need to give to a compliment is, 'Thank you very much! I whole-heartedly agree!'"

I've been trying to practice this skill. I always worry that someone will think I'm totally full of myself if I willingly accept a compliment, but on the flipside, when I pay someone a sincere and admiring compliment, I'd much rather see them agree with it than downplay it.

Something else I've been trying to practice since the workshop is creativity in simple ways. You can get a lot of bang for your buck this way, particularly with young children. They're just as impressed with Mystery Utensil Dinner (preparation: drop several cooking utensils into a bag) as they are with a 3 hour Birthday Extravaganza.

Yesterday during church, my 6yo was reading the Friend Magazine, and showed me the instructions to make a Pita Dad:

Time involved: Way less than a normal dinner.
Odds that kids will eat healthy food: Fairly high.
Odds that I will score some Cool Mom points, and 6yo will feel awesome for having suggested it: Pretty good.

(It's on this week's shopping list.)

So thanks again to Julie and all of the rest of you (JeRee and Kathy - I was tickled to see you here!) for your fantastic comments!


Mandi said...

I agree with downplaying compliments for sure. I'm gonna work on just saying "thank you!" but as for the "I whole-heartedly agree!" not so much. That sounds like bragging to me. :)

Julie said...

See what I get for not checking in this week? I actually was picked! Woo hoo! Thanks!