This morning I tackled my pile of picture books. I'm always looking for great books to share with my class. It was a great soul-filling time.
I'm also re-reading Better Than Before. I read quite a lot of it this morning and was reminded of how much I love this book. I like doing things that not everyone likes. I've often felt the disapproval from family about things I love, and as a result, felt shamed. The problem is, I then begrudge feeling shamed. This book reminds me that everyone is unique and in order to be happy, one needs to recognize these things about themselves and work with it. I love the page where she inashamably describes herself:
She lists all these things that make me scream, "but that's not ok!" But it's only not ok because they're things that people in my family do and make fun of people who don't. I don't like shopping. I like music, but I don't always know all the words and can't remember the performers name. And here she s just saying those things like she's proud of it! Wow. How freeing!!
I'll never forget going to a big family event in my husband's family early on in our marriage. Someone was always off reading. Now and then they'd leave the world of their book and engage in a lively discussion about the book, especially if someone else had read it....and it big family events there almost always was someone who had read it. I was amazed and delighted at how ok everyone was with someone in the room being absorbed in a book.
In another area of my life, I have a goal to be a runner. Whenever I tell other runners this they tell me the things I need to do: join Gord's Running Room (they're often on Sunday mornings or evenings.....not a time for me) or sign up for races. This year I signed up for six races. Although I do realize some of the benefits of these races, I hate them. I spend the entire time arguing with myself over whether or not I should just ditch the rest of the race. The rebel part of my personality doesn't want to follow the rules and despises the crowd taking over what I enjoy most about running (or in my case, walk/runs). I love the alone time I get when walking. Next year, I may still do a couple races, but certainly not six.
Bottom line: this book gives me permission to be me, and even seems to celebrate recognizing what makes me.