I’m doing a really good job

Lesson in female-hood:
The correct response to “You look great!” is any of the following:
  • “Ugh, thanks, I feel like I’m gaining weight.”
  • “Haha YOU do!”
  • “You’re so nice.”
  • “That’s weird, I feel like roadkill. Like a rust-stained raccoon whose limp carcass has been tossed from lane to lane by the indifferent, relentless traffic of life.”*
The incorrect answer is:

  • “Thanks, I feel good!”
I highly doubt if anyone employs this communication style with more consistency than I do. I’m the queen of the nice-dodge. You shoot a compliment at me and I can back-bend in slow motion like Neo to get out of the way.
But you know, it’s not that impressive, I’m not like, super flexible or anything. It’s really not a big deal.

Why communicate this way? Because no one likes a bragger. Taking credit for something is a particularly uncool thing to do for women. I don’t know why. It’s quite insidious because the less you give yourself credit, the less likely you are to feel good about the very real, very wonderful accomplishments you might have under your belt.

I got up early this morning with my baby. I hugged her a bunch, fed her, and changed her into some warm winter clothes. We played and she was cracking me up with her hilarious little personality. She’s learning how to wave, so we waved and cheered and sang a lot. I put together all her milk, food, clothes, diapers, etc and carried the supplies, and her, down to the car. We drove to her babysitter’s house and I dropped off a happy baby. I came back home to work and began to answer emails.

Then I had this thought. This wild, crazy thought: I did a really good job.

Not every day feels like that, but today did. And I want to own it. There are things I’m doing a bad job with, and I talk about those a lot, but here’s something that I did successfully. It’s simple, obviously, just getting a baby up and ready for the day. I don’t think I deserve a medal (I would take a cookie), but I think that this quiet reflection on a job well done is important.

I want to challenge you guys to acknowledge your victories, because it feels good. There are always ways to feel less-than, but I bet you have done something today that was totally kick-ass. That success is yours, just as much (probably more than) any failures. So, own it.

*Amy Schumer created a sketch about this topic a few months ago if you want to look it up. It’s very funny, but also super harsh. Harsher than dead raccoons. It’s pretty pitch perfect though, if you want to look her up.


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