One of the last things I do every night is take inventory. It only takes a minute or two to ask myself, “How’m I doing?” I don’t actually use those words. Rather, I think about my family and friends, and my place in their lives. I consider my responsibilities. My goals and my dreams. Is this self-awareness? If it is, then it’s both a blessing and a curse as I ask myself the important questions:
Was I a good daughter today? A good sister? A good friend?
Was I a good worker today? A good neighbor?
Was I a good Catholic today?
Was I a good writer?
Was I good to myself?
On any given day, I fall short on more than one of these. But it’s not for lack of trying.
Yesterday I helped a blind man in the subway – did that make me a good Catholic or a good neighbor? I also worked late which made me a good worker. But I missed dinner with my brother so I can’t say I was a good sister.
Over the weekend, I carved out some time for writing. But a friend needed to talk and a lengthy long-distance phone call ensued. That made me a good friend. But you can’t be a good writer if you don’t actually write. Still, I think about other friends who’ve sent emails I have not answered, or kindly written comments to my blog posts that I’ve yet to acknowledge and post. So am I a good friend, really?
The one that troubles me most is “was I a good daughter?” For years, I took an April vacation and went home for a week. My mother’s birthday falls in April, and my visit is the only present she wants. But these past two Aprils I didn’t give her that gift, despite having ample vacation time. Work conditions just did not permit it. So I was a good worker, but I cannot say I was a good daughter.
Someone close to me who knows about my nightly reflection tells me I’m being too hard on myself. Am I? Or am I just being honest?