Life Lessons, Mothers and Daughers

How Do You See Yourself?

A collective groan came from the women in my office – myself included – when we recently found out we had to write a self-evaluation for our annual performance review.  Meanwhile, the guys seemed unfazed.  Why were the men so comfortable when it came to tooting their own horns, while we women struggled to recognize our talents and quantify our skills – let alone engage in anything resembling self-promotion?

So, as the guys retreated to their respective offices to write their evaluations, the women did what women do – we came together – to talk and share, and basically buoy each other up.

We put aside basic competencies and all the long hours we logged in at our desks.  Instead, we thought about who the three of us are when we’re not at the office: a mother to a ‘tween and a teen; a preacher; and a writer.  We looked at all the “life stuff” each of us brings to the table.

Hearing my co-workers’ observations reminded me of the way my mother would often compliment me when I was a girl.  When I dismissed her praise, insisting that she couldn’t possibly be objective, she would reinforce it saying, “I wish you could see yourself the way other people see you.”

In the end, I wrote about my challenges and accomplishments.  We all did.  Because when we saw ourselves as our peers see us, we looked pretty damn good.

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Girl Talk, Life Lessons

To Be A Princess

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I keep hearing “just because you don’t have a prince doesn’t mean you’re not a princess.”  Although several people have taken credit for this saying, it’s the cutest three- and five-year-old sisters who’ve helped me figure out the whole princess thing.

What is it about the princess narrative anyway?  Is it the notion of being rescued?  When my office mate brought her two young boys to the LEGOLAND Discovery Center, she was appalled that one of the activities was all about ‘saving the princess.’  “The princess,” she insisted, “can save herself!”

While there have always been princesses who fall into a deep sleep, or lose their glass slipper, in recent years, we’ve seen a whole new crop of them.  This new breed may be self-reliant and reflect greater diversity, yet their end game still seems to be marriage.  Which brings me to the handsome prince.  Of course the princess wants to marry him.  He’s a great catch – not to mention major eye candy.

But there’s a time before the prince enters the picture.  As I watch my friend’s two tiny daughters get all caught up in the princess craze, I can tell you, they’re not thinking about any prince.  For them, it’s all about the girly, glittery princess costumes.  They just want to wear the pretty dresses.  That’s all it takes to make them feel special.  They twirl around in their princess dresses and show me that you don’t need a prince to be a princess.

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