Yesterday I worked around the house. I folded laundry, I worked in my garden, I grocery shopped, I cleaned up after dinner, I put all the laundry away, and I vacuumed.
As I worked on vacuuming my stairs I had a number of things running through my mind.
First of all, "Man there is a lot of dog hair on these stairs." Then came, "Why do you let the stairs get this bad before vacuuming them?" And then, "Some day there won't be dog hair on my stairs any more," and then I had to fight back tears while I scrubbed and vacuumed.
Then I got to thinking about how good it feels when I get all these things done, and I feel like I've accomplished something. And then comes the negative jerk voice from the back of my mind "What do you want, a medal or something? You did the things that needed to be done." And last night I fought back against my inner critical jerk and said, "actually yes, yes I do want a medal!"
It doesn't really matter that it's things that needed to be done anyway, I still did them. I don't know if I'm the only one who has these inner monologues, but I'm tired of mine and have decided to loudly (in my head) proclaim that I do deserve some recognition and to feel accomplishment for doing the things I needed to do anyway.
Yes, the garden needed weeding because I hadn't touched it since last fall. Yes I could beat myself up for having neglected it, but instead I am choosing to feel proud at what a couple hours hard work accomplished. And besides, who am I kidding, this fall I'm going to leave the detritus of my Summer's work laying there until next spring. It's who I am. I know it and I'm ok with it.
The laundry needs to be done, and I know I'm not alone in this one, putting away laundry is the worst! I'll gladly sort it, wash it, dry it, and even fold it, but man do I loathe hauling those heavy baskets up the stairs and having to put it all away. I'm actually considering getting myself some stickers or ribbons or something because doing the laundry deserves recognition!!
And then there is the vacuuming. It's amazing how much accomplishment and contempt can be rolled up into one task. It's a well established fact that I don't like to vacuum. And I have one of the most prolifically shedding dogs that has ever walked this earth. My house, and car, are constantly coated in white dog hair. And I look around and see it and think, "I really need to vacuum this," and then life happens, and dinner needs to be cooked and dishes need to be done, and I don't get to vacuuming and then I really beat myself up over how bad it looks. So when I do vacuum and it looks so nice and I want to congratulate myself, the inner jerk immediately starts in with, "if you hadn't let it get so bad to start with..."
So I've decided to say "Screw you Inner Jerk! I DO want a medal. I don't care if I'm doing the things that needed to be done anyway. I still did them!"
Once again, I don't know about the rest of you, but I am so hard on myself for stupid things and I'm tired of it. The time has come that we give ourselves credit where credit is due and tell our Inner Jerks to pipe down. From now on my criteria for giving myself credit for doing something is "Did you do it?" and as long as the answer is "yes," then Good Job!
So if any of you see me walking around wearing my medal from the Color Run 2 years ago, you can assume I've done a mundane task and I wanted my darn medal!