Why I Have Trouble Valuing What I Do

November 21, 2010 at 9:39 am | Posted in attitudes, New York Marathon 2010 | 1 Comment
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As a girl I had one absolute irresistible interest.  I loved babies.  This wasn’t overwhelming.  There was nothing I needed to do to love babies.  I just saw them and loved them.  I did become one sought after baby sitter!  Simply because I loved babies.

As I matured, I took this passion to school with me.  I studied about babies, in high school, in college, in my master’s program.  I studied every self-help book I could find.  Now I was the baby expert as well as the lover of babies.  Then I got to be a mom of my own babies, the absolute joy of my life. There was nothing that filled my entire soul more than being a mom.  I carefully had my babies spread out, four years or more between each one, so I could totally relish in each and every baby.

It was obvious to those around me that mothering was not just a thing I did.  Mothering filled every moment of my living and breathing. It filled my awake hours, my sleeping hours, and my other than reality self.  This is that self that is real but not tangible.  It is not connected with time or age.  Maybe it’s the soul or spirit part.  It’s what makes us more than automatons.  Anything that has personality has it.

I was/ am a unique and wonderful mom.  I follow my heart, insist my children live and follow their passions.  There is nothing that gets in the way of my mothering.

Yet, I am not one of those moms who is obnoxious or over bearing.  I don’t get caught up in guilt trips by my kids, by other family members, by friends, or society.  I can be the amazing mom I am simply by being my fullest and most joyful self.  My girls, their friends, and those I work with professionally, know that when I am with them I am one hundred percent with them.  My interest in what they do, think, have, where they holdback, what they excel in, is completely genuine.  There are no barriers, shutters, blinders, or lights only on specific things.

Now here’s the thing that I do that is different from what you hear you are supposed to do.  You hear you are supposed to be fully present to those around you to really get a deep understanding of them.  But that’s totally false.  To really be able to have that deep connection and understanding of those around you, you absolutely have to be completely present with your self.  If you are distracted with whom you are then there is little or no chance you are going to get it about anyone else.

But this post isn’t about you becoming present to others; it’s really about why I have trouble valuing what I do.  And it may be why you have trouble valuing what you do.

So here’s the thing.  I know how good I am at what I do- personally as a mom to my four daughters and one stepdaughter, and professionally with the young female athletes I work with, and my other clients who are becoming their own personal best.  Everything in my life is connected, centered, and joyfully executed around doing what I personally excel in.

So where is the value?  Isn’t there supposed to be hardship, difficulty, real work involved with things that have value?  I mean it’s OK to spend some time doing enjoyable things, but one’s whole life?  Doesn’t that make you (really me) be some how selfish and shallow?

If you know me in any capacity you know this is complete fantasy.  If anything, I am so rock solid and genuine that I scare off people who feel they need and want fluff and scattered energy around them.

So back to value- When I ran the New York Marathon 2010 everyone I know was impressed.  I was impressed.  Does that give running this marathon or any marathon value?  Of course there is hardship, difficulty, and real work involved with being able to run a marathon.  But this in and of itself did not give anyone else or me value from my running.  I got my value from my running because I put my heart and soul into being able and ready to run 26.2 miles at my own personal best.  And others around me soaked up this attitude and energy.  They got value from me because I created the value simply by following my joy.

You see the value does not come from the work or sacrifices.  The people in concentration camps have been made to do terrible work; they have had to sacrifice many amenities.  But no one will ever say that there was value in their work or sacrifices.  People who grudgingly go off to work or school everyday don’t bring value to what they are doing.  People are unaware of their outcomes, good or bad.

One reason marathon runners impress others is that they can only do the marathon by being fully present for months on the task of getting ready.

And this is what gives a marathon and its runners value. It is not only the actual day of running 26.2 miles.  The value comes because we all know there is something much deeper and much more encompassing than the one day of the race.

It’s the focus, the dedication, the absolute determination of overcoming the obstacles.  But it’s way more than that.  It’s the personal joy that is interspersed throughout.  And that is why I have trouble valuing what I do-

Because everything I do has joy in it there must not be value. I don’t work hard, I don’t suffer or sacrifice in any way.  Sure I put in huge amounts of effort in everything I do, I even struggle to get things done.  I have a car we call the Toasted Marshmallow- It’s a white mini van with over 200,000 miles and rust spots.  But these are not work or sacrifices. These are easy choices so my family and I have and do what we want.

But here is the reality.  Because everything I do has joy in it, everything I do has the most intrinsic full value that exists.  And that’s why it’s hard for me to know it has value.  Value is the corner stone foundation to everything I do.

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1 Comment »

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  1. Grace – this is a beautiful post – I value your work in the world – it is good and true and beautiful. I hold the vision for you that you will find the way to the place where you fully claim and command your value in financial terms as well as in the state of joy you experience – when that day comes it will be a holy union of the spiritual and the material!
    You are worthy!!!


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