Have you ever felt like a fraud? When someone compliments you do you feel like you deserve it? Or do you feel like you’re keeping a great big secret from everyone? Are you always fearful that they will find out you’re not as good as they think you are?
This is what happened to me recently. The other day I was visiting my mother-in-law (MIL) at the rehab center she is in. She fell down her stairs on Halloween night (some trick!). Fortunately nothing was broken. She is just badly bruised and stiff.
Anyway, her niece (my husband’s cousin) was visiting at the same time. We were talking about some of little things I do to help stay organized. One was keeping track of how much water I drink during the day. I have a quart bottle that is filled with water in the morning. I put a rubber band around the middle of it. When I fill the bottle for the second quart of the day the rubber band is moved to the top of the container. That way I know if I’m on the first 4 cups of water or the second 4 cups.
I also printed out labels for my MIL to put on her belongings such as lotion, shampoo, books, make-up bag, etc. I learned to do this when my mother had her stroke 2 1/2 years ago and was in rehab for several months. When things are labeled it discourages people from walking off with them and also makes it easier to identify what is hers.
Anyway, my cousin complimented me on how organized I was. Considering that I write a blog and website about organization I should have been thrilled with the compliment. Yet, inside I felt like a fraud. All I could think about was how I had a large stack of papers on my desk that needed filing. Then a picture of my sock and underwear drawer flashed across my eyes. It is a total mess. I’d picked up some clothes for my MIL when she went to the rehab center and noticed how neat and uncluttered her drawers were. It didn’t matter that she had 6 drawers to put her clothes in and I only have 3. I still felt like a fraud.
Life happens, but sometimes we can be so hard on ourselves. I’ve had several rough life changing events over the past 4 1/2 years. They are legitimate excuses for not keeping my home as decluttered or organized as I would like. Yet I still feel guilty about sharing my tips and lessons on organizing when I’ve struggled so much with it lately.
I know I’m expecting way too much from myself. I’m sure there have been times that you have felt this way also.
The point is life has it’s rough spots. And when it gets rough there are plenty of lessons to be learned. We need to look for them. We need to learn the wisdom they offer us. We need to use this wisdom to improve our lives. Then we need to pass this wisdom on to others so they can benefit from the lessons.
During the course of our lives we will get knocked off our track many times. Sometimes we accidentally throw ourselves off our own track. But we need to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off. Then we need to figure out what to do to either get back on our track or figure out how to navigate the new track that life has put us on at this point in time.
I know this post has been rambling on but I want to pass on the wisdom I’m learning from this. I’m practicing on not being so hard on myself.
When we feel like a fraud we’re expecting ourselves to be perfect, a standard no one can reach. We’re focusing on what we haven’t gotten done instead of what we have already accomplished. When someone compliments us they are obviously seeing something we’ve done that is good.
Maybe it’s time to see what they are seeing!
To a lighter load along the way.