My Keepers

I read an interesting blog post the other day about labels used to describe people by others and what words we use to describe themselves. (You can find the post here – as an aside, I love her blog as it always makes me think and often makes me smile).
When I think about how other’s describe me, I think about being a daughter, a wife, a mother, and a friend. Some may say I’m caring, some say I’m too caring and too emotional. I’ve often been called a dog lover. Others may say I’m straightforward as I say it how I see it. Some would definitely say I’m impatient. And I’ve crossed at least a few people who definitely don’t like me and probably wouldn’t use very positive words to describe me. Some would likely comment on my hard life and/or my ability to survive tragedy, because when your mom and sister die when your a teenager and you survive your teenage years and eventually go onto to having a decent career, survivor is a common word used to describe me.
But all of this has me thinking, who am I really? This seems like a moment for some serious self-reflection.
I am of course a everything other’s have said about me.

I am a daughter, a wife, a mother and a friend. As for being a daughter, I wasn’t a very good daughter for a number of years, but lately I feel like my relationship with my father is better then it has been as long as I can remember. And, I am a wife, I love my husband beyond measure, and I count our relationship as one of the best in my life. It’s not always perfect and it takes some work, but I wouldn’t trade him for anything. Some people would say I am an adoptive mom, not just a mom, to them, I say screw off, because this fact neither praise worthy or a negative in my eyes. I am simply someone who fought hard to be a mom loosing way too many babies in the process. But here I am, thankful every single day that I count mom as one of my descriptors – I wear this label with pride. And, as for being a friend, I’m not the greatest at that these days, and I see it as one of my greatest failings right now.

I am also caring, although I’m not sure that’s something you can ever be too much of. I do love dogs, and working on loving Doodle MPB crazy as much as she clearly loves me. I can be emotional, although I rarely am and I am almost never emotional outside the comfort of my home. And yes, I am straightforward, and I am impatient, and I probably swear too much too. I am a little bit arrogant at times particularly about my work and it’s one of my least favorite personality traits so I work hard to keep it in check. And yet, at the exact same time, I also doubt myself constantly and worry obsessively over small mistakes. I acknowledge at times I am not always a perfect saint, and while I would never intentionally upset someone, I know I have from time to time and I know I have people in this world who do not like me for a number of reasons, but such is life. And yes, I am a bit of survivor, but I do not wear that badge with pride, I wear it only because I have no choice in the matter.

But when I think about who I am, I am also someone who is dedicated to anything I put my mind to, except maybe exercising as much as I wish I had time for. I am dedicated to my career and professional development. I take commitments seriously and I don’t make promises unless I know I can keep them. I take things personally. I stress over the small stuff, more then I probably should. And, I despise being late.

And those who know all of these things about me and embrace all of my labels, to quote CandidKay, they are my Keepers. I don’t have many of them, but they are the ones who love me not in spite of all my labels, but because of them.

I’m rather confident when I say, Keepers are some of the best people in the world. I’ll continue to cherish mine, and hopefully you do to.

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I see things in a very black and white manner.  I rarely see shades of grey, in-fact, I don’t really even like shades of grey.

I am happiest when things are entrenched in fact and the lines are drawn in a clear and objective manner.

Yes or No. 

Allowed or Not. 

Right or Wrong. 

This way or That way. 

Logical or Illogical

Living or Dead.

Possible or Impractical (never Impossible, because anything is possible).  

This characteristic of mine is mostly pretty great in my professional life. (For the record, I’m not an engineer).  But I have to admit, the human element of my work is also what makes things interesting, sometimes fun and sometimes stressful.  Let’s be honest, the world would be pretty darn boring if we were all robots, programmed to do things in a clear and objective manner.  And even if we were programmed that way, due in part to varying income levels, education levels and life experiences, we would all have different definitions of clear and objective, and thus our responses would not be identical.

But I have to admit, it makes my real life a little bit challenging sometimes.  For example, it made our Recurrent Pregnancy Loss / Infertility life rather challenging for me, in large part because I never had concrete facts, rather I just had educated guesses and sometimes bad advice to guide my decision making process. To this day, I struggle with the lack of answers we had, and I hope for the day that medical science is advanced enough to truly support women/couples like me/us.  When it came to the adoption process, my fact based thinking made me struggle with putting my faith into the adoption process and just trusting things would work out.

And now as a parent, I am much more keenly aware that humans, especially children, are not robots.  Children do not always function in right or wrong, good decision or bad decision, etc.  Instead children, especially toddlers, test boundaries and respond emotionally.  Neither of which are are fact based thinking or responses.  And let me tell you, based on my toddler’s ability to function in these illogical grey zones, I am slightly petrified of his teenage yeas.

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