We’re down to the wire with the end of the year – and the end of the decade! In my last post, I reflected upon my theme for 2019, “freedom,” and how it has impacted my life for the positive. Back in October, I also shared some thoughts about the decade drawing to a close, specifically around what I don’t want to carry forward with me into 2020 and beyond. Now, in my final post of 2019, I will reveal what I have chosen as my word/theme for the coming year and why I have made that selection.
My 2020 Word/Theme
As you may have guessed from the title of today’s post, my 2020 word is “enough.” I actually can’t take full credit for my selecting this word, as it was first chosen by a friend of mine. This friend has similar challenges to me related to overshopping and insecurities about her appearance and her life choices. In an email she sent to me about a month ago, she told me that her 2020 word would be “enough” because she wanted to reinforce that she has enough and she is enough. Upon reading the email, I immediately knew that “enough” was also the right word to guide me in the coming year.
Included below are some of the ways (more to come in future posts…) in which I would like the theme of “enough” to impact my life over the next twelve months.
Enough in the Closet
Let’s start out with the arena in which most of you became acquainted with me, wardrobe and shopping. When I started Recovering Shopaholic back in January 2013 (I can’t believe that was seven years ago!), I felt overwhelmed by a packed closet (almost 400 items!) that was filled with too many pieces that I rarely wore and should have never purchased in the first place. Over the course of the four years of my writing that blog, I shared many wardrobe challenges, experiments, and musings. I also downsized my closet quite a bit and started making better purchasing, wardrobe management, and style choices.
Fortunately, I haven’t returned to my previous levels of closet chaos, but there’s still a lot of room for improvement. I continue to own more clothing than I need, and I still buy too many items for the lifestyle that I lead. Earlier this year, I embarked upon the “Half Project” challenge as a way of paring my wardrobe down to a level that is less overwhelming and more appropriate for me. I also revisited the “ideal wardrobe size” exercise to determine how many items I need based upon how often I want to wear my clothes, the climate I live in, my regular activities, and the types of garments I like to wear. I came up with 118 items as the target size for my “out and about” wardrobe, which isn’t too far off of my initial “half project” target (137 items) and the 100 item benchmark that I set as a “pipe dream” back in 2013.
I want 2020 to be the year in which I finally reach my wardrobe size goal. But I not only want to have a more pared down closet, I also want my wardrobe to fully meet my needs without a lot of “bloat” or duplication. I want virtually everything in my closet to pull its weight and I want to stop “splitting my wears,” at least for the most part. If I stop buying so many similar pieces (I’m looking at you, black tops and black pants), I think I’ll be able to feel satisfied with a smaller number of garments overall. And if I “slow my roll” with shopping, as I intended to do with the half project but have failed at thus far, I believe that I’ll make better choices in terms of what I’m buying. This has been my biggest challenge thus far, but I’m feeling optimistic that I will finally be able to do it in the coming year.
Enough in the Home
Up until June 2018, when my husband and I bought our house, I’ve spent the bulk of my adult life living in rental units. Because we didn’t own the dwellings in which we resided, there was only so much that we could change, so I mostly accepted the status quo of my living spaces. But when we moved into our own home, all bets were off and we started making changes, many of which were quite substantial. We replaced most of the flooring, overhauled the kitchen (which was spurred on by an unexpected flood back in March), and switched out about a third of our furniture.
Once one aspect of a home is changed, it often draws attention to everything else that feels wrong or “off.” Thus begins a cascade of home improvement that never seems to end. This is both expensive and exhausting. It’s also unnecessary much of the time and tends to stem from the same core discontent that spurs on compulsive shopping for clothes. While I love the changes that we’ve made to our home, I want to slow the roll there as well. I want to feel contented with the way our home looks and stop searching for new ways of making it better. I don’t want to try to keep up with the proverbial Joneses because that’s a battle that can never be won. There will always be people with more money and nicer homes. Plus, I’m not even into having people over, so who am I trying to impress anyway?
I think we can sometimes start down a relatively simple path (i.e. “fixing” a few things), only to find ourselves being diverted into places where we never wanted to go in the first place (i.e. the “rabbit hole”). We had to replace the carpeting in our home because of my chemical sensitivities and the kitchen remodel was facilitated by the flood (we were originally going to put that improvement off for at least a year or two). But everything became more involved and overwhelming than we thought it would be.
We have to remember who we are. My husband and I are not “fancy” people. We were actually quite happy in our two-bedroom apartment and we loved living near the water. It was time for us to move for various reasons, but we don’t need an elaborate house with a lot of bells and whistles. We just need it to be cozy and visually pleasing to us, which it is.
I want to dial back the home improvement in 2020, decide what changes are essential (my 2018 word!), and leave everything else alone. Continuing with the theme of freedom, I want to always remember that simplicity brings freedom. Our home is relatively modest – and that’s okay. It’s actually a great thing because we aren’t living beyond our means with this house. As long as we prioritize and minimize improvements, we will be just fine. I’m grateful for my home and I want to keep that in mind every single day. I spend the bulk of my time there and I’m happy with it, even though it’s not perfect (Note to my perfectionist self: nothing will ever be perfect!).
Low Self-Esteem and Feeling Not Good Enough
Despite being a recovering shopaholic who has struggled with keeping my shopping and spending in check for many years, that’s not the greatest challenge I face. Even my debilitating chronic health issues aren’t my greatest challenge. The most difficult issue in my life is my low self-esteem. For as long as I can remember, I have felt that I am not good enough and that what I do is never enough. I compare myself to others all the time and always find myself lacking in relation to those around me. I’m painfully insecure, which has driven a lot of my compulsive shopping over the years, in that I’ve been trying to buy a feeling that isn’t sold in stores.
I have a lot of shame around what I look like and the choices I’ve made in my life. In terms of my looks, I feel that I should continue to look like the thirty-something version of myself even though I’m now well into my fifties. I hate the fact that I have gained weight and lost muscle tone and have been unable to turn those situations around to my satisfaction. I don’t like that the lines on my face are deepening and that my gray hair isn’t the steely silver that I had hoped it would be. I feel like I look mousy and unattractive, and I worry that I have become “invisible” just like numerous magazine articles warned would happen after I turned fifty. I often feel frumpy and unstylish and I don’t fully know how to dress this new version of my body that still feels alien to me.
But even more than my insecurities about my looks, I feel embarrassed about the trajectory that my work life has taken. I have changed jobs and careers numerous times throughout my adulthood and I have never reached the heights of success that were predicted for me based upon my grades in high school, college, and graduate school. For years now, I haven’t had a good answer to the dreaded “What do you do?” question, and I have avoided many social situations because I didn’t want to get into an uncomfortable conversation in which my inadequacies would be revealed to the person with whom I was conversing. I even hold myself back from reaching out to friends and family members who I haven’t spoken to for a while because I don’t have a “good story to tell.”
I’m Tired of Feeling This Way!
I’m tired of feeling this way and I want it to stop! I’m not sure what my future holds in terms of creative endeavors and career pursuits, but regardless of what I do or don’t do in those arenas, I want to feel like I’m good enough. I want to be proud of who I am and what I have done with my life, even if my choices have been unconventional and even if I would choose differently if I were able to do things over again.
I want to stop holding myself back in conversations because I’m embarrassed of the fact that I don’t really have a “career” and haven’t for years. Yes, I’ve blogged quite a bit (see the bulk of what I’ve written HERE and HERE), I’ve published two e-books, and I’ve taken on a number of contract positions/assignments throughout the past decade-plus, but I haven’t made a lot of money or had a “real job” that looks impressive to others. But what is “success” really and are we “less than” if we haven’t achieved our childhood definition of it or what’s expected of us by society? I have lived my life as if I’m less than and not good enough for far too long and that has kept me feeling separate and lonely.
A few months ago, a woman who I’ve met a few times commented that I’m difficult to get to know. I was surprised that she said that because I thought I’d worked out a way of interacting with others that works for me. I ask a lot of questions and get others talking a lot about themselves so that I don’t have to open up. Most people like talking about themselves, so they don’t even notice how much of a “closed book” I usually am, but this woman was particularly astute. It made me think of what my way of interacting with others costs me. Because I’m so closed in interpersonal situations (yes, pretty much the opposite of how I am on the blog), I don’t connect deeply with many people. I’m always at arm’s length with others, even (or perhaps especially…) with the members of my own family.
Self-Acceptance at Last?
I want 2020 to be the year in which I learn to accept myself for who I am and stop feeling ashamed and thinking I need to be different. It’s painful to live this way and I don’t want to do it anymore! I want to learn to hold my head high and be proud of myself because I have a good heart, I care about other people, and I do my best to live a compassionate and honorable life. I will never be a high-powered career woman and I’ll likely never make a six-figure income. I may never even have a good answer to that stupid and over-asked question, but so what? I know women who I love dearly for whom that is also true and that doesn’t stop me from loving and accepting them for who they are. I want to learn to do that for myself.
I’ve heard that the fifties are the decade in which we finally stop caring about what other people think and instead live more for ourselves. That didn’t happen for me at 50, 51, or 52, but maybe it will finally come to pass for me at 53 or 54 (I turn 54 in August). It’s time… I hope and pray that this is the year when I will finally feel like I am enough. I hope that I’ll also learn that I have enough, but feeling like I am enough is far more important to me. If I end 2020 with a closet that’s still too full but with a fundamental feeling of self-acceptance, I will be elated, but I also hope to achieve my wardrobe and home-related goals. Setting the above intentions is the first step and more will unfold as 2020 gets underway.
Your Thoughts? – And a Few Resources
If you have selected a word/theme for 2020 and would like to share it with me and your fellow readers, I invite you to do so below. If you need some guidance on making your selection, here are a few links to some articles, a free e-course, and a short quiz that can help you:
- One Word Three Sixty Five
- Find Your Word for 2020! (free email course)
- Word of the Year 2020: Tips for Choosing and Ideas
- Word of the Year Ideas for 2020
- 2020 Word of the Year (and 100 Ideas for Yours)
- What’s Your Word? (10 question quiz)
Happy New Year!
With that, I close out the year of 2019 on Full Life Reflections. I didn’t post as often as I’d hoped here, but I did share my thoughts and resources in 22 essays on a variety of topics. I hope to post more often in 2020! You can check out all of my past 2018 and 2019 essays HERE (and the Recovering Shopaholic posts from 2013-2017 HERE).
I want to wish each and every one of you a Happy New Year! I hope that you will usher in the new decade with a feeling of optimism and promise for what is to come. I look forward to sharing the journey with you. Thank you for accompanying me on the path toward more happiness, peace, and fulfillment.
May you all feel that you have enough and that you are enough. Blessings to you in 2020 and beyond, my online friends. All the best to you always!
26 thoughts on “I Have Enough and I AM Enough”
What a heartfelt post Debbie! My word is going to be trust. I’m going to trust myself to make the right choices based on the work I’ve done and the things I’ve learned. As you know I’ve also struggled with self acceptance. I’m getting there…. The “it’s good enough” mantra certainly helped, but I think the thing that made the most difference to me is realizing two things. First that there will ALWAYS be people that try to validate their life choices by judging or putting someone else down. Not allowing their insecurities to feed my own helped tremendously. I try to spend more time and energy on people that want the best for me and encourage me now. The second is that I really need to be the number one person in charge when determining what I want my life to look like. I’m the one living it. I will never be happy if I’m doing what I think I’m supposed to do, doing what someone else wants me to so they can feel good about themselves, or trying to manage other people’s expectations and feelings. It’s funny, there was a small amount of pushback when I decided to do this, but really most people didn’t care or notice all that much. So I spent all those years making choices that weren’t in my best interest for nothing. Best of luck with your journey. I know you can do this.
I love the word trust for you, Tonya, and I love what you wrote here! The realizations that you came to were huge and very important. It’s true that when people put us down, it’s usually more about them than it is about us. Yes, we need to live our lives for ourselves and make choices that are in our own best interest. Most of those people we’re trying to please or not upset aren’t even around us all that much anyway, and we have to be with ourselves 24/7 (obviously). Best wishes with trusting yourself more this year. That’s something I need to work on, too. We have both come a long way and I know we will continue to grow a lot this year!
Great post! I’ve been working on that mantra (I am enough and I have enough) for a while with no success, but this year I feel like I may finally be ready to actually believe it. I’ve gotten better at self-compassion but still struggle with self-trust (particularly keeping promises to myself), and that’s a big goal for me this year. I’m still struggling at finding my purpose/motivation in life too. Even though I had a long career I am proud of, now that I’m retired I feel adrift and without passion for anything in particular, and that is hurting me. I often feel depressed and unmotivated to get anything done. Of course part of that is due to menopause insomnia, which reduces my mental resilience. Unfortunately this menopause thing is just dragging on and on with no end in sight, and aging causes insomnia as well, so that may never improve. So I want to focus on putting out positive energy and attitude, regardless of how I feel at the moment. Change your attitude, change your life.
I was accused many times in the past of being stuck-up and stand-offish because I was too insecure to open myself up to others. I found that if I opened up and talked about my fears and doubts, it helped people see the real, vulnerable me and they liked me more for it. They were able to see that I didn’t think I was superior to them and they could in turn feel safe opening up to me. It really helped me develop true friendships.
Happy new year and all the best to you in 2020!
Tara, this comment really resonates with me as I’ve had the exact same experience. “Even though I had a long career I am proud of, now that I’m retired I feel adrift and without passion for anything in particular, and that is hurting me. I often feel depressed and unmotivated to get anything done.” I like your plan of change your attitude, change your life.
I hear you about the seemingly never-ending menopause, Tara, and the resulting insomnia and other difficult symptoms. It’s not easy to be a woman over 50, is it? I struggle with both self-compassion and self-trust and would like to improve in both areas. As for purpose and motivation, I think it’s a struggle for a lot of retired people and potentially worse for those like you who retired earlier. What I have been thinking the past few days (this time of year is ripe with introspection) is that maybe we don’t have to do A LOT in order to feel more purpose in life. Maybe we can take baby steps to explore one or two areas of potential interest and that will be ENOUGH (my word…).
I remember years ago when I was doing an internship working on the suicide hotline. I met a man who did one shift there a week (4 hours long, I think) and he said that made a profound difference in his life. He had a job where he made good money to support his family, but it didn’t really bring him joy and fulfillment. That one shift a week gave him that and he didn’t need to overhaul his life. I don’t know that I want to do THAT again (it was very stressful, as you might imagine), but I’m thinking that I might be able to find something in that vein (i.e. once a week or so) that could bring me similar fulfillment. Maybe even if I get back into blogging regularly like I did before, that could do the trick, but I would also like to do something that gets me out into the world more…
I resonated with what you wrote in your last paragraph. I think that’s what I do with this blog, but I need to do it more in the “real world” (not that this isn’t real, but I will never meet most of the people here in person). Thanks for the reminder and best wishes in 2020!
I agree with you that it probably wouldn’t take a lot to make me feel more satisfied. A friend of mine volunteers one afternoon a week at an animal rescue. That might work for me.
I hope you’ll find something that works for you soon, Tara. One step at a a time… and it may only take one step to make a big difference!
Happy New Year to you, Debbie and to everyone else!
I knew you’d pick a great word. “Enough” sounds like a perfect word choice for you.
My word of the year is “balance.” As discussed in previous comments, my three areas of focus are my life at home, my writing life, and gaining control over my overshopping while curating a wardrobe that reflects who I am and the life I lead–that finally satisfies me. (That last one will be tricky!)
Self-esteem has also been an ongoing issue for me. When I was younger, I thought it was mostly about my looks and lack of athletic ability (made worse by my lack of self-esteem—made worse by poor performance). Anyway, after a looong awkward phase, my looks improved a bit, and I grew to accept the fact that I’m not an athlete.
Now that I’m sixty, my looks are fading. Not fun, but it’s part of life. The part that I struggle with most now are about the kind of person I am on the inside. I often feel inherently flawed and/or “less than” and/or unworthy of love on the inside. I worry that eventually everyone will see me as I do. In hindsight, those feeling have likely been at the root of all my self-esteem issues. (If you’d been a fly on the wall during my childhood, you’d nod and say “no wonder.”) I just had to strip down some layers to see it.
Thank you, Debbie, for referring me to helpful links about triggers, aftershocks, balance, etc. which led me to more. I’ve made many notes which I intend to review and journal about.
But let’s get back to you… On the Happier podcast, I recently heard Liz Craft, Gretchen Rubin’s sister, talk about an aphorism she came up with. It was in response to a stay-at-home mom’s feelings of not adding much to gatherings with friends because she had no career. Liz said, “It’s not about what you do, it’s about what you have to offer.”
Debbie, you have so much to offer. By sharing with us your experiences, your knowledge, your thoughts, and what you perceive as your failings or shortcomings, you teach us and make us feel more comfortable about what we perceive as failings or shortcomings of our own. On top of that, you make us more comfortable in talking about them and potentially, helping someone else.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been having a bad day and had the thought, “I could really use a post from Debbie today.”
So, when people ask you what you do, I don’t know how you should respond externally. Maybe tell them you’re a freelance writer. What’s most important is what you tell yourself about what you have to offer. Read it in the comments your readers provide.
Everything you’ve done or haven’t done, everything you’ve experienced and learned up until now, has led you here. Maybe that’s where you’re supposed to be.
I really appreciate your kind words and encouragement, Jenn. I think that I am so self-critical that I have a hard time seeing the positive impact I have on others, so thank you for the reminder. I like that I can be open here on the blog and that it helps others. I do sometimes say that I’m a freelance writer, but then it often gets into a discussion of WHAT I write, which I sometimes don’t like. Of course, I have done lots of different types of writing, some of which was for pay, but the only writing I’m doing at the moment is this blog (and I haven’t even been doing much of that recently). But you’re right that it’s more important for ME to see my impact of “what I do” than to convey it to others. I’m going to work more on self-acceptance and taking more pride in myself and what I have done in my life.
I like that you chose “balance” as your word for this year and I hope it brings you as much as it did for me when I had it as my word a few years ago. Maybe it will also impact your self-esteem in terms of having a more balanced view of who you are… What you wrote in the “Now that I’m sixty…” paragraph really resonated with me. I now understand that even though there were other triggers for my overshopping, low self-esteem was the biggest one and probably why I have continued to struggle. Wishing you many insights and breakthroughs in your year of balance!
Debbie–I truly group you with the few people that I feel closer to because of their honesty and compassion and even vulnerability admission. This is contrary to what you say you are like in person, but I cannot help think I would like you just as much if I were an in-person friend. I like what you are concerned with and find your thought processes fascinating.
Just continue to be you–you are so helpful to readers, providing thoughts, motivation, realism with such obvious intelligence. Why on earth would this service not be enough to validate an individual’s life calling?
I think you will find you are content in the coming months because you have set yourself at ready. I am 73 and found this stage partially about your age. I still have issues–anxiety and so forth–but who does not?
Keep caring, maintain your amazing honesty about your self (even though you tend to see shortcomings in boldface and strengths in tiny print).
In senior year of high school as friend who was in so many activities and leadership positions said in college she would not be the same: she would use more time “to be me.” It stuck with me because I think that is the basis of everything else one can do to be a complete person.
So be you, Debbie, and know you are accomplishing with every blog post. I carry around your words and thoughts, as I know many others do as well. Thank you! WAY MORE THAN ENOUGH!
I think if you met me in person, Gail, you would find that I’m exactly like I am here on the blog. That’s what most readers have told me when they have met me (I have probably met about 20 women in person through the blog at this point). But anyone who reads and enjoys my blog is someone who is much like me in a lot of ways and because of how we “met,” there is no artifice or superficiality and we are able to connect on a deeper level. But when I meet people in the usual settings, I am actually quite guarded and closed off, mostly because of bad experiences and the fear of being judged. I would like to be LESS like that, though…
I believe that being twenty years my senior, you have some wisdom that I don’t yet possess, just as is true for me with women who are much younger than me. You seem to know on a deep level that one’s job title, income, or whatever other superficial information isn’t what’s truly important. I “get” that about others, but continue to struggle with defining myself by such things (which brings me a lot of grief and unhappiness). You’re right that I see my shortcomings in boldface and my strengths in tiny print. That is SUCH a wonderful way of stating what is abundantly true for me. I know that’s something that has to change. I do feel that this is the year in which I will experience a shift with all of this. It’s just time… I really want to just be me and accept who I am (and if others don’t, then it’s their problem, not mine). Thank you so much for your encouragement!
Debbie, you ARE good enough just as you are right now. I hope 2020 is the year that you can truly begin to believe it and start to not give a flip about what others think. You’re one of the most caring people I know. As for the career question, you could just tell people you’re retired and now you write for pleasure, read, take long walks by the water, play with your cats, etc. Love you, my friend!
Thank you so much, Kim. I hope 2020 is the year when all of that becomes true, too! I like what you wrote as a response to “what do you do?” As someone who retired at an earlier age, you probably have practice in answering that question… Maybe people don’t really care about the answer so much and it’s much ado about nothing for me, but even if they do care, it’s time for me to STOP caring! Lots of love to you, too!
Happy new year, dear Debbie. I think ENOUGH is a great choice! I hope it serves you well this year/decade. I am leaning towards LEVITY with a side of IMPUNITY. Shake things up a bit maybe, as levity is the opposite of my life. I don’t know if this helps, but when people have asked me what i do, for the longest time i’ve said “i work for my husband” and/or “i work from home”, and there are almost never any follow-up questions and we move on to other topics. These feel true to me because although I haven’t had a salaried job since my 20s, my support of my husband is critical to his career success, and everything I do is in fact based from home. I mean, on my tax return I do put “homemaker” in the occupation line. And lately if i get a question like that i might just say I’m disabled, because frankly caring for my disabled self at this point is 24-hour job! ❤
I love “levity with a side of impunity” as your guiding phrase for the year, Claire. Those of us who struggle with chronic illness often have very little levity in our lives and we tend to punish ourselves too much for all the we don’t/can’t do. It’s exhausting, when we are already worn out from the symptoms! I like your answer when you’re asked what you do. You’re right that our support of our husbands makes a big difference in their success and I do actually help him with a lot of financial stuff. Like you, I haven’t had a salaried job for many years (2003 actually!), although I’ve done quite a bit of periodic contract work since then. I usually tell people I’m a writer, but I have felt more inauthentic about it recently since I’ve been doing less writing…
I really hope that 2020 will bring a lot more levity into your life, more pockets of happiness, and at least some relief from your disabling symptoms. I’m glad you’re prioritizing self-care because it’s very important!
I’ve had and have so many similar issues, and I have a lot of thoughts on what you wrote, especially about the relaxed feeling I finally had on integrating the concept of enough when it came to possessions.
But the work thing. You do work; you write. I work in a traditional environment because I have to, and as I age and deal with painful injuries and exhaustion, it is literally running me into the ground.
So if anyone brings up work with you, I would say, if it were me and it isn’t, “I don’t work, thank God. I don’t have to work. And I’m way too busy to work. I do write though, and have accumulated a group of followers whom I have inspired and helped. *That* is meaningful, and it’s enough.”
Enjoy, revel and if neccessary, boast about your freedom.
You raised a wonderful point, Ocd. I AM fortunate in that I don’t HAVE to work. I think I often forget that because I feel so much shame in not having a major career, especially since I didn’t have children. But I know that there are many women who have to work exhausting jobs that bring income but very little joy. I like your response for me when asked about work. Thank you for your insights and for some much-needed perspective! I’m glad that reducing your possessions helped you to relax. I’ve had the same result, but I still struggle with the clothes (at least up until now).
Dearest Debbie, thank you for reaching out and sharing your heart. Thank you for your willingness to be vulnerable, human and genuine. What you perceive as weakness I view as strength. You are beautiful (extremely beautiful) just as you are. And you are accomplished, kind and caring, smart, grace-filled, humble. Too humble. I believe if you asked each of us to offer up a list of our own “perceived flaws” we could each produce a 30,000-word list. But if you were to ask our loved ones if they agree with our perceived failings, the answer would be a resounding no! They would likely say our only flaw is not believing in ourselves.
Always remember that the people who judge us harshly, or judge us at all, are the people who are empty and aching. A long-loved friend of mine once told me to remember that “when people act like a shit, it is because they are hurting.” Harsh words and harsh thoughts serve as an armor to block out vulnerability. I have many thoughts about this post that I will share with you later. Meanwhile, may we all let our little light shine! And may enough of everything surround you. May abundance and spirit lift you, carry you.
As for me, this year I am stumbling along with Faith, Hope and Dreaming. https://earthandthegreatsea.blogspot.com/2020/01/faith-hope-and-dream-big.html
Terra, thank you so much for sharing your wonderful post about your theme for the year. You are such a poetic and powerful writer and I love what you had to say, especially the paragraph about how you have forgotten to dream and the difference between hope and faith. I wish you tremendous growth with the inspired theme you have selected that you wrote about so eloquently. You have shared a lot of wisdom with me and my readers of the years and I’m grateful for your friendship and perspective.
I appreciate the kind words you wrote about me. You’re right that I am too humble, in that I so often fail to see my accomplishments and value. I didn’t write this post for validation, but I definitely have gotten quite a bit of that – and lots of encouragement – from you and others. SO true that many of us have the primary “flaw” of not believing in ourselves! I love this: “when people act like a shit, it is because they are hurting.” We often don’t know HOW they are hurting, but we can usually be quite certain that they are. I look forward to hearing your other thoughts about my post, but I”m grateful for what you shared here today and for your friendship.
I feel as though you have written my own situation and feelings word for word. And the low self esteem is not only the greatest of the problems, it is the underlying source of all of them. I would never have found myself in the endless buying cycle, or drowning in debt, if I hadn’t been pinning my self esteem on exterior things. If I could just get that perfect outfit that would give me enough confidence; if I could just finish the home improvements and not feel ashamed to have people over; if I could just have the right number of friends…
The big difference between us is that you have self-awareness, and are taking an incredibly healthy and proactive approach to improvement and showing steady progress, while I had to be slapped in the face with harsh realities before I did anything. It has been a painful few years but I’m a lot stronger and I like myself a lot better than I did! Desperation makes you change your perspective on almost everything. I wish I could send you a huge overflowing gift basket of self esteem because you are an amazing person full of compassion, intelligence, and so many talents that you have shared with us here, and probably many others that we don’t even know about!
Your word is perfect. Everything you’ve been doing and saying for the past months and years has been leading up to it. I can’t think of a better theme word for you. I haven’t come up with a word for myself yet, but “Enough” might help guide me to it. In the last few years I’ve lost so much that I’m at the point of having not quite enough of some things. I need to prioritize what those things are and make that the focus of my year.
Katrina, we have so much in common and I so often see myself in your words as well. Like you, I feel that low self-esteem is at the root of so many (and maybe all!) of my other problems. I think that you have self-awareness, too, as has been evidenced in the many insightful comments you have made on my posts that have contributed so much to my and others’ understanding. I’m so sorry that you have experienced a lot of pain in recent years, but I’m glad that it has made you stronger and has improved your self-concept. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement about my word and my impact through this blog. I hope you will find your perfect word soon and that the losses you have experienced will turn around such that you will have enough of the things you most need in life (which usually aren’t things at all…). I hope you will come back and share your word (maybe on one of my updates?) once you have selected it. Wishing you all the best in 2020!
Hi Debbie, I think I have two words for 2020. I have talked with you in the past about the Dressing Your Truth program. One of Carol’s posts was about choosing a style word based on our type. I am a Type 2 and I selected the word ‘lovely’. When I first started the program, I bought things just because they were type 2 garments and now I have begun to refine that style and become more discerning about items that I truly love. As for my personal and business life, I think my word for 2020 is going to be growth. Not necessarily in the typical definition of growth translating to bigger….but growth in terms of gaining confidence in my life choices and who I am as a person. I hope to see growth in my business and I am working on some numbers to try and make this happen. Thanks for also sharing your thoughts about this notion of ‘being enough’. I struggle with this – I think many of us do. My shopaholic and compulsive spending makes me feel like such a failure in life. I often think how pathetic I am that I haven’t overcome this yet. So again, growth…a little growth each day….. It is actually giving me hope when I hear that other people struggle with the same tendencies and are working to overcome it.
I love the idea of choosing both life and style words, Susan! I believe it was Jenn who wrote about that here before, and I know that DYT also advocates doing that (I think people often choose two words from their dominant type and one from their secondary). I plan to do another post on my style goal – and word(s) – for 2020 soon, so stay tuned. The word “lovely” sounds perfect for a Type 2 and I can see how it will help you to focus your purchases and your outfits. “Growth” is an excellent life word (and one of my top values!) and I love the way you have defined it for yourself. Confidence is SO important! I wish you the best with your business growth for this year.
Your last few sentences really resonated with me. I feel like a failure and pathetic for still having shopping issues, too, especially since I blogged about it for SO many years and was doing a lot better for a while. There are bound to be ups and downs as we work toward recovery, but it can be extremely frustrating. Focusing on a little growth each day is a good approach and more likely to “stick.” Many, many people struggle with compulsive spending, but so few ever talk or write about it. We CAN overcome it, even if it’s been a pattern for many years. Here’s to gradual growth and progress in 2020!
Debbie, this post hit me like brick. I just turned 54 last week and I feel the same as you do. I have a master’s degree too, but I haven’t had much of a career. My husband was in the military for 25 years so I went to college late in life. When I finally started my career, I had to stop to take care of my dad who was dying of cancer. It took a toll on me both physically and mentally. 5 years ago I developed sciatica and three back surgeries and fusion later I am still suffering from nerve pain and have also been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I am not working right now. My husband is successful and makes an excellent living so we are not suffering financially. I have a very nice home and I don’t want for anything.
Which is how I found you in the first place. A few years ago I found your blog because I was looking to pair down my wardrobe and live more mindfully. I did get rid of tons of stuff, but I still have a big wardrobe of about 200 items. Unlike you, I live in Maryland and must have clothes for four seasons. I have lots of coats and sweaters etc.
To get back to why your blogs, especially this last one, has really touched me is that I also have very low self-esteem and I find it very hard to socialize comfortably. I find myself having to turn myself “on” and I seem to be acting to get through it. In my case, I have a lot of scars from a neglectful and stressful childhood where I never felt wanted or safe. I have that now with my husband of 34 years and my two adult children who are very close to me. Thank you for your blogs and keep blogging. I believe that there are many women like us out there. If you were here I know that we would have a lot to talk about.
Your friend from another coast, Darlene
Thank you so much for commenting and sharing so much about your life and struggles, Darlene. It definitely sounds like we have some big things in common. I’m sorry that you’ve been struggling so much in recent years with loss, health issues, and low self-esteem. What you wrote about in your last paragraph – that you have to turn yourself on in social situations – is very much what I go through, too. I think it’s very difficult for women these days because we feel “less than” if we don’t have a high-powered career, as if what we “do” is supposed to define us. Even those who love their work and derive a lot of fulfillment from it still have many other facets to who they are. I wish that lots of ways of living could be more accepted and valued, but I know that we can find a way to better accept ourselves even if we have taken alternate paths in life. Yes, I wish I could meet many of the women I’ve connected with through this blog, as I know we would relate well to each other and have a lot to talk about. I’m glad to have this forum, though, as it helps me to feel less alone and hopefully does the same for a lot of you.
Comments are closed.