I admire the plump, white sugar cookies from afar and silently think back to the night before when I had made some cookies myself, along with my two daughters. Hoping against hope that this batch might be the ones, I could barely scrape them off the cookie tray after they came from the oven. They were literally a big, hot mess. I am stubborn enough that I scraped the entire dish into a mixing bowl, determined to reinvent them the next night as an ice cream sundae topping. I am nothing if not resourceful. Of course, they are still sitting there somewhere on the shelf- waiting for the next stop. The garbage can.
But back to those sugar cookies. I couldn’t help but feel a little envious as I admired those delicious looking, perfectly formed culinary taste sensations. If only I could make something akin to those.
It wasn’t until later on when we were heading out the door for home when I admitted to her- that I could never do what she does. I just can’t make cookies. In the 18 years I’ve been married and had my own home, I don’t know if there ever was a time that my cookies turned out. Funny how something so trifling could make you feel so small.
And that’s all I was thinking about right then. How I wished I could make cookies well- wished I could bake well- as I was just so sick and tired of the flat mess I am use to turning out each and every time I decide to cook.
And in that split second at the door, while I was thinking how much I wished I was better at baking, wished I was more like her. She turned and said something to me that made me think, stopped my envious thought process right in its tracks. She said this: We all have our “something” that we do- and you are doing that something each and every day. That’s what she said.
We all have our something. And even though she never added the following words to our conversation, I’d like to tack them on for good measure. Because the sentiment was certainly there.
Be proud of your something. Be thankful for it.
And I have since started to think about the ‘somethings’ we admire in other people that we wish we ourselves had. Started to think about how that thinking and wishing and, let’s just say it: that envy- gets our hearts off track. Takes our focus off what we know we are doing well and messes with our minds. Because we all have our something that we do that makes us special. All have our something that makes us unique. That makes us special, and amazing and perfectly US.
But how often do we look at someone else’s’ something and WANT IT.
Think their something must be better than those God-given qualities we’ve been given.
And the truth is- that something we want- that something someone else has… IS special and wonderful and brilliant and unique- for the very fact that there is an amazing human being doing whatever it is we are admiring as worthwhile and beautiful and interesting and smart.
My friend IS amazing at baking. I am totally in awe when I taste her food. I think her gift is just amazing.
But that’s what she thinks about me too. That’s exactly what all our truest friends think when they think about us. That the qualities we have that are admirable and worthy are AMAZING. They even might go so far as thinking: “that woman- she’s amazing. She can do____- something I know nothing about. Wow, to only be her…” But be sure: if you are looking at someone else admiringly, you can be sure that there are moments where someone is looking right back at you doing the very same things. Seeing in you what it is YOU do best and admiring you for it.
Because all have our ‘something’. Let’s be proud of it- and by golly, let’s own it.
I was thinking, after I had this wonderful encounter, how very much we need to be real with one another and level with each other. Maybe it is time we told each other:
“You know what? I am struggling because I look at you and you do ____ so well. I just feel I don’t measure up.” Because I think the door would then be open for real, honest discussion about why we want what we don’t have and why we have such a hard time appreciating what we do have.
I have wanted a few things lately- qualities that I admire in other women which I should have celebrated as being wonderful and unique to them, rather than envying and wanting something I cannot have. We are all different for a reason, so why not celebrate what others DO have. It is so much nicer than feeling jealous.
Okay. So, I am a woman who can’t make cookies, who has a home that looks like a cyclone flew through it, along with a host of other flaws that would fill a book; but I still believe I have ‘something’. Something to be proud of. Something worth celebrating. So I am proud to share with all of you that my something is: that I am able to authentically express my heart through writing.
It’s my something. My little gift.
And I even though I don’t have it all, I have something.
And that is ‘something’ to celebrate.