Friday, February 25, 2011

Crow away!

I have a good friend who recently posted on Facebook that she made the Dean’s Honour List, but then added that yes, it was bad form to crow about it on FB. This is a 40 something woman who decided to go back to school and start a new career that will really help people. She’s been working her butt off and the results are testament to that. I think she is courageous and inspirational and I am so happy for her.  What I found interesting is that we have come to a point where we are shy about talking too openly about our accomplishments.  We fear looking conceited, when in fact we should be proud.  What’s wrong with being proud and shouting from the rooftops about it?  

I started working on my degree in 1997 and didn’t graduate until 2010.  Yup, I did the 13 year degree!  At first I didn’t talk much about it because I was a bit ashamed that I hadn’t already gotten a degree like so many of my high school friends.  But when I found Facebook, I started posting occasionally and found the replies were encouraging and helped me get through some of those long study sessions while the kids bounced off the walls around me.  Did I post when I wrote my last exam, when I got an A, and when I graduated?  You bet!  I found that the community of people I’d collected on Facebook encouraged me and helped me, and I wanted them to know I’d finally done it.  Was it conceited to think that people cared what I was doing at school?  I don’t think so and maybe in some small way my graduating when I was 37 helped someone who thought they were too old take the leap of faith and go back to school.  

In a world where we are exposed to so much negativity, I want to see the good things that my friends and acquaintances are doing.  I’d rather hear about a high school friend running their first marathon than hear about the latest Hollywood drug induced psychosis of some movie star.  I’ve been inspired by friends on Facebook and started running, well jogging is probably a better word for it, but hey, I got off the couch and laced up my running shoes and proceeded to lose 15 pounds in a few months.  That’s more than any television news show did for me.

When you accomplish something be proud of it and crow all you want.  Your friends will be happy for you and will encourage you through the good and the not so great moments.  They’ll remind you of all you’ve done when you’re down on yourself, because they’ll know what you’ve done.  Never feel like you’re bragging or boasting; think of it as inspiring others.  We can watch people on television do great things with their lives, but we know they probably had access to the best trainers, coaches and facilities to get to that point.  They are primped, made up and touched up to look great on camera and we know that isn’t reality, even when they call it reality TV.  It is when we see real people in our community, that are part of our lives, accomplishing astonishing things, that we know ordinary folks like us can do it too.

So this weekend, stop and look at everything you’ve done!  Look at all your successes!  Be happy and be proud of everything you have accomplished and brag a little.  You might just inspire someone.

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