I got a lot done at work last week, I was very productive and felt great. It seemed I got a lot done, our students were happy, all was well. It was a near-perfect week which ended with a short Friday workday and a visit to the home of my favorite former professor and mentor Diana. She is now retired from teaching college English and spends her days at home with her husband, children and grandchildren and of course, partaking in her favorite cause which is being a voice for the disabled. We spent a few hours talking about school and careers and our lives, it was a wonderful time. Diana and I call each other as much as we can and we write letters---real handwritten letters which seem to be a thing of the past for most people, but we enjoy writing them. In the letters we get to share things more personally as there are times email seems so cold at times for more personal matters.
My visits with Diana by phone, letter, email or in person always inspire me. We spend our time talking about life, what she's done with hers and what I plan to do with mine. She's constantly reminding me of what an intelligent, wise and wonderful person I am. Yes, in my modesty and my inability to appreciate and accept my good qualities, I usually forget those things. Diana, like my parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, coworkers and others, reminds me of myself as often as she can. I respect her and look up to her as I do my own parents and others who have done their time and now hand this country over to us, the next generation, in the hopes we can do a slightly better job than they did. It isn't as if they didn't try it's just that every generation hopes the next one can get a little bit more accomplished during their run.
Anyway, it was a nice visit, gave me something to think about for the weekend. It's funny, after that conversation I wind up reading this chapter in my text about self-esteem and self confidence and how difficult it is for some people to believe the good things people say about them. We never see ourselves as others see us. We can be our own worst critics, I know for me that is true. I have a hard time with compliments, with believing that I am the person others say I am.
The thing is that I have more confidence today than I did yesterday, the day before, and the day before that so I do know I'm getting somewhere. It's just a long slow journey that with patience and perseverance will end with me in a good place, which is all I suppose any of us really want, isn't it?