Kate Calhoon, my daughter, a psychologist and one of my closest friends, suggested I may be too self-deprecating in many of my Mindful Midweeks. She says she sees her dad as more capable and wise than the self-portrayals I share with you.
Perhaps she thinks I’m letting down the family tree a bit, and her branch is drooping under my critical self-analysis. More likely, she just loves me so much, she only sees my positive traits shining through. After all, that’s the thing when it comes to dads and daughters.
In a weak moment, I promised Kate I would share a list of my positive attributes, those personal characteristics I admire about myself. And I promised her I would not use sarcasm or double entendres, or take a cheap shot at the end of the piece that would put into question all the good things I just bragged about.
So here is my short list of what I like most about me. Given more time, I’m certain I could go on and on.
1. I’m empathetic. I naturally put myself in the shoes of people around me. If they experience pain, embarrassment or a sense of loss, I feel it too. It’s immediate and real.
2. I’m blessed with an abundance of optimistic energy. I’m more at ease in doing than thinking about doing. The successes of my life have come from jumping into action and then adjusting and adapting to the initial consequences of my behaviors.
3. My self-talk sparkles. I fully enjoy the creative conversations I have with myself. Often, my imagination puts me on some planet that has no governmental codes or restrictions, or makes me a ribbon winner in a third grade spelling bee or allows me to talk to humorous boulders along a mountainous pass.
4. Physically, I’m a great dodger. I’m not very fast and I can’t jump real high, but, when people have chased me over the years, I have this outstanding ability to duck out of the way at precisely the right moment. In other words, don’t mess with me in a game of tag or flag football.
This list of my four attributes may make my daughter feel a little more genetically grounded. Actually, it is my appreciation of her (and my son’s) consistent acts of kindness and joyous approach to each day that give me the greatest sense of accomplishment.