Most of us are excellent at being self-deprecating, and are not so good at the opposite. Tell us your favorite thing about yourself.

I can far more easily make a list of things I haven’t done than what I have done. I always feel like I should being doing more. I used to make lists — but I always failed to complete them. I’m also ADD and have a problem completing things I begin, so for me a list is usually a confirmation of my failures. Now, I set one task that I will absolutely complete within each day. It usually spells success, and one more thing I can cross off that long  mental list.

Perhaps my best personal characteristic is being kind to others. I find it hard to be otherwise, but I have also found that it’s a simple gift I can give to others. I can make someone else’s day better — at least for a few minutes anyway — by words of kindness or a compliment, large or small. I used to be kind (or perhaps I should say compliant) because I wanted to please people (often at my own psychological expense). Now I know I can give that gift freely. I am still a people-pleaser, but I know I can also say “no”, or decline to do something that I don’t agree with, or that I feel would not be in my best interests — mentally.

I remember a poem I learned by heart early on:

Friendship is a treasured gift we cannot sell nor buy
Nor loan nor borrow nor exchange no matter how we try
Yet friendship is a thing that’s owned by folks like you and me,
Because God loves us everyone and gives it to us free.

I have learned over the years, that friendship, kindness, and honesty are gifts, and not to be taken for granted. I’ve tended to be a solitary person, often being suspicious of getting too close to others in the fear that it might diminish my independence. I’ve also realized that my independence can also be a wall separating me from the benefits of friendship and having caring people around me. I don’t have lots of friends — many more acquaintances — and I’m still learning that when you have a friend you have to work at cultivating that special relationship. I now consciously take advantage of doing things with people I like and letting myself be okay with it; that it increases my capacity for caring and sharing.

Dilbert“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness.” says Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert.”Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” Perhaps I also believe that kindness is also a way of paying it forward. I like to believe in that Biblical directive “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” If I show that, perhaps it will be a catalyst for someone else to do the same.

Oh, I’m also a good cook who believes in trying new things, and that dessert is not truly dessert unless it contains chocolate.