Challenge # 1

Do not qualify a compliment.

I thought I would start with something I perceived as an easy change for my first week.  Boy was I wrong. I’m sure I am not the only one who does this, but for as long as I can remember, when someone gave me a compliment it sounded a bit like this:

Them: That’s a pretty dress.

Me: Oh, this? Thanks, it’s so old, I should really get something new.  I haven’t been shopping in ages.

Them: oh, ok.

Me: Yea :shrugs:

Or something like this:

Them: Your hair is such a pretty color, is it natural? (I get this one a lot actually)

Me: oh, thanks. Yes it is, I use to hate it as a kid.  It’s such a mess today.  I really need to learn to do something with it.  It’s always just up in a ponytail. Blah blah blah.

I never noticed how hard it was for me to just say thank you, smile, and move on.  After some reflection I realized I ramble on in a desperate attempt to hide the uncomfortable feeling that washed over me.  Not any babble either, usually something that contradicts the compliment, making it sound like I do not believe them.   So, last week I tried to just say “thank you” and let the compliment float around a bit as compliments are supposed to.  There were times I had to count to five in my head after saying thanks just so I wouldn’t start spewing the awfulness.

I learned a lot about myself in this process.  I realized that by qualifying their complement, I was leaving myself in a negative place.  I was using their compliment as an opportunity to put myself down.  Even worse, I didn’t realize I was doing it.

When I would simple say thanks, I not only felt better about myself in that specific moment, the feeling followed me around for a good portion of the day.  I cannot believe I had been robbing myself of that experience for years!  While I would like to say I’m a changed woman, that is far from the truth.  I would have given myself a B on this exercise.  Yes, I accomplished the task although there was room for improvement.

I am looking forward to my next challenge – I just need to decide what that will be!


Photo credit: Bahman Farzad

Title: Pink Lotus Flower

Photo Source

What to expect

I realize that a majority of blogs are themed, so you may be asking yourself what my blog will be about.  You are not alone, as I have given this a great deal of thought as well.  I decided that I do not want to limit myself to one specific topic.  As an overall theme, I will be writing about life, mine to be exact.  I plan on posting various tidbits including, but not limited to: being a new wife, my cooking adventures, book reviews, traveling with my husband, and general observations about the community I live in.

I also plan on using this blog for personal growth.  Each week, I will challenge myself in different aspects of my life by trying something new.  In addition to my other posts, I will write a recap about the previous week’s challenge.  Feel free to suggest things for me to try – a new food, activity, way of thinking, habit, etc.  I want to use this challenge as a way to push past my comfort zone.

I already have a few things in mind to write about.  Be on the look out for the following posts (in random order):

  1. A review on a book I read recently which inspired a lot of change in my life.
  2. My first weekly challenge (it was harder than I thought it would be).
  3. What renovations of our first home has taught me.
  4. Postcards.

To quote the late Ernie Harwell, “It’s time to say goodbye, but I think goodbyes are sad and I’d much rather say hello. Hello to a new adventure.”  So until we meet again, hello. 🙂

My inaugural tidbit.

I have been thinking about, over-analyzing, agonizing over how to begin.  Where do I start?  What should I say?  What is the perfect blog name?  What do you want to read about?  Then it hit me like the first ray of sun peeking out from the clouds after a summer storm.  A glimmer of an answer to what I had been wrestling with.  I have been looking at this completely wrong.  For the last several weeks (54 days and 14 unfinished intros to be exact) I have sat down at my computer and tried to force out something clever that will pique your interest.   Trying to discover that perfect combination of words that will have you occasionally (hopefully) stopping by for a tidbit or two.  I was so wrong.

I am beginning this journey for me.  I did not start this for you (sorry).  If you are interested in hanging around, or just stopping by now and again, that would be wonderful, although that’s not why I’m doing this.  Even if I only have one reader (Hi Mom!) I will continue on this path and see where it takes me.

So without further ado:

Welcome to The Vintage Spruce.