I had an interesting conversation with my husband last night and discovered I am as finicky as a cat with a bowl of discount food.
I was explaining how I was having a hard time believing folks when they told me I was good at certain things. He said "Well you've been that way for the last twenty years." I told him that since I had not mastered some of the skills, it would be presumptuous of me to say I was "good at something".
He said it would be presumptuous for me to say I was good at surgery or tort reform since I didn't know anything about them, but it's not presumptuous to say I was good at things for which I had external, objective evidence confirming my skill.
Score one for the better half.
With as much grace as I could muster I said "Ok" and shut up. Because he was right. My habit is to pick over praise like a buffet and only take the bits that interest me. Or maybe nothing at all. Its unseemly to appear hungry all the time. And of course I'm just finicky.
Once again I am grateful my daughter has two parents. In this regard she models her father who has a healthy sense of what he does well and has no problem accepting praise and rewards. I am delighted that she owns her triumphs and doesn't hang onto her flaws in a way that defines her. Despite anything her father or I do.
Such a funny push/pull that skills and flaws play in our lives. And if we learn to be finicky, we narrow our field even more. What happens if I begin to accept that I am good at something that I love doing? Well then I lose all my excuses for not doing it of course.
I have decided that even as I am unable to enjoy the full buffet at the moment, I will stop trying to pretend that I'm not hungry. It's a start.