Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Self Portrait

It's my birthday, so a little self-reflection is in order.

This isn't a "big one," though they do tend to get bigger as they go. But it's as good a time as any to check in with myself and see how I'm doing:

Never as well as I mean to.
Always better than I could be doing, I suppose.

If I compare my real self to my ideal self, I'll never be satisfied, so I'd best leave that alone. I try not to compare myself to other people because someone, somewhere, said that wasn't nice. But in my not-so-nice/a.k.a. normal human moments I know I do better than some people. I do worse than others.

Maybe comparisons aren't a good idea. Maybe they're irrelevant.

The question is, am I happy? The answer is, yes. Grateful? Yes, yes, yes.

Speaking of which, John turned me on to this song.

I know you guys and you're all going to say lovely things (okay, most a few of you are going to say lovely things) and wish me a happy birthday. Thank you! Please tell us, also, how you reflect on yourself, when you self-reflect.

32 comments:

J.J. in L.A. said...

In the last year and a half, I've gotten down on myself, more often than not, because of medical issues. I try to tell myself that there are a lot of people worse off than me, but it doesn't always work when I'm in a funk. I just have to remember that 'tomorrow is another day'.

I'm going to be predictable and say, "Happy Birthday, girl!" : )

dive said...

My goodness! Todd Rundgren! That sure brings back some memories.
Have a wonderful birthday, Petrea!

As for self-reflection, the only part of me that self-reflects is the shiny patch where I'm going bald and I tend not to look at that.

Bellis said...

He he, Dive. I haven't got one of those patches, but I also try not to self-reflect any more. My subconscious is never satisfied with anything I do, so I'm trying to ignore it. (I do often wonder whether the conscious or the subconscious is the real us - any ideas?).

In Germany, I'd wish you "Heartiest Luckwishes on your Birthday". Doing anything nice?

Anonymous said...

gb; Happy Birthday, P

Mister Earl said...

Look harder, Bellis.

Happy Birthday, P!

Dirk said...

Well, I think being aware of how lucky you are, and being grateful for what you have, is about half the battle of a life self-examined...so, I think "Ur doin it right," as they say on the internets. Happy birthday Petrea, I hope you have a mahvelous day!

Petrea said...

J.J., "a lot of people worse off" works fine when you're feeling great, but as you say, not when you're in a funk. It would be nice not to have those #$%! medical issues, or to have fewer. Thanks for the bday wishes.

And a Rundgren song I didn't know, which is even weirder! When I see you in person one of these days, I'm going to pat your shiny bald patch with much affection.

Thanks for the Luckwishes, Bellis. And if you ask me, I think the conscious and the subconscious are both real. We have to deal with all of it.

Thank you, Mister Earl! And thank you, too, Dirk. I hope I've got at least part of it right. Feels like it.

Ted Thompson said...

Cool song...
I'm my own worst critic, to the point of cruelty.
"Do not compare your self to other, lest you become vain or bitter, for there will always be those greater and lesser then yourself" - Desiderata
I'm certainly a fan ^_^

Petrea said...

Almost missed ginab. Thank you, sweet sister.

Excellent quote, Ted. It makes a lot of sense.

TheChieftess said...

Happy Birthday Petrea!!! Don't get your hiney in a knot reflecting and trying to put it all together...you're delightful...just the way you are!!!

"I am my own worst critic" don't know who first said it, but it certainly is true for me...

Thib said...

Je dirais simplement : "Joyeux Anniversaire, Petrea".
AmitiƩs. Thib

Clifford Beshers said...

I was going to say something mean or curmudgeonly, just to prove you wrong, but then you lowered your expectations and I'm left with no choice but to wish you a happy birthday. Bah.

Petrea said...

Chieftess, it would certainly be an awful thing to spend my bday with my hiney in a knot, so I'll take your advice. Thank you!

Merci, mon ami Thib!

Bah to you, too, Cliff. And I mean that in the best way.

Cafe Pasadena said...

Is Todd Rundgren still alive?

Happy B-Day, PDP!
Who's Older - Gina or You??

Petrea said...

Sure, Todd's still kickin'. And Cafe, you know a gentleman doesn't ask such questions.

This is Belgium said...

happy birthday!!

ben wideman said...

Have a great birthday, Petrea. Today is your day, so go do something that only you'd think of doing. Enjoy

Margaret said...

Happy birthday to the talented and fabulous Petrea. How do I self reflect? I try not to be too hard on myself. That's enough for me most days.

Irina said...

Happy birthday!
Nothing depends on us, everything changes, our good mood is the only option that we can control and broadcast into the world.That's my mantra when my self-reflections start.
I wish you many sunny days.

Latino Heritage said...

I reflect on the fact that I may be in the last third of my life. No deep depressive thoughts, more a matter of that being a measurement of what I really want to do in this part of my life. I reflect on my friends and how we spend our time together. I try to reflect on where and how I practice my arts.

pasadenapio said...

Petrea, my philosophy is the bigger the better when it comes to my own birthdays. Enjoy yours!

Petrea said...

Hello, This is Belgium, and welcome. Thanks for the birthday wishes.

Ben, I'll have to think about it!

Not being too hard on one's self is good, Margaret. Some of us need to remind ourselves.

So wise, Irina. Our attitude is what we control.

All good thoughts, Roberta, thanks.

I hope you're right, Ann, because I haven't stopped eating and celebrating all day!

Keith said...

Happy Birthday, Petrea! I don't do a lot of self-reflection. All in all, more good than bad with a little coulda, shoulda, woulda. A little scary to look back and see how fast time flies by.

Ms M said...

I hope your birthday has been wonderful! Are you & John going out to celebrate tonight?
On self-reflection, I'm like several others here; I have a harsh inner critic that I sometimes need to face down. I like Irina's mantra -- I'll have to try that!

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Sounds like you have a healthy outlook on all of this and know when to keep yourself in check. You are pretty fabulous just like you are.

Wishing you the happiest of birthdays, my friend!

Bises,
G

Francis said...

Happy birthday! It is mine also, same year as well! Your observations on Pasadena Photo help me to take notice of things around my own city.

Frank V. Ebbecke

Speedway said...

Happy Birthday, Miz P.!

Don't know what to say about self-reflection. My one big regret is one I can't change, so I try to use it to my benefit instead.

This morning, as I began my 65th year, I had a task to accomplish. I realized in the middle of my walk that I'd left the house without thinking whether I could do this thing, just whether I had the time. Unlike a lot of other people, I did not have to pack meds, tote an oxygen bottle, or use a cane. I just make certain I've got my ID, debit card, camera, mebbe a sandwich and I'm good to go.

I have things I want to accomplish, things to do and people to see, but I look around and see people, a lot of them younger than any of us, who have dead eyes and no curiousity. I count myself fortunate because I have goals I want to achieve. Too bad it took me this long to learn to make a plan!

Steven said...

Todd Rundgren recorded one great, iconic song and I really like it. But it is not the one you highlighted. I do hope you had a great day.
I am so old that I rarely self reflect. OK there was this beautiful gal in my computer science class that I fell in love with at first sight. I never gathered the courage to ask her out because she was so beautiful. I deeply regret this and it was 37 years ago. I still remember her name.

Susan Campisi said...

Add my voice to the bounty of birthday blessings! I hope you're having a fantastic day, despite the downpour. Sounds like you're not letting the rain put a damper on your spirits.

As for self-reflection, I can relate to the tough inner critic but I'm learning to be kinder to myself and to stay focused on the present. Can't change the past and there's no point worrying about the future.

It's fun to read all the comments. Such a great post to inspire them. Love the photo, too!

Steven, can you find your computer science crush? I guess the romantic in me is hoping for a second chance for you.

Petrea said...

This day sure flew by fast, Keith! A good example.

We went out briefly, Ms. M, but we're home and cozy now. Just as we like it.

Thank you so much, Genie.

Thank you, Frank! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Speedway, you've got your head on straight. The time we've got is ours to use to the best advantage. A hundred years is no good to us if we don't relish it.

Steven. What Susan said.

Thanks for your good wishes and good friendship, Susan.

Birthdays are good. I've certainly been fortunate to collect a wonderful bunch of people around me, virtually and online, and both are rewarding. Thank you all for visiting and commenting today.

Nadege said...

When I was young, my birthday was so important. Now that I am older and wiser, I think of my mother and my dad on my birthday and how their lives changed because of me on that "special day".
I hope you had a wonderful day Petra!

Petrea said...

Thank you, Nadege. Children sure do change their parents' lives. What a thought!