Monday, April 24, 2017

Embracing Who We Are

I know the title of this blog post sounds like the title of a self-help book, but maybe that's fitting because the heroine of my May book, His Last Rodeo, reads a whole lot of self-help.  Kit Hayes has a broken heart, and is trying to figure out how to recover.  

As the story unfolds, her self-help books become an ongoing conversation between her and the hero, Tyler.  He's kind of fascinated by, and loves to tease her about, whatever self-help book she's currently reading.

But as I wrote this book, it became clear to me that Kit and Tyler's story wasn't about self-help as much as self-acceptance.  Kit had to learn to accept who she is, and not allow one person's rejection to devalue that. And Tyler, returning home to an unsupportive father, and struggling with a learning disability, had to learn to accept himself as well.

Which got me thinking about the rest of us.  How we are bombarded with information every day about how we should dress, what our weight should be, how many friends we should have, what we should eat.  We see pretty photos of our friends on social media and wonder if we should be as happy, active, and interesting as them.  But the truth is, if we get too caught up in all of those shoulds, we can end up feeling like we aren't okay just the way we are.  

I’ve had my own recent run-in with The Shoulds.  I’m turning 50 this year, and that saying, ‘50 and Fabulous’ keeps running through my mind.  I’m turning 50 so I should be fabulous.  I should be confident, and organized and strong.  But frankly, it’s not the most fabulous time in my life.  An injury to my leg has prevented me from exercising, and I’m busy with a young child, so it’s not like I’m running around (or hobbling around) looking amazing and doing a lot of glamorous, interesting things.

I was feeling almost guilty.  Like I was letting all women down with my lack of fabulous-ness.  Until recently I realized that, just like Kit and Tyler, I need a little self-acceptance here!  I need to let go of how I imagine I should be at this particular age, and just accept where I’m at, and enjoy it as much of it as possible.  Maybe my current form of fabulous is just hanging in there, doing physical therapy, trying to be a good mom and write a good book.

Every time I release a book, I do a themed giveaway in my author newsletter. And this time around the theme is to appreciate how wonderful we are, just the way we are.  So make sure you hop on over to my Facebook page (my website is down! How un-fabulous!) and sign up for my newsletter, if you haven’t already.  I found some really sweet items, like this cute bag, and I’m looking forward to sending this message out into the world. 

You are wonderful, just the way you are!


Kristina Knight said...

I whole-heartedly agree with your sentiment, Claire! We need to begin embracing ourselves, wherever we are in life, instead of comparing ourselves with where someone else is.

Jen Graybeal said...

Great article, Claire! Self-acceptance is so hard when there are so many other voices out there telling you to change every little thing about yourself, your home, your dreams. Can't wait to read this one :)

Claire McEwen said...

Thanks for commenting, Kristina and Jen! I'm glad my message came through in the blog post. It's so strange how hurting my leg has given me this whole other perspective. In a way, it's been good because it made me see how much pressure I've been putting on myself around turning 50 and accomplishing all this stuff before then.

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