I went to a wonderful birthday party today where the hostess served up a very thought provoking ice breaker. Last week she sent out an email asking all the guests to tell her one thing they had done this year that they were proud of. The stumper? It had to be something that had nothing to with either family or work.
She asked a large group of women to name one thing they were proud of that had nothing to do with family or work.
Do you know how hard that is? Do you know how sad it is that it’s so hard? We women are notoriously too wrapped up in our families and our jobs. We all too rarely take time to focus on being ourselves.
Point in case: I wussed out and said that I was proud to find the courage to quit my 9-5 job to start a freelance writing career. Which, clearly, is work related, but it’s definitely the thing I’m most proud of. In retrospect I could have said something about, oh I don’t know, running, or mastering the laundry, or something. But whatever.
At the party we were tasked with going around, list of all the proud accomplishments of the guests in hand, and introduce ourselves. Our goal was to try to meet lots of new people while matching guests to statements. As I walked around and chatted with different guests I was blown away and really inspired by all the things people were proud of doing in the past year. One party goer learned to swim. Another finished her novel and found an agent. A third resurfaced her kitchen, all by herself. Yet another rediscovered a love for reading great literature.
I spent over two hours talking to a ton of different women about anything and everything except for kids, husbands, or work. It’s amazing how animated a conversation can get when you open with “So, what are you proud of this year?” It’s amazing how inspiring it is to hear everyone’s answers.
So, what are you proud of this year?