Redefine beautiful!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Happiness or Validation

Me Monday

What do think people really want, happiness or validation?  I hear about a lot of famous people, who are idolized by others.  We look at them and think, they must be happy.

Fiona wrote a great post regarding contentment for her blog "How to be Chic".   I left a comment about how we, as mere humans, look for our value through another's validation of us.  Then I mentioned how "I'd rather set my own standards than to have a skinny teenage model tell me what is hot".

The ugly truth is, I do care what people think about me and I do want to be accepted by others.  What are those things I do or don't do for their recognition, to be seen, look up to; admired?  Well, right now I am writing this post for my blog and I think about what it is I truly hope for with it as I type away my Sunday night. Let's face it, it takes time to write one little post.  At least it does for me.

The first image flashing through my mind is that of thousands of readers all over the world, waiting like kids on Christmas to read my blog.   Now why'd I go and dream up that little scenario?   What would thousands of eager readers have to do with my worth as a human being?  I guess it would mean I'm cool.  People like cool people, so therefor, I would also be liked.

Just after this image flash, the other me jumps in to save the day and I continue typing away my Sunday because I am compelled to.  And because I feel I have something of value to say.  If I could inspire or motivate others to love themselves for their unique beauty and care more about themselves, well that would be cooler than cool.  That would make me happy.  To be cool and happy, now that was something to achieve!

I think about the good old days; trying to make a living and raising my boys.  Did I seek validation from others?   I  worked too hard at being 'correct', as it alone would garner acceptance within my world of motherhood, fitness and making money.
I take a look at that person I was; the deeper darker areas in me that I didn't have the juevos to admit openly to.  Just off the top of my head I come up with:
  • I was secretly thrilled that both of my babies weren't satisfied with my breast milk and had to be weaned at three months, give or take.  I'm sorry, I was not the nursing type!
  • I would have loved for my kids to have gone to one of those ridiculously prestigious private schools all of my clients had their kids in (but I couldn't afford).
  • I did envy that elegantly long, thin woman who wore designer duds and drove a brand new politically incorrect car to and fro her law office and never had time for the field trips.
  • I hated running, but did it anyway because it was supposed to be good for me and, after all, I was a fitness professional.
  • I secretly thought about marrying for money so I didn't have to work so dam hard, could travel and do lunch without being a wreck from exhaustion like a lot of my clients did.
Today I am working on being honest to myself and being myself.  At times I am not as pleasing as I once was.  I am not holding my tongue when asked my opinion, however, I am not cruel.  And I am no longer dancing on eggshells to ensure an other's comfort.  I may not be considered 'correct' anymore to those who I allowed to define my worth.

I wished I had listened to myself and not run all those boring hours, maybe I could have avoided knee surgery.  And I love being nearly debt free even though I don't drive a fancy car or wear clothes advertised in Vogue.  I am happy as hell I married for love, I've see the alternative.   My boys are perfect, just the way they are and no amount of breast milk or going to a pretentious school could make them any better.  And I have the best memories of smelly buses hauling screaming, wiry kids to museums and pumpkin patches

For now, I am cool to some and I am happy a good amount of time.  I guess you could say I am content.

As for validation, here is the bate:  What does contentment mean to you?  Who validates you?  What makes you happy?


  1. what a wonderfully honest post. my highest goal in life is to be completely honest with myself above everything else. when i do that, all is good. it keeps me living in the moment, another fierce goal of mine. i sometimes find myself in a state of envy when i read certain blogs and i really have to question what exactly it is that i'm envying. except for our home, we are debt free, i'm in love with my husband and have 3 beautiful sons. seriously what more could anyone want? and yet i still will catch myself. i click off and get back into the moment. i really didn't mean to go on and on but and i rarely do but i'm moved by your words this morning. have a beautiful day -something tells me you will.


  2. Lovely post, Debra. You've given us lots to think about.

    One thing I think you've nibbled around the edges of is that blogging is a way for lots of people to be validated. Having lots of followers makes them feel validated. On political blogs (like my other one) we live and die by our hit counters. It's all really pretty silly.

  3. Debra,

    Love this post - I have so much to say about it, but I'll try to keep it short.

    I confess that I struggle with needing validation, And, as Adrienne mentioned, blogging is a way for some of us, me included, to feel validated.

    I will openly and honestly say that having followers, receiving comments and stats means something to me. I spend hours on my blog almost everyday because I love to communicate with others. And since I don't get paid to do it, I want some kind of validation, some sign that people care what I have to say.

    I have a great life but I find myself playing the rating game with others' blogs. I try to just keep my head down and do what i like to do - communicate, learn, research, write, and have fun - and appreciate my loving husband, sweet stepkids, pets, lovely home and my priceless friendship with you, my friend.



  4. Janet,
    Thank you for this validation! Hahahaha..No, I mean it, It is the essence of what I was hoping to convey. We all want and envy something. It is what we do with it on a deeper, more soulful level that matters! And thank you for brightening my corner of the world. I will be in yours this Wednesday visiting my son.

    Yes, nibble nibble! I think all of us bloggers desire to be read! I mean what else would we be writing for? I guess our readers are out carrot. Im just waiting for my nibble!

    We have discussed this at length and I know how important our blogs are to each other. I know your commitment to the quality of your blog is also a direct result of your English degree! We are still like little girls, all of us! We still need the love!

  5. As the years go by, I find that I am happier and happier with myself and in less need of validation...though I will never be so old that I don't appreciate a compliment. It's a great time of life. I'm retired, my child is raised and leading a happy though hectic life, I have my health and an active life with plenty of friends. I finally have time to smell the roses!

  6. Hi Debra,

    I find happiness and contentment and validation through my husband of 15 years, and my almost 23 yr. old daughter who has grown into the most responsible adult in the last year. She has met a wonderful guy as well, who I hope will be my future son-in-law.

    Sometimes I find myself envious of a neighbor who is remodeling their home, (I wish I could do my kitchen) or want to be driving my friend's BMW but then I tell myself so what?? We are debt free, (other than our house) have equity in our home, my husband has a secure job with great benefits. There are 3 foreclosures in our neighborhood and there are so many people I know that are out of work. So I consider myself very, very lucky.

    And most importantly we have our health because we take good care of ourselves. I find alot of contentment in that especially at our age!


  7. Janice and Linda,
    I love the perspective piece. All we have to do is see our wealth through the eyes of a mother with a sick child or a family having just lost their home. Yes, we are truly blessed! Thank you for your words!

  8. Bravo to your honesty Debra. And thanks for the link to my blog!

    I think I find it relatively easy to be content with what I have, more so than when I was younger. I still like that feeling of having something to dream for though. That keeps me motivated, and excited for the future.

    I find it interesting to see my blog stats go up but I started to write, just to write. In the beginning I wrote to please myself, and I still do. The more I seem to write like that, the more readers find me. My goal is not to have a lot of readers, just ones that like the French Chic thing like I do.

  9. Fiona,
    Thank you for the reminder: "When the student is ready the teacher will appear" and my own, "be yourself and you will attract all you need." If I ever get a tatoo, I am going to simply have, "be true to yourself". And, how grand it is to be a bit older, huh? Thank you for your comment.