You know what I love? My kids. Reading. Walking barefoot in the mud during a New Mexico rain storm. Eating good food.
But I don't love them the same way. In other languages there are multiple words/ways to express your thoughts and feelings depending on what you are talking about- love of things or people. Yet in the English language, we have only one.
The feeling I am thinking about today is pride. We are warned in the scriptures over and over that we should not have pride. A few months ago in Sunday school we discussed pride again and how we are commanded not to have pride. One of the class members stated that perhaps we should use the word grateful instead of pride. Hmm, maybe.
About a month ago my niece got her ears pierced. Now this niece is cute as a button and I wish I lived closer so that I knew her better. Let me tell you a bit about her, she has a medical condition that results in her seeing a lot of doctors and having injections often. As someone that has had to learn to give themselves weekly injections, let me tell you, that results in a huge dislike of being poked by anything even remotely sharp.
My sister took my niece to get her ears pierced a couple of years ago and at the last minute niece changed her mind. Each time since then that my sister has suggested it niece has replied that she was too scared. Then about a month ago they were at the mall browsing around and went into Claire's. (sidenote, of course they went into Claire's. Is there any other place to go when in the mall? Unless it has shoes of course) In my sister's words this is what happened:
We go in and she realizes that its the ear piercing place and says, "I'm feeling awfully brave today, I think I'll get my ears pierced." Um, ok. I make her wait 10 minutes to think about it and be sure, and I try to talk her out of it, since it was so sudden, but she had her mind made up! She yelped a little on the first poke, but not even a flinch on the second and she never cried at all!
And on the way to show her dad,
"I'm just so PROUD of myself! I just keep having this happy face on because I keep thinking about my new earring and how cute they look and how I didn't cry so I keep not getting a sad face, only the happy one and I think it's because I'm just SO PROUD of myself!!"
Now, here is where I am wishing we had another word to express ourselves, because I don't thing what niece was feeling and expressing is wrong. She should feel happy for doing something that was hard and scary. Gratitude for being able to do it? Perhaps. Probably. But no word to use to express it. (and for the record, when I heard about it I told her that she should be proud of herself)
What really started me thinking about this, though, is what has been going on with me the last month.
I told you earlier this summer about my goal to be able to hike to the waterfall without stopping. I also told you that the doctor had a laundry list of issues my body was having and none of them were good news. A couple weeks ago I had to go into the doctor's office and have my finger poked and my blood tested. Not a big test, just a small poke, small drop of blood on a meter. I was supposed to be fasting but when I called and asked the receptionist if I was supposed to be fasting, she said that it was not in my chart in the orders to be a fasting test. So I ran down to the office. It had been about five hours since I ate last and I had gone hiking that morning as well. The nurse asks if I am fasting and I tell her no. She is worried that it will throw off the test, but does it anyway. The results are 103 and the doctor wants 100 or less. But since I ate, 103 is perfect because if I still had the same issue going on it would be a much higher number.
And I felt proud of me for doing the hard work this summer that got me that result.
Then last Monday, August 16, 2010 I hiked to the waterfall without stopping even once. Not even for a second. And I did it in 16 minutes. And I was breathing hard when I got there, but not out of breath. I did sit down on a rock for about 3 minutes to catch my breath. And if I told you that I did not feel proud of myself, I would be lying. And the rest of the week I kept "not getting a sad face, only the happy one and I think it's because I'm just SO PROUD of myself!!"
Then on Wednesday I choose to do a workout on the treadmill because I had to go to work and there was not time to go hiking and get home and ready for work. Last time I did a preprogrammed workout I did #1 and it felt a little easy, so I decided to do #2 because it is harder. There came a point in the workout that I felt that perhaps I should stop and go into cool down mode because I was beginning to feel as if I could not go on. I looked down at the count down timer and I only had 5 minutes left and was entering the cool down phase!
Again, proud of my accomplishment and build up of stamina.
Then I did something big. Something I had not even really planned on doing until next year. Friday morning we hiked to the "G" (a big white letter on the side of the mountain, about a mile up a small trail that is very steep and rugged in places)
And I did it and not once did I want to turn back. Was it tough? Yes. Was it hard? Not really, but it was challenging.
And I am just SO PROUD of myself!!
And that is why I have been wishing we had another word. Because if being proud is a sin, I don't want to be prideful. But let me tell you, I worked hard this summer. I got up when the sun was not shining- and in the summer that is pretty early- and I did yoga to stretch so I would not injure myself. I ate only good healthy food, reading labels and studying and experimenting and learning new ways to cook things. And I hiked, and hiked, and hiked and my pedometer racked up at hundreds of miles. (halfway through the summer Jess started keeping track of how far we went each day- maybe tomorrow I'll add it all up). And it was not always easy, but to me it was worth it.
Do I want to use the word grateful in place of proud. Sure I do. Because I am grateful to a loving Heavenly Father that gave me the knowledge to change the way I eat and the wisdom He gave me almost 24 months ago that has allowed me to take that long to change old eating habits and to form new ones- because I would have failed 2 years ago but this was easy because I had already put the food part in place.
I am grateful that He gave me the strength to get up every morning and just go do it. In fact, after about 2 weeks it became not just a goal to meet, but something fun to do and I began looking forward to hiking, planning other places to hike, and even counting hours until it is time to go again.
So I guess grateful would work. But I still don't think that proud is always a bad thing.
(Oh and I forgot to tell you we hiked to Timp cave as well.)
I do have to tell you one bad thing that has happened as a result of all this hiking and stuff. I no longer have any clothes that fit. I put on my favorite Sunday dress and it is 2 sizes too big. Hmm, I wonder if my sister can take it in for me....
Because at this rate, I am going to have to win a lottery so I can go clothes shopping.