While I was proof-reading my (rather long) blog post about my friend Aja yesterday, I realized something: most of the complimentary things I wrote about her, I'm pretty sure I had never told her before. I might have implied some of them, and every single one of those things I've thought to myself multiple times, but I never said, straight out, "Aja, you give good advice." Part of that is Aja's personality, I'm pretty sure it would make her feel awkward and I don't like to make her feel awkward (except yesterday, haha). Most of it, though, is simply because I'm just not in the habit of saying the good things I think about people.
I've decided I need to start practicing. Especially with my sisters and mom, sisters-in-law and mother-in-law, children and husband; when "look how sweet Sam is being to Jubee," or "Debbie looks particularly fab today," crosses my mind, I should say it out loud.
Practicing isn't even the right word. I need to start being deliberate. It's not even that I can't think of nice things to say, the people I like, I like for lots of reasons, and I'm aware of most of those reasons. Like I said, I think a lot of it is simply not being in the habit, but a lot of it is jealousy, too, especially about physical appearance. Part of me wishes I could be as stately and put together as Courtney is, as cute as Aja is, as fashionably avant-garde as Katie (and I suspect Ruthie) is, as cool as Ashley is, and as beautiful as they all are. I'm not fishing for compliments, if you know these ladies, you'd know how all that is true. I'm also not trying to leave anyone out, I'm just mentioning them specifically because I am pretty close to all of them, and I've seen them and thought these things relatively recently.
I also wish I was as nice to Cam as he is to me (in almost every way but present-giving, I have him beat on that one). I wish I was as patient with my young kids as mom was with me and my siblings. There is a lot of things that I love about the people I love, but those things just sit in my head and never reach my words.
I'm starting to realize that being nice isn't simply not being mean...it's also being nice. That may seem pretty obvious to you, but it hasn't been to me.