Bragging rights


Remember those Christmas newsletters that some people send?

“…Blaine completed his double major at Harvard and graduated summa cum laude, after spending his last semester drilling drinking water wells in a remote Andean village. Kaitlin just finished her dual doctoral degrees in biomedical engineering and nuclear physics and has landed a lucrative position at Biotech Fusion Industries. My husband Drake has been promoted to First Czar of Initech, after leading the executive team on an Outward Bound trip to the Himalayas. I have finally completed my antique tea cup collection, having excavated the tea cup used by Dolly Madison while she was sewing the first American flag, at a recent archeological dig in colonial New England…”

I cleaned my desk!

Yeah. THAT kind of bragging. There’s nothing wrong with it, but most of us don’t enjoy reading that kind of over the top newsletter, except possibly to make fun of it. (I admit it –  I do enjoy mocking them.) 

Yet, in life, we have many proud moments of large and small accomplishments, and it feels good to share the happy glow that we get from setting a goal, working hard, and meeting our goal. Often our accomplishments are not “Christmas newsletter worthy” though, which is why long ago  I started writing only satirical news in my Christmas newsletters, and saving my everyday but real news for those who might actually be interested.  (The newsletters later became the basis for the satire in this blog.)

I biked on a triathlon team!

Then there’s the small stuff. I lowered my cholesterol! I cleaned out the closet! I’m excited about these small accomplishments, but let’s face it, they’re not newsworthy to others. In our electronic world, we can share the minutia of our lives seconds after events occur, possible delving into the TMI area if we’re not careful.

Still, it is important to celebrate. What are your recent accomplishments, big or small? How do you share and keep that happy glow that comes after a goal well-met?

(Reading the accomplishments of bloggers Kelly and Lisa inspired me to write this post . Congratulations to them both for meeting their big goals! )

© Huffygirl 2011

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19 thoughts on “Bragging rights

  1. Thanks for the pingback! And great post. I’m the same- mock those letters but still read them. Frankly, it’s often the only time we might hear from long lost friends. With all the rapid changes in our family in the past couple of years, I’ve given in to a newsletter and photo– and try to just let the facts speak for themselves. One way too hot day this summer, I made a point of getting a lot of projects finished- knitting, mending, tidying up my desk– and it felt great!

  2. Ha! Love the mock newsletter entry. There is a great Everyone Loves Raymond episode about how the “holiday update” can sometimes just make you feel bad about all the things you haven’t done! But I agree — small accomplishments might not be newsletter content, but are just as important. If I can leave every day from work with a clean desk and no piles, I feel good!

    • A clean desk at the end of the work day is a great accomplishment – something that I can seldom accomplish. The holiday newsletter season is approaching – we are all forewarned so should be ready for it.

  3. I actually know someone who writes honest Christmas letters. (“Joey has always struggled in school, but it seems that the vocational college will be a good fit for him.”) While on the one hand I applaud her candor and I’m glad to see she’s not exaggerating anyone’s accomplishments, I do read them and think, “Ouch!” sometimes. It’s a fine line to walk, I guess! 🙂

    • Ouch indeed. I once got one that said “Daughter ______ still does not have a boyfriend” – ouch again. She might as well just have said “my daughter is a failure” because of course that’s how it came cross.

  4. That annual Christmas letter was how this blogging thing started for me….. Like you, I tended to just put the satirical stuff in and leave the serious stuff out….. Congrats on the clean desk! Can you reach through your monitor and work your magic on this stable I have going around my computer? 🙂

    • Hmm I wish I could. That could become a lucrative career – doing home organizing for others via the internet. Interesting that we both started our writing careers on Christmas newsletters. I even had subscribers back then!

  5. The leading paragraph was great. I usually discard when I receive those kinds of letters. As to more realistic accomplishments, yeah, I like those. Just finished another quarter in school. Unpacked another box (we just moved). Son and his family came to visit and we got to play with our gorgeous 2-year-old granddaughter, etc.

    Thanks for a fun post (and if you figure out how to clean the desk via internet, let me know, I’ll be your first customer!)

    • Maybe I could have someone email me a photo of their desk (or closet or whatever needs cleaning) and I could send back a Photoshopped version of how it should look and what they need to do to get it there? I’ll have to work on that.

      Thanks for sharing your news – the everyday stuff is the best.

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