“You laugh too much, Jen Jen, and it’s really annoying.”
“Jen Jen, you are really loud.”
Yes, I have officially moved to the not-so-cool aunt stage with my 7-year-old nephew, Jared.
Sure he still loves me, makes me sweet cards and gives me sweet hugs, but he is no longer bashful about telling me like it is.
What really irritates him though is when I laugh loudly after he reminds me how annoying I can be. And Christmas really tried his patience with me as we enjoyed a couple days of family time together.
Still I have to hand it to the little guy for being honest and sharing his suggestions on ways I can improve myself. And when you really think about it, I am loud and do have an annoying laugh!
He’s not the first to point out my laugh and how often it appears. Sometimes I think it is my all-encompassing reaction — not only do I laugh when I’m happy or tickled but I also laugh when I’m nervous, angry, sad or tired. You know, the laugh instead of cry mentality.
Laughing truly has been a positive and negative for me through the years. It has been an action that built relationships in some cases and needed taming at other points.
But along the way, I’ve always had people who cared enough about me and my personal growth (like Jared) to point out when my laughter is just too much.
And, yes, too much laughter is my sole weakness. There’s really nothing else I need to improve.
Right! If you know me at all and/or have read any of my columns, then you are the one laughing hysterically at the moment. My weaknesses and areas needing growth are so numerous that I could fill this entire blog detailing them for you.
And as we enter a new year, I’m spending time evaluating myself and determining which areas need the most attention. It’s a great time to start fresh, refocus and determine (through God’s guidance and strength) where to make improvements.
We shouldn’t be scared of evaluating ourselves and working toward a better us. It’s a great opportunity to sharpen skills, shift schedules, improve attitudes and realign priorities.
Even if you don’t necessarily want to do this yourself, you may have recently been forced to do some evaluating through your place of work and/or ministry. It’s not always easy to be shown areas needing improvement. It’s always more fun to be told how wonderful we are and what a great job we are doing. I agree. I’d much rather hear those words than to be told that this area is not good enough, that skill needs improvement or this situation must move to a new level.
But I also know that if no one ever cares enough to tell me the truth, push me to a new level or challenge me to do better, then it would be all too easy to sit back, get comfortable and just coast through life. I wouldn’t have the opportunity to serve the Lord at the fullest level that I am capable if there weren’t moments of evaluation that lead to improvement.
We all need a Jared in our lives to help us in these evaluations, so instead of being upset with the Jared in your life, be thankful he or she cares enough to share.