Those of you who follow me on Facebook and Twitter might know that I was nominated on Monday by 95.7 Ben FM radio station in Philadelphia to receive an award at their annual Woman of Week luncheon at the end of March. You might have even voted for me because I posted the link to the online voting page. Once. And five full days after the nominees were announced, I am finally blogging about this honor.
This is the point in the post where my mother calls the police to report an alien abduction because some force has clearly taken over her middle child’s body. She will calmly explain to the officer in charge that this laid back, non-competitive person could not possibly be HER daughter. If this had been her daughter, there would have been multiple tweets and status updates about the nomination, along with an email distribution to hundreds of friends, asking them to vote for her and forward the link to everyone they know. But, no. None of that. I didn’t even send her the link.
Well, Ma, you will be glad to know that I am indeed in complete control of my own body and soul. Call me later and I’ll answer questions that only I would know – like the time you-know-who roller skated into my head. But I digress.
At 42 years old, I think I have finally stepped away from the competitive edge. Perhaps permanently.
Recently, my friend Meghan found herself in a similar situation when her photographs were nominated for People’s Choice award, which she (deservedly) won after undertaking a serious campaign to do so. In her blog post Down the Rabbit Hole, Meghan eloquently describes “the shadow side of entering the contest” including her admittedly uncomfortable obsession with winning. When I found out about my nomination, I immediately thought of the lessons Meghan shared. Still, given my propensity to compete, I was sure I was poised to join her at the bottom of that rabbit hole.
But on Monday, I saw the list of nominees for The Cancer Treatment Centers of America “Women Who Never Quit Award”, I was overwhelmed by the quality of my fellow nominees and underwhelmed by my inability to muster any competitive spirit to campaign vigorously for this award. While I had social media tools and email distributions to solicit online votes, I didn’t want compete against any of these fine women. And it dawned on me that sometimes just being a part of something is 100x less complicated and 1000x more fulfilling than “winning” it.
Sorry Charlie Sheen.
At 42 do I want to spend my time chasing the validation of others or sitting peacefully with my own knowledge that on most days I am the best I can be? I stepped away from the competitive edge and found myself firmly on solid ground. And I like it here.
Still it is a “Women Who Never Quit Award” so I voted for myself and asked my Facebook friends to vote – just to make sure I’m not completely hosed. And my mother will vote for me once I send her the link. Other than that, I will let the chips will fall where they may. My guess is they will land somewhere else other than at my feet. But that is really ok. I mean it when I say, it was an honor just to be nominated. And with my new found peace, I feel like I already won.