I’m asking that myself today, the end of trying and tiring week. The reason why is that I’m feeling a little underappreciated and that makes me wonder exactly who’s problem that is—I’m leaning toward it being my problem.
Of course, being the logophile that I am, wondering if I’m vain to want to be appreciated and feel I deserve gratitude begins with me looking up the formal definitions of those words to be certain I’m applying the correct English to my feelings. I’m just kooky that way. Merriam-Webster defines them like this:
A: to grasp the nature, worth, quality, or significance of
B: to value or admire highly
C: to judge with heightened perception or understanding: be fully aware of
D: to recognize with gratitude
The state of being grateful: thankfulness
Having or showing undue or excessive pride in one’s achievements
That leads me to also look up:
Conscious of benefit received
Mom is not capable of understanding that I am her caregiver, what I’ve sacrificed to be her caregiver, or how difficult it is for me sometimes. She doesn’t know that I used 40% of my savings to buy the house in which I try to make a home for her. She doesn’t know that the rest of my savings are gone because I can’t work a regular job and take care of her at the same time, or that I’m filing bankruptcy because of that. She doesn’t know how much it hurts me when I spend an hour making her a healthy, tasty meal, but because it won’t be done in time for her to eat AND make her Monday night euchre game, and she says, “I’ll just have a sandwich so I can go play cards.”
She doesn’t know that when I’m not taking care of her or the house or the yard or the pets, I’m trying to make money driving Uber, or writing blogs that will hopefully monetize my site someday, or taking a proofreading course so I can get better gigs, or researching ways to make money from home, or trying to build my essential oils business. She doesn’t know that I lose a little bit of my self-worth every time I have to ask my brother for money. She doesn’t know that there is no such thing as Sunday Funday for me anymore. I don’t get a day off. But I sure as hell need one.
So that has me wondering if I’m vain to want a little gratitude. To want someone to say thank you. Not just, “You’re doing a great job.” But thanks for doing what you are doing.
Another definition of vanity is to worry too much about what other people think. Why should I care? I know what I’m doing, how hard it can be, and how much I struggle to be the person, caregiver, daughter, and provider I am. Some days, I really am John McLane, kicking ass and taking names. I’m gonna save everyone in Nakatomi Plaza, no matter how many people are yapping in my ear about a better way to do it. Other days—like today—not so much.