Proving Your Worth

I don’t know if this is a “man” thing or just unique to me, but I kinda think most of us have these thoughts at sometimes in our lives.


Proving Your Worth

All my life I have always been afraid that I wouldn’t amount to anything. I was constantly worried that I was just sucking air, and not giving anything back. Unfortunately, I inherited a low self-esteem from my father to start that off. For most of his life he moved from one minimum wage job to another. He just never thought he was of much worth. It would take me years before I was able to shed that kind of thinking. But, gradually I finally discovered that the things I was doing made a difference.

In the last ten years of my corporate life, I finally realized I had skills to make some real difference in this world and I got the pay raises to show for my accomplishments. And then I retired.

One of my biggest challenges was to find how to show my worth in my retired life. For the first six years after leaving the corporate world, I had a custom furniture making business that was somewhat successful. I had customers throughout the Midwest. But, then I had a heart “event” and additionally got tired of sucking sawdust. So, I called a halt to that venture, but it did prove my creative worth during those years.

I want from there to helping to feed the financially challenged in our area. I volunteered in a local soup kitchen for eleven years. I started out doing dishes and serving meals, and ended up cooking the meals a couple of days a week during the last several years. Those years were some of the most satisfying ones of my life. I definitely proved my worth during that time and met one of the best friends I have ever had.

Then came the ten years up to 2021 where I was in the care-taker mode. My wife was seven years older than I was and regrettably made some pretty serious health related mistakes in her life. During that time, I pretty much was in the homestead/wife care mode. I think I proved my worth during those years making my wife’s life as comfortable as I could.

Then she died in July 2021 and since that time I seem once again be concerned, or you could say depressed, about just “sucking air”. I just can’t seem to find how I can add worth to my existence now. I tried to help those with hearing loss in my retirement community, but they just didn’t seem to be interested in that.

I have yet to find that “the thing” that will prove my worth now. Maybe I shouldn’t worry about that? But, that idea just don’t satisfy me. I hope, now and in the future, RJsCorner will help some of you in your life journey. Maybe that’s how I justify my worth now?

8 thoughts on “Proving Your Worth

  1. Yes, you have helped me on my self discovery journey. I have felt most of my life that I didn’t fit in, didn’t belong. When I read your posts on aspie syndrome I had my own ‘aha’ moment. Your writing was/is a gift to me and I’m sure countless others. You have spent years caring about and for others, maybe this stage of life could focus on self care. It is a concept that may be worth exploring once you accept that you have value too, just being you.

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    1. Thank you, Mary, for your heartfelt words. They mean a lot to me, and yes, those words alone mean I have proved my worth.

      I just seem to be a person who must always be moving forward as my “Question Everything, Think For Yourself, and Never Stop learning” motto indicates. Without moving forward means that I am moving backwards. I know that is not the case but convincing myself of that is hard to do.

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  2. You are selling yourself short, RJ. About 8 years ago I wrote a post about how you are dealing with your various disabilities. That post remains in the top 10 of most-often read archieve pieces.

    Your strength of personality and energy have been, and remain, a source of inspiration to many of us. You may be too close to the forest to see the strong tree that you are.

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    1. Thanks for the ever continuing encouragement, Bob. I pulled up your post from March 27, 2013, and read it again. Even after all that time, it’s astonishing that it is still reaching people who need it. That is humbling. Maybe in my old age I am becoming a might oak. I just need to continually convince myself of that.

      Thanks also, for remaining a good friend all these years. I treasure the recent time I spent with you and Betty.

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  3. Rj, knowing what you have gone through in your life, I believe you are a high achiever and have a good heart. Your pods have helped me find out about the retirement community’s life. I will choose the right retirement community without going through all the struggles myself. Your posts have value and also benefits others. You set up a positive example for me.

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  4. Perhaps this is meant to be a time of reflection for us, one that was amplified by the pandemic which resulted in so much isolation? As difficult as it might be to ask these questions of oneself, wouldn’t it be sad to bulldoze through life until the last breath without having this opportunity to reflect and perhaps to be thanked by those of us to whom your posts have proven particularly worthwhile?

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    1. Wise words, Linda. I have been blogging for so long now that sometimes I forget that people read what I write. Yes, it is nice to see that my posts are worthwhile to others, and don’t we all enjoy a “pat on the back” once in a while. 😎

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