No, I'm not orange.
I love rewards. I am motivated by the carrot, not the stick.
In school, I loved gold stars, A pluses, the "well done"'s. And as I got older, I still craved approval.
I did almost everything, in the hope that someone would say 'Good job, Jackie!"
When it dawned on me that we don't get accolades for normal things like holding down a job, paying bills on time, and keeping the car serviced and clean, I began to make grandiose plans in the hope that one day, I would get thunderous applause for my achievements.
Now, I know that there is nothing wrong with Big Dreams, but mine were all for the wrong reasons.
Consequently, I became a Really Good Starter.....but I rarely followed through on any project.
I think, looking back, that I used wine firstly as a "reward" and then to take the edges off my disappointment in myself.
And so began a vicious circle, I was drinking because I wasn't doing anything I was proud of, and no-one else was proud of me either, and because I was drinking, I was less likely to do anything to raise my self esteem....and so on...
I am slowly learning the lesson that self esteem and pride comes from within, not externally. I know the theory, it's getting to grips with the practical part that's taking the time.
I am looking at parts of my business, and trying to sort out the bits that make my heart sing, and the parts that I am doing for other people's approval.
I am starting projects in the home, because they bring me peace, or a sense of accomplishment - like my garden.
I am cleaning the house, and de-cluttering because it helps me to feel orderly, not because I am wanting my husband to compliment me.
I'm not drinking wine because of the way it makes me feel to be sober - proud of myself, and calm.
And yet....when I do get a pat on the back....it does feel nice.....I opened the fridge last night and found an unexpected reward inside....... "you've worked really hard on the garden, and the business, and it's Friday! - my husband said.
The funny thing? It's a carrot cake.