It’s a good thing

A few days ago, I overheard someone I didn’t know say that I was “strong-willed”—as if there was something wrong with that.
Strong-willed? As opposed to what? Inhibited, quiet, reserved, shy?
I had just finished a psychological mish-mash questionnaire of 50 hypothetical scenarios—the results of which were supposed to magically reveal what kind of a person I “reeeeally” am.
It got me to thinking. So when I got home, I looked up “strong-willed” at one of my favourite websites—thesaurus.com—just to see what I was synonymous with.
The list was long. It had to be a good thing.
“Self-confident.” Yes, I am thank you very much. Smart, too, while we’re at it. And cute.
“Positive.” Oh, yes. Even on the Titanic, while it was sinking, I likely would have found some optimism in the whole thing.
“Self-assured.” Yep, that’s me again. That I do know. For sure.
At 43 years of age and strong-willed. Hey, it’s gotten me places I’d have never been without a good whack of it.
“I am as the tree. Standing tall, rising up to meet the challenge of the elements. I have many branches. Some have ended to let others begin. Some are flourishing. All helped build me.
“And when the wind blows, I do as the tree—I bend with the flow when life heats up. Flexible and yes, strong-willed.”
However, what to my wandering eyes should I see on the computer screen but some rather undignified, unflattering synonyms of “strong-willed.”
I raised my eyebrow to Spock level. Is it logical then, to say I also am . . . “Pushy.” “Forceful.” “Bullheaded.” “Stubborn.” “Overbearing?”
I closed my eyes and winced.
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Those crummy words still stared back at me.
Okay, so maybe I am pushy. In a good sort of way. I can be “disagreeably forward” about kids following house rules.
“Forceful?” Well, yes, I’m that way on occasion. Okay, so I know how to “forcefully persuade” my teenagers to do chores.
“Bullheaded” and “stubborn?” I don’t think so. Though my husband might have a different opinion on that. Okay, I am those things, too, but in a loving sort of way. Right, honey?
“Overbearing?” I don’t suppose that has anything to do with attracting too many bears to the bird feeder with sunflower seeds?
Then I checked out dictionary.com Big mistake. It said “see synonym for dictatorial,” which read “tending to dictate” and “domineering.”
Oh, yeah. Come to think of it, that’s me all right.
But in a good way.

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