Comparison is the thief of joy.
How many times have we all heard that? Particularly pertaining to social media. I don’t know about you, but for me it has been dozens of times. At least! If you haven’t heard or read that phrase, then maybe I am the only one who spends my time reading introspective fluff pieces. But you’re here, so I doubt it.
Allow me to begin by saying, I LOVE my life. I really love my life. There is not a single point in time that I have been any happier than I am on a day to day basis. And it is a wonderful thing to be able to say that.
But I came across something this morning that has been gnawing away at my joy all day. It is embarrassing to talk about, but this is my therapy session so you can’t judge me. Right? Right.
Today, I stumbled across a blog that an old girlfriend of mine has started up. It is filled with beautifully written mommy musings. Her writing is organized and detailed with headings, numbers, and bullet points. She clearly has a well defined theme of motherhood, and has managed to keep it all charming and very personal.
What a wonderful thing to celebrate; a friend found her niche and is thriving at was she does. I normally love to revel in success stories, but this time the little sad Monica inside was jealous.
Who knows how long this girl has been refining her process? And even if she is a novice, her hard work and success takes nothing away from my own efforts and milestones. What reason do I have to be envious instead of congratulatory?
It is so easy for us to look at blogs and social media, and only see the best part of someone’s life. We are all guilty of it, myself included. No one takes pictures of the bad days, much less publicizes them for the whole world to see. There is nothing wrong with this, it’s actually a good thing, generally speaking. Didn’t your mother ever tell you not to air your dirty laundry?
Well, Mamma. String up that clothesline, ’cause here it comes.
My Dirty Laundry
Keep in mind, these are not my unmentionables. I am basically only showing you the cleanest bits of my yuck. My mamma did raise me better than to show you all of it. But this is in the event that some lunatic out there is looking at my life through the rose colored glasses of the internet, and feeling even the slightest tug of envy on their heart strings.
If we are being honest…
Since starting this blog, there are more nights that dishes are left dirty in the sink than I would care to admit. Typically because I am up into the wee hours of the morning, working on a post.
There are also far more days that I send my husband to work without a lunch. FAR more days. He isn’t too fond of that tidbit.
95% of my time is spent in overalls or workout clothes with messy hair and no makeup. If that brings images to your mind of cute girls in their athleisure clothing and messy top knots, think again. It’s not a good look for me.
Yes, I am surrounded by precious animals all day everyday, but they don’t really love me. They only want me around to feed them. The rest of the time I am chopped liver.
I’m pretty sure my life revolves around poop. I have to wear mud boots every single day. And guess what, it ain’t for mud.
I am mortified if someone comes to the house unannounced, because they have to dodge chicken poo bombs to make it up the sidewalk.
If I am already dressed to leave the house when I go out to feed the pigs, I have to wear a full body suit and pray that my face isn’t hit with the muddy poop that they inevitably throw everywhere. Every. Time.
Every single outdoor surface is home to yellow jackets, wasps, or dirt dobbers. We look like we took hand full after hand full of mud and threw it at the siding.
And lastly, there is literally never a time that something isn’t broken and waiting to be fixed somewhere on our property.
A New Perspective
Insecurities and self-doubt always have a way of looking different in the morning light. This morning while en route to the airport, I took a second look at the blog that sparked this whole ordeal. Do you know what I saw? I saw a beautiful, well written site that was great in its own way. There was no feeling of inferiority, no jealousy, no envy. I didn’t feel as though my own shortcomings were staring me in the face. I felt proud of a young woman finding her voice and sharing it with the world.
Whenever we are hard on ourselves, or overwhelmed with what we have on our plate, sometimes the best thing we can do is sleep on it and reevaluate with a fresh pair of eyes in the morning. I love the scatterbrained bits and lack of foresight in this space, as it’s a reflection of me. And all of the good and bad that I have to offer.
Thank you for sitting in on my therapy session today. I don’t know if it has helped any of you, but I can assure you that I’ve benefited from it. Do any of you ever face these internal battles? How do you pull yourself up by your bootstraps? Let me know in the comments below, or find me on social media @ethieandco on all platforms.