I Have to Stop Comparing Myself to Others
I am sitting in my house with my beagle, Piper, snoring at my feet. I have never been so jealous of a dog in my life. Fresh off another night of no sleep due to a week long battle with what has now been diagnosed as severe bronchitis, sleep has eluded me for far too long. I am tired. I am sick but I am also one of the luckiest people on this planet. Though as my 6 month old puppy Kylie chews up yet another box of Kleenex, I do wonder about my luck in choosing a puppy.
Seriously, beagle puppies should come with their own manual.
In any event, as I sit in the house that is too quiet and wonder how I let myself get to this point of sick, again, I am grateful for all that I have. Three beautiful, amazing daughters – who are currently at their dads, hence the quiet – a business that I can do from home – at least for the time being, and friends that love me so much they are willing to go out of their way to bring me my favorite ice cream when I am sick.
The truth is, my life is full. But sometimes, when I am up late at night coughing up things that should really introduce themselves first, I wonder about the things I will never experience. Not things like bungee jumping or having a penis. But things that other people seem to have. Things that I am lost on how to get or maintain. Like a true love partnership with a man or the svelte body of a 50 year old that looks like all she does is work out and eat bean sprouts.
Lately I have been thinking a lot about that. Things I have not managed to accomplish that other ‘normal’ people seem to have. The thoughts often cloud my mind and add blinders to all of the amazing things I DO have going for me. I end up somewhat depressed and badgering myself for answers to the same questions that plague me when I let my mind dive into the abyss. I would venture to say that a lot of women do this. Compare and contrast until they lose sight of their own self worth. Why do we do that?
Why Does Comparing Myself to Others Leave me Nearsighted on What I Have Accomplished?
Let’s talk about love first. So many of us have it but so many of us don’t. I do not mean the love of a parent or child or a dear friend, but the love of a partner that’s sole objective is to make sure you always know how much they appreciate you. That unconditional love that comes with many days of stress, work and uncertainty but is also footed in the knowledge that they truly want to be there. By your side. Even when the worst parts of you make them question their sanity.
The true love of a partnership that knows the romance leaves, the sex changes, but the commitment never waivers.
The kind of relationship where a husband will say in front of a group of your friends, totally unprompted, without you in the room that his marriage is the one thing in his life that is absolutely, never going to be, ever – disposable.
That love I have never had. Yes, I was married. No, it was not love. It was, in fact, the most ‘conditional’ relationship I have ever been in.
But at 46, with three children that I am absolutely unwilling to share, and a job that takes hours that no person would understand, the companionship so many of my friends seem to have found simply is not in the cards for me. Until recently, it made me feel less than them. Kept me up at night wondering what was so horrible about me. Made me immediately turn off movies about love and marriage and complete families and all of that other stuff that the majority have and the minority are exposed to.
The truth is. I am GOOD enough all by myself. I am not lonely – ever anymore – in fact relishing in quiet houses and the sanctity of rare peace. I have done the ‘companion’ thing and find that as unfulfilling and stressful as any other relationship. And it’s possibly worse for me than any other relationship.
So I navigate this path on my own, somehow at peace in letting go of the fantasy that won’t become reality for me. I don’t feel sorry for myself. When people say, ‘Your time will come.‘ I just nod my head and change the subject. I am at that point where I don’t care if it comes and I most likely would not welcome it if it did.
Not having a ‘man’ does not make me any less vibrant, intelligent or kind. It does not mean something is wrong with me. There is no rhyme or reason. It just is a reality of my life.
And if I don’t compare myself to others, I really don’t even give it much thought. So why let myself compare?
Is Body Shape the Only Thing That Matters?
It’s the same type of thing with my body. I am a 46 year old woman who has had 3 c-sections, back to back, has a belly now and has been battling it for years.
I see the posts from people my age. I lost 50 pounds in 5 months, I lost doing this or that program, I am super sexy and hot. And they A R E and deserve every praise known to man! I am seriously jealous of busy moms and working moms and women in general who can put all the pieces of nutrition, working out and self discipline together to get real results.
I have only managed to get down the working out part. I have never lost a pound in all of my years of Crossfit. But I have reshaped my body a little, improved my health massively and feel great overall. I sleep better, I aim to make better food choices and I try to give my all when I am at the gym.
It is the diet part that stumps me, leaves me frustrated and feeling down about myself. The massive internal beating up that comes out in my words to others and it is unflattering and, frankly, unnecessary. I just can’t get it right. I know what to do. I know I can lose the weight. But I self sabotage, leaning on excuses to parlay my progress.
When I see someone else so successful so quickly I know it is because they did it all. All of the parts of the equation that add up to success. And I compare, berate and chastise myself completely. Even though what I have done to improve my health is something to be proud of.
So many that I know never hit the gym. I should be proud that I do. It is a vast improvement for me, after all. In my 30’s I didn’t do anything but eat pizza and have babies! I was a real mess of health for years.
So I have to let it go. I have to stop with the comparisons. See my own success and build on that.
We all should. We all should close the door to the judgy, comparing, Judy that we all have lurking in our brains and praise ourselves like Oprah. We may not have her mansions, but we all have our own strength that makes us richer and than any c-note can!
What comparisons do you make to others that has you forgetting how amazing you are?