K Compares: But not Really

If you’d like some goodies, check out this giveaway Special K Challenge. In this economic  and time pressure cooker, think creatively. Perhaps you can share some of your creativity and make something (homemade scone mix, offer of designing a new blog layout) or send a book that you have loved and cherished, or purchase a gift card (Canada bloggers, I’ll send these your way!)  Oh gosh, and let me share a great giveaway option to score some DIVINE handmade accessories here!

Now, here are thoughts on comparison compulsion, inspired by someone complaining about how much weight she put on after turning 50, and then complaining about Demi Moore. And then me saying “really? Is this what us doctors are going to spend our energy on today?” Enter in mistake #1, #2, and #3.   

Mistakes I make every day include either 1) comparing myself to myself, or some perfect version of myself that I think I “should be 2) comparing myself to others 3) criticizing others who do 1 and 2. Some days, I make all three.

#1: I want to out do myself. Every day. I want to run faster, longer, better and log more minutes/miles this week than last. I couldn’t stop at master’s, had to “go on” I have to “be the best I can be.” Nothing wrong with a little motivation, but honestly, the natural progress of living does not always lend itself to what we socially define as “better.” We despise any signs of regression or weakness: wrinkles emerging, bellys sagging, boyfriends leaving, a 3.6 GPA over 4.0, doing less or being less noticed brings dissatisfaction. And yet: THERE”S WHERE LIFE IS! I need to challenge myself that more is better. We have skewed expectations if we despise signs of life:  If your hips or belly are pooching because of age or having children, you have experienced.  Stop comparing yourself to what you are not, or have been, or what you “could/should be” and honor what is abundantly present right now.

#2: This person is happier than me. What assumptions do you make about the lives of others? Sometimes in the blogosphere, we assume that the meals, products, routines of others may cultivate fulfillment. We may compare our blogs (how many comments/followers) or our eats or practices with others. I frequently do this with myself (last week I had 20 comments!) and others (she has 40!). Why? Why measure and weigh my worth as a writer on these comparisons, with random definitions of “goodness” (40 is better than 20). This woman today always smiles at me first thing in the morning…and Demi Moore doesn’t. She matters more to me. Does that make sense?

#3…I think comparisons may be a natural phenomenon, but the intensity at which they are currently occuring is NOT natural OR HEALTHY. So I think if I am going to fudge something up today, here is where I’ll aim to crash.

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5 thoughts on “K Compares: But not Really

  1. I totally agree with you – it is so hard to not make those 3 mistakes. I’ve gotten better as I’ve gotten older but it’s hard not to compare yourself to those around you. And you have to learn how to control them or you’ll never be happy! You’ll always want what someone else has!

    And you’re right, it’s nice to have those single friends out there including the blogging ones 🙂

  2. I’ve always had a problem with an envious, competitive nature, ever since I was really young. It seems like I was born with that disposition.

    One thing that used to really kill me was when other girls announced their engagements, especially, as I got older, girls much younger than I was. The turning point came when I realized that you can’t press a magic button and get a happily ever after–not by putting a ring on your finger, not by taking home a fat paycheck, and not by waking up in a mansion every morning. No matter what it is, your situation in life will bring its own positives and negatives. It’s just a different set of positives and negatives than someone else’s. I know this is simplifying it, but I think the trick is to aim for the set of positives and negatives that are most desirable/tolerable to you.

    After I realized this, I also realized that I didn’t mind not being married. And then the rest started to follow…

  3. I think we have all made those 3 mistakes. It is very easy to think someone has a “happier” or “better” life looking from the outside. However, we really just need to focus on ourselves and figure out what makes us happy.

  4. it’s so hard not to compare ourselves to others when you live in a society, filled with tons of information about celebrities and healthy talks. Sometimes it could be a positive to do when we’re off-track of the healthy lifestyle, but most of times it has negative effects on us. what we have to have in mind when we compare us to other that seem happier than us, is that, everyone has its own issues, there’s no such a thing as perfect life, no matter how it seems to be. 🙂

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