What is wrong with us?
Everyone I know does this to each other intentionally or unintentionally, and we know we do it, we hate it about ourselves, every time we do it we tell ourselves to stop, and yet we continue to do it over and over and over again. Maybe it’s mostly women, but men do it too (mostly with technology, cars, and home projects).
I’m talking about looking at other people’s lives and thinking that they have it better than we do or that they are so much better at it than we are; looking at others and thinking, she has the perfect hair, butt, body, house, kid… Why can’t my hair, butt, body….look like that, act like that, be like that?
The best answer? Because Emily, you don’t want to spend more than 3 ½ minutes a day on your hair. Because, Emily, you don’t want to count calories and give up chocolate. Because, Emily, if you spent the amount of time cleaning your house every day that she does, you would be a very angry and annoyed person, and you’d yell at your kids every time they threw something on the floor (which means you’d be yelling all day every day!).
It’s amazing to me that we only see other people’s gifts as our own failures, our own faults, our own deficiencies. And then we give out those jealous compliments, “You always look so pretty.” As we snarl under our breath. Because it’s infuriating that someone can seemingly so effortlessly look so freaking beautiful. All. The. Time. And have a tight stomach after kids. And buy clothes that are really cute….. and…
Why can’t I just be happy that I have trained my children to give me some quiet time every day and even if one precious three year old I know doesn’t actually go to sleep during that time, he won’t even fight me if I tell him he needs to play quietly in his room for an hour? That is an amazing freaking thing! And instead of celebrating that I have that, I have to beat myself up with my mother’s voice echoing in my head, “Well, Emily, you have all of this free time right now, why are you putsing around on the computer when I would’ve had the laundry started and a load of dishes in the dishwasher and all of these other clothes put away in the time it took you to just think about what you were going to write about in that silly blog.”
Wouldn’t it be better if I let myself do something I enjoy in the quiet time I have? Wouldn’t it be better if I enjoyed working on my book while the boys were taking a nap instead of stressing that I’m not doing all that other stuff that I’m “supposed” to do in order to measure “success” on the pretend “being a good stay at home mom” scale?
Wouldn’t that be easier if I looked at my beautiful friend and enjoyed looking at her? It sounds weird, but isn’t that why we want to be beautiful? So that others will enjoy looking at us?
Don’t I hope that my friends enjoy my writing? Don’t I hope that my friends enjoy the dinner I made or the way my kids behave or the words that come out of my mouth? Don’t I hope that my participants appreciate that I can learn all 32 of their names in the first 10 minutes I’ve met them? I do! I want everyone to like the best parts of me. I want them to value what I have to say and how I say it. I want people to like me just the way that I am.
And I’m guessing that those friends that I have with the flat tummies and perfect hair hate the way their hair does this or noses do that, and they look at me and think, I wish I had Emily’s cute squishy nose. I wish I could pull off that muffin top like Em does. Ha. Just kidding. No one thinks that. Besides I don’t have a muffin top. My broken scale told me that I lost 16 pounds this week. I am a hot mama.
This week, I will enjoy my own gifts. I will write. I will think. I will make good coffee. And I will have a great time with my friends… even the beautiful ones with clean homes.