It turns out that deleting my Facebook account wasn’t quite the be-all and end-all in terms of kicking the comparing myself to others habit. It was a great start, but over the weekend, a chance passing of some people we know set me off again.
If anyone has read this blog from the beginning (and if you can remember!), I have mentioned the couple in question several times before. I don’t know what lesson it is that I have to learn from them – other than to stop comparing myself – and I don’t know how I should best proceed. I’ve tried attempting to convince myself rationally that I shouldn’t feel less than them but it doesn’t work. In their company I feel a bit inadequate and insignificant. Oh and then I had arranged to meet with L when I was recovering from my surgery in January, as she had offered, and I was trying to get out of my comfort zone, trying to make something work between us. But she never finalised the plans, just left my text unanswered for a week or more. I saw her in the supermarket and I was nervous, but I’d had enough by that point. I declined an offer to meet up. She sent me a text by way of an apology, but she doesn’t understand the pain of infertility, she is a mum and a step mum, and a success in general.
Oh that turned into a bit of a rant, I’m sorry.. I think it’s still raw, even though it was quite a few months ago now…I just have now idea how to relate to her.
As far as comparing myself to people like this, well, I was a bit stunned as to how it affected me so much over the weekend. I mean, all I did was pass them in the car. And yet it really threw me off kilter. I googled ‘how stop comparing myself with others’ and I found a couple of interesting things. This one, on Tiny Buddha suggests redirecting the comparison inwards, to consider our own progress in, say, the last year. A Helpful Probably the best one I found is the accurately titled ‘A Helpful Guide to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others’, on Becoming Minimalist. He discusses the issue – and ideas for combating it – from various angles.
So to combat the comparisons, I am now trying to remind myself often that my life is about me, and it is about now. The only person I can control is myself. The only time I can do that is now. Anything else is a waste if time, and a waste of energy. A waste of an opportunity to be happy. Which, I am realising, is part of the purpose of life. I read ‘Happiness by Design’ By Paul Dolan. It was a great book, I recommend it, and one of the ideas that made a lasting impression on me was: Don’t postpone happiness now in the mistaken belief that you will experience greater happiness later. You won’t, you’ll just have missed the opportunity to be happy now, regardless of later.
I’m also reading ‘Never let me go’ by Kazuo Ishiguro. It has made me think about my past, about how I might have wasted so much time. Putting off really living because I constantly think I am waiting for the next milestone to happen. Waiting to move out of my parents home, get a better job, own my own home, find the right man, get engaged, get married, still wait to get a better job, waiting until the house is renovated, waiting to start fertility treatment, waiting to have more surgery, waiting to begin IVF.
Life is now. I am now. I’m not really sure how to put this into words myself but I have this copied from an article (which I’ve lost the reference to. I will find it and add it in here!)
‘…If we view today as less than tomorrow, we choose to live in the imagined picture of a story that hasn’t happened, sacrificing joy and adventure that could be ours in the present. We get caught in the idea that this is just the green room, and if we plan well and press on, we’ll eventually walk out on the other side and a great narrative will unfold.
Perhaps without meaning to, we tell ourselves, the world around us and even God that this isn’t enough. It’s as if we took a look around and said’ “no thanks, I’ll pass and wait to see what comes up down the road.”‘
So in comparing myself to other people, I am missing out on the chance to be happy now, to appreciate my life, as it is, now. I am working on this. I’m still not there yet with facing the people I compare myself with, and I’m not sure if that will ever happen. But as long as I’m working on it, I think that’s good enough for now.
Day 9 and enjoying my sober bubble 🙂