Why does everyone seem to think their life is the toughest? It doesn’t matter what experiences you’ve had, I promise you, others will think theirs is worse. Or bigger. Or longer. Or harder. I have decided that it is time to stop comparing. It’s time to stop feeling like we have to compare ourselves to our friends, to our contacts on Facebook, or to our colleagues. Sometimes, you have to force yourself to focus on the grass in your own lawn (proverbial AND otherwise), and enjoy it, no matter how weedy it might be, or how uneven. Just enjoy it. It is, after all, YOUR grass.
Sociology studies are showing that people who spend a lot of time on Facebook are significantly less happy than those who do not. Why might that be, you may ask. Shouldn’t it make us happier to be in such easy and constant contact with our friends? Well, while that might be so, it turns out that constant contact makes us realize how ‘less’ we are; our Facebook lives are cooler and more acceptable than our ’real’ lives. Huh. Additionally, seeing and reading about how great our friends’ lives seemingly are can escalate feelings of sadness, loneliness, and even envy. Double huh.
Why are we comparing ourselves? Why don’t we take a few minutes, look at our own lives and show some appreciation for what we see? We all literally have so much: be it good health, family, good friends, good job, loving pets, etc. It’s so easy to take for granted what we see every single day.
Focus on what you have
I can tell you 5 things that I am grateful for right now:
1. My husband is my best friend. He is unbelievably helpful around the house, and loves to spend time with the kids. He is constantly giving me time for ‘me’ things. Really, I’m not making that all up. (please don’t think he’s perfect, but he sure has his moments)
2. All three boys are healthy. After our LONG stretch of bad health, it’s nice that our biggest worries are colds and seasonal allergies or impending puberty for our eldest. These are normal things that are a cake walk.
3. We are looking at where we will be setting off to on our next adventure, when we bid on our next post this fall. I love the research and info-gathering phase of bidding. Literally, where in the world will we end up next?
4. My boys like to play together, and can go stretches without fighting or poking at one another. This makes parenting so much easier.
5. It’s finally springtime and we get to expand our tiny space to include our great yard; we even eat most dinners outside. Kids love the extra outdoor time that the later sunsets allow, and we are losing a bit of the blah cold weather pallor.
Can you list your top 5?
Focus on what you have. Focus on what you see right before your eyes. Don’t worry about the neighbors or your Facebook friends. Focus on you because you and your immediate family are the ones that are important. Grass is always greener? Maybe, but your grass looks pretty darn good, too. Just take some time to appreciate it.