Monday, I had a great big party. It lasted for hours! Clear into Tuesday evening. I didn't invite anyone. Who'd wanna come anyway? I'm talking about a Ginormous pity party. The kind where you wake up angry, and before you've even had your first cup of day old re-heated coffee, you feel that life couldn't get any worse. You cry and rage and cuss and nobody wants to be around you. Steve tried to soothe me with his classic matter of fact self-help line, "a mood has you." "Duh, no fooling you!" I said, with my most charming witch face. Brian offered (with the kind of authority that most men seem to have on this subject), "it must be your menopause!"
At first, I couldn't figure out what was going on. Was it all the sugar I'd eaten over the weekend that caused me to plummet? Nothing else out of the ordinary could've caused this journey into the deep, dark abyss. Just a casual conversation on Sunday evening with a fellow real estate agent who appears to be doing sooo much better than me financially. That, combined with my ever-present hospital bills, and the ever-present pain in my right leg--the leg that's supposed to be completely back to normal in six months according to the doctor. (My six month check up is only three weeks away!!)
So, I woke up mad, and feeling sorry for myself, and completely oblivious to the underlying cause: I was comparing my failings to another's success. It's no fair that I broke my leg and couldn't work for several months. It's no fair that I'm still not operating at peak productivity, doing as well as Ms. X.
I recognized this old trait of mine while in the middle of my wallowing. I remembered my Hollywood acting years when jealousy ate away at me most of the time. Sometimes I would be so upset after seeing a great film, because I wasn't in it, that I'd be depressed for hours. At one point, I determined that it was my jealousy and competitiveness that were keeping me from attaining my dreams. Now I wonder, are these same ugly attributes keeping me from succeeding again? And as I have this thought, I realize it's just one more negative thought to beat myself up with.....
Comparing what you have to what others have is a good
way to make yourself miserable.
There will always be someone smarter, stronger, prettier, thinner, wiser, healthier, happier, and more successful than me.
There is one good thing about comparing myself to others though. It usually pisses me off enough so that when I've worked through my "mood," my competitive nature kicks in and causes me to come up with creative ways to be better at whatever it is I want to be better at, and I focus on that.
“When you are content to be simply yourself and don't compare or compete, everybody will respect you.” Lao Tzu