judgement seat

comparison is the thief of joy. – theodore roosevelt

yesterday i found myself avoiding things. i was supposed to be writing. i was supposed to be painting. instead i found myself out in the backyard standing by the kid’s swing set smoking a menthol cigarette. the snow, the smallest hill of white ice on each blue swing. the ice was forming in all the wrong ways.

i stepped up onto her stairs leading to their rambling house and i asked for a cigarette.

“i thought you quit.”

“i don’t smoke.”

standing there inhaling the burn, i wanted my lungs to hurt, just a little.  sometimes we want to hurt ourselves and cigarettes might just be one of the safest ways to do so. earlier that morning i had strolled through the grocery store and bought a tin of fake cheese and tortilla chips just for me.  just for lunch.

i was standing in the snow, alone, smoking and drinking a very icy coca~cola.

i wasn’t making a lot of sense.

i used to compare myself to other people.  i watched families compact and perfect and i always came up short and i really loathed them for it.  and i loathed myself. that fell away last year and i found a lot of contentment in being who i am, who we are as a family, in the gifts god put under my tree.

but some days…

now i think i tend to compare myself to myself.  how much have i accomplished today?  what did i accomplish yesterday?  what do i want to achieve this new year? what will i do during naptime?  i’m pretty sure i should be able to save the world or work part time or write a novel or repaint the house or at least fold the laundry in a two hour span.

funny thing about yesterday.  i actually got a lot of other things done when i busy avoiding what i needed to be doing.  i just didn’t have any contentment because i felt like i should be doing those other things i needed to do.


sometimes you just have to eat fake cheese, i guess.  and get over yourself.  and whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, even it wasn’t on the to-do list.

4 replies on “ judgement seat ”
  1. I love you, Z.
    I have so many days of feeling so much like this.

    I have more to comment, but need to scram for work. as always, thank you for your honesty. for all you don’t accomplish on your to-do list, know you do so many things that are so wonderful that you probably never aimed for.

  2. I had the same thought as Agnes. Menthol? Really?
    My other thought was defending my ways to hurt myself compared to yours. I was thinking that the cigarettes are way worse and MY way of hurting myself is probably better. But if I told you what is was, you would be appalled and laugh at me and say, “no WAY, MY way is way better for you, are you crazy?”
    So I’m thinking this line of thought really reveals that I probably really “hurting” myself and pretty pathetic that I have an argument in my head where I try to convince myself that my way is not that bad.
    To quote my friend Zena, “I am the most lethal spiritual force in my life.” Or something like that.

  3. in defense of the menthol – beggars can’t be choosers. i took what i was given…ended up i didn’t finish the whole thing. just wanted to self destruct on the smallest of scales.

    megan ~ i’m telling the truth. i am glad a little light has been thrown on your way of hurting yourself. you are far too valuable and i am, too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.