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.