Comparing Yourself to Others

I take my daughter to speech therapy.  While she has her 30 minutes of therapy, I walk on the track (it’s in a  building with physical therapy, occupational therapy, all that kind of thing).  I walk for fitness, for exercise.  I’m not fast, but I do try to put in 3 miles daily 5-6 days/ week.  And usually do.

So, I’m walking along, doing my laps.  Another lady, older than me, comes in and starts walking.  She’s faster than me.  This is not uncommon when I walk there.  Often I am alone, but when others are there, usually they are faster than me (not always).  I was sorely tempted to compare myslef to her.  Some of my thoughts were, “She’s older than me, but faster.”  Then I recalled something I wrote a few months back regarding the marathon and comparison.

The Marathon- Comparison- Part 3

Don’t compare yourself to me.  You’re NOT me.  You don’t have the same challenges/ gifts/ opportunities/ talents/ support that I do.  Yours aren’t any better or worse than mine, just different.

Be who YOU are, who you are called to be.  I was called to do a marathon.  (And DO listen to that voice inside you!  I never realized the full ramifications of finishing a marathon, and I know there are yet many many more good things to come of that.)  There are some “nuts” out there who do something called Nine in Nine.  That is they do (run) one marathon EVERY day for NINE consecutive days!  NOT me!  Kudos to them!

Back to comparison.    I could easily have compared myself to the other marathoners.  As I was still maybe only 7-8 miles out the “out” course paralleled the “return” course for a few miles.  The fastest runners were already near the end, I had a long ways to go yet.  I could have gotten discouraged had I compared myself to them.  I didn’t.  I had MY plan, suited to ME.

The Honolulu Marathon is a big one, well over 20,000 entrants.  (Plus a 5K “Fun Run” held at the same time and place that attracts thousands more.)  Over 19,000 finished ahead of me.  So?   I repeat, SOOOO??????

I wasn’t last (or even near the last), but even if I had been, so what?

My plan was to finish, and to enjoy at least part of it.   I mean, a Sunday afternoon walk in Hawaii in December?  How could you NOT enjoy yourself?    Actually, I’ll digress yet again.  I think you could not enjoy yourself.  If you are so focused on the technique, the timing, the details, the method, you could miss the beauty along the way.  I wondered if those fastest runners had a good time?    For myself, I quit keeping track of time about 1/3 way through.  I was on schedule- MY schedule- but time didn’t matter.  Focusing on that was too distracting.  I just walked, and looked at things.  So much beauty in Hawaii.

I did finish and I can say there were many times (even near the end) when I truly was enjoying myself.  I met MY goal.  I don’t care what anyone else’s was.

Set your goals for yourself.   Based on what YOU want/ feel called to.  Your goals are not any better or higher or worse or lower than someone else’s.  They are yours.  Let them be the best and highest ones for YOU.

Compare yourself to YOUR standards that you set for you (hopefully after prayerful consideration).  Are you better this day, this week, this month than yesterday, last week, last month?  That’s the only place for comparison.

(This is not to say we can’t have role models we admire and look up to.)


Protection is a good thing!

I have been thinking today about protection.  It is good to be protected.

If you have a 4 yo and a fenced in backyard, he is protected from dangers.  Dangers he may not be aware of, or forget about if his ball rolls into the street.  The fence protects him.

Okay, it is close to 100 degrees here in Minnesota, but in January when it is 30 below, I appreciate being protected by my goose down coat.

I am under my husband’s protection.  That is GOOD.  It allows me to much better fulfill my vocation as wife and mother.

As a nation we are very protected by a strong military.  I don’t have to worry about a bomb being dropped in my neighborhood.  (Thank you servicemen and women!)

When one is unprotected, there is fear.  If I were to be riding on a motorcycle (versus my heavy car with steel and airbags) I would feel uncomfortable, unsafe.  I much prefer feeling protected.

Sometimes being protected is a bummer.  The child doesn’t want to stay in the fenced in yard.  The goose down coat is big and bulky.  Sometimes my husband makes choices that involve protecting me that I don’t like (for example he might say we are leaving a party early because the weather is getting bad, when I am having fun and don’t WANT to leave the party.)

We have a choice, usually.  We can choose to remove ourselves from protection.  (Okay, how STUPID!)  We may think we know better, that we won’t get hurt, that we can handle ____.

Again, and I think my point in today’s rambling is that if we choose to remain under protection, we can much better live and serve others.  We do not need to divide our time, attention, and energy to keeping safe.

Your thoughts?

You DO make a difference!

I was thinking how we really can affect people all the time and never even know it.  I write.  I like to write.   The other day someone said to me, “You know, a couple years back you wrote _____.  I was really impressed with what you said and I still apply it in my life.”   What I had written was a reply to an ordinary forum thread.  Nothing especially significant in my book.  Yet it meant something to her.  She had never said anything until the other day, I had no idea.

Most likely there are many moments in your life when you affect someone and don’t realize it.  Maybe it’s the way you handle your toddler’s temper tantrum in the grocery store.   Maybe it’s the way you smiled and found another parking place when someone aced you out of the space you had planned to park.  Maybe something you said or wrote.

it can be like a ripple in a pond.   If what you portray is good and positive, that will spread to others.  If what you portray/ say is negative, that also will spread.   My little challenge to you today is to do/ say/ act at least once in some positive way to spread goodness.

Share with us what you did and how it worked.

An Inspiration

I’m a Catholic.  One thing I try to do each week is spend an hour (for me usually Saturday 4-5 pm) in church doing what called a Holy hour of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.  Basically it means going to pray for an hour with Jesus. Prayer can be active, something you “do.”  Prayer can be just “be-ing”.  An important part of prayer is to try to listen.  That’s when I tend to hear inspirations.

Earlier in the day I had done some editing on my book.  I realized there was a section that was missing a few hours, kind of just left hanging.    So I made a note to figure out what the characters did during that time.

Fast forward to my Holy Hour.   The song I posted about yesterday kept running through my mind- it had been all day.  I really love it.  And then realized that belongs in my book!  Right in the spot where I needed to fill in.  And I knew exactly how it would fit- perfectly.  The boy had been reading the Odyssey, simply need to change that to The Hobbit and go from there.  Little Bilbo Baggins has lots of wisdom, my characters will discuss that some.

I love being inspired!  So makes me feel God’s blessings showering down upon me.

(Note- somehow this ended up in drafts- should have been posted Sunday!)