The Comparison Blues

Truer words have not been spoken.

Friends, I’ve been quietly suffering from a serious case of Internet envy as of late and it’s made me a bit quiet and introspective.

This Twitter friend is buying a house! That Twitter friend is training for a half marathon! Those Twitter friends are having babies!

And just what am I doing?

Where is all my BIG LIFE EXCITEMENT? {I wonder very judgmentally.}

The interesting thing is I already have all those things. I bought a house (holy crap! over a decade ago), trained for a half (and almost made it to the race) and I HAVE a baby.

So what is up with the envy?

After spending many nap hours pondering this question, I’ve come up with an answer for myself which I will share with you.

The life I’ve chosen to live these days is a pretty quiet one. I’m not documenting every minute and sometimes it feels like don’t have much to say because people all over the world have kids and clearly what we’re doing over here isn’t revolutionary or mind-blowingly different from what everyone is doing. I didn’t invent motherhood and I’m clearly not pretending I did.

When I do try to document our little life my main partner in crime is either trying to smack my camera Sean Penn style, swatting at my iPod when I’m trying to tweet and yelling no, or running away from me.

In other words, I just can’t document my life and really be present with Ruby. Lesson learned.

Also, I’m not sure my readers, besides my mom (hi mom!), really care about the moment to moment action of me and the little bear.

This, I assure you, isn’t a cry for comments about how you really, really do want me to live-tweet my action packed mornings or write about the wackiness of new motherhood (more than I already do). I am just trying to get my head around my recent comparisons and the resulting bout of jealous gloominess.

To be honest, I feel better just admitting I was comparing my life to other people’s. Life is moving at a baby’s pace right now and won’t be like this forever, so I better slow down and enjoy it while it lasts.  Not in that everything is precious way, but in they are going to make me go back to work at some point and I will only get to hang with the little one after school and clearly I am so not ready for that.

Do you ever get the comparison blues?

8 thoughts on “The Comparison Blues

  1. I hear you loud and clear. I have had to readjust my idea of what life is like as a working mom, which means almost no time at all for things I like to do or for friends. As you said, it won’t be like this forever. They grow so, so fast. Cherish every moment, and thank you for the reminder–I often try to squeeze in too much and end up with little time for the kids.

  2. Pingback: Spring Cleaning and Planting Seeds « Teacher Goes Back to School

  3. And I read your twitter posts, and compare myself to you! And how so very fortunate you are to have a baby!! (as I train for my half marathon…..)

  4. “I just can’t document my life and really be present”

    I can’t tell you how much I relate to this right now. I’m currently having a had time keeping up with all of the social media sites I’m a part of. Makes me kind of jealous of all the bloggers I see who are constantly updating EVERY site ALL the time. :P

  5. i’ve definitely had this and will surely have it again. being a mama + using social media can be like miracle gro on the comparing habit for me. this has been on my mind a lot, lately: the double-edged sword of social media, the possible hazards of being so thoroughly connected. i love knowing what’s going on with friends and family AND sometimes i can use this knowledge to feed old, unhealthy habits.

  6. In certain recovery circles, the adage “compare and despair” is quite popular, but I’m now a fan of that Roosevelt quote. A few points: 1) The grass is always greener/extra lush/more tantalizing. 2) You never know what else really goes on with people, especially when judging their lives via heavily edited posts/selective information on the Internet. 3) Everybody does it, including someone who reads your posts and thinks “I wish I were that clever/I wish I blogged/I wish I had a child/I wish I could be that honest with myself.”

    As someone in the throes of writing a freaking book, I’m definitely head-to-head with the comparison monster all the time. I’m trying to morph it into something constructive, though, something that looks more like inspiration than frustration or dissatisfaction with my own work. Easier said than done?

  7. Thank you for this delightful, honest post! It sounds like your days are full of wonderful moments, whether or not you tweet about them.

    I spend a lot of time online, for personal and professional reasons. I blog mostly so that readers of my book will discover that my day-to-day life, like yours, is actually quite quiet and slow.

    There seem to be a lot of writers on twitter, and it’s so easy to jump into the twitter stream while I’m procrastinating or trying to come up with a story idea. Half the time I’m inspired by what others have to say, and the rest of the time, like you, I compare my life to theirs and wonder if I should be traveling more, speaking more, selling more books, or just producing more clever tweets.

    It would be nice if there were some update symbols we could leave up online instead of constantly feeling like we have to come up with exciting posts – perhaps we could invent some simple graphics for people to post, indicating what we’re all really up to – sleeping, eating, walking…

    I’m currently eating peanut butter on toast and breathing, in case anyone’s interested :-)

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