I’ll be completely honest, I really struggled with writing this post, and I’ve been putting off and putting off writing this week’s blog. Yes, I’ve been procrastinating. I knew what I wanted to write about, but every time I sat down, I just couldn’t get the words out in an order that would make sense to anyone, and I was getting pretty annoyed at myself, and I just wasn’t happy with what I had written.
So I’ve taken two of my half-written draft posts and put them together to write this one as I think they actually tie quite nicely.
So here is the first part of my post…..
I’ll Be Happy When…
We make out on social media that we are happy and everything is fantastic. But in real life, we’re more likely to say, ‘I’ll be happy when it’s Friday’, ‘I’ll be happy when I’m debt-free, ‘I’ll be happy once I’ve lost a stone’, ‘I’ll be happy when it’s summer’…..and, well, you get the picture.
I realised something recently on my walk back from Sainsbury’s with Baby J. I am happy. I’ve no idea what it was at that moment (around 2 pm on a Thursday, if you’re interested), but I just felt light and carefree. Then the usual thoughts of, ‘Why are you happy? You’re overweight, you have no money, and you don’t even own your own house. What have you got to be happy about?’ (Maybe I need to re-read my post, being confident in your own skin, and learn how to be kinder to myself 😉😉)
‘Well’, I answered myself, ‘I’m walking back from the shop in the crisp afternoon breeze, with goodies in my shopping bag and my beautiful baby in his pushchair. I have an amazing husband who loves me, a wonderful, albeit crazy, family, and I’m lucky enough that I have been able to stay at home and watch my beautiful boy grow up. None of these people who love me care what size my clothes are or how much money I have, so why does any of that matter’.
I’ll tell you why it matters…It doesn’t!
However, I haven’t been feeling quite as happy since that day. And this leads me to the second part of my post…
Comparison is the thief of Joy
I can’t remember where, but recently I read a post on social media saying that comparison is the thief of Joy. (I don’t know who shared it, but Theodore Roosevelt originally said it. Check me out, quoting famous old Presidents!) It didn’t really speak to me at the time, so I just scrolled on past.
However, a few nights later, I was scrolling through Instagram, and I couldn’t help but compare my life to the people’s lives that I was seeing a snapshot of. I saw beautiful houses, great hair, perfect bodies, clear complexions, beautiful holidays and generally lovely stuff. After a solid 30 minutes or so of scrolling, I put my phone down, feeling very deflated, depressed and demoralised. I wanted all of that. Why couldn’t my life look like that?
That’s when the above little quote popped into my head, and honestly, at that moment, I felt better.
Old habits die hard
Through all of my therapy, I realised a few things (and clearly forgot them too!), and one of them was that whenever I compare myself to other people, it depresses the hell out of me! So I had to learn how to stop, and honestly, it wasn’t easy.
As time goes on, though, and I start to feel better, and the depression and anxiety doesn’t pull me down, I forget about all of my training, and the bad habits start creeping back in. And my biggest bad habit is comparing my life to others. So what do I get out of comparing my life to others? Absolutely nothing. It only upsets me and makes me feel bad about my life. So why do I keep doing it?
And I think that this is where my two post ideas tie quite nicely into each other. I felt great about my life until I went onto social media and started comparing it to other people’s lives.
Now, I’m not saying that people should stop sharing their best moments on social media because it’s lovely to see these moments, these snapshots of people’s lives. I enjoy seeing what people have been up to, places they have travelled, days out, nights out, concerts, walks and, of course, the good ole’ selfie.
But, I think that no matter how good your life is, you always think that you can be doing better. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to better yourself, but don’t feel like you have to do better because of what you see from other people on social media. Do it for you.
I think the point that I’m trying to make is – don’t compare your life to people you see on social media. You might not believe that you have a perfect life but who’s to say that you don’t have a perfect life already? Everybody’s idea of perfect is different, so make your own perfect.
And actually, my life is perfect for me. I have an amazing husband who is supportive, kind and generous. We have the most beautiful son, who makes me laugh every day and makes me so proud I could burst (he also drives me slightly bonkers, but that’s life). I have a supportive (somewhat mad) family to whom I can turn and talk about anything. I’ve got the best friends that anyone could ask for who are, yes, you guessed it, supportive and incredible. I have a roof over my head, a car that gets me from A to B and food to fill our bellies each night. I can watch my son grow every day and take him out to playgroups.
And that’s my perfect. What’s yours? Let me know in the comments.