Everyone knows that quote, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” And I can agree with that on many counts. But, lately, comparison has been the thing that has stopped me from feeling sorry for myself.
A couple of weeks ago, some skunks moved in under my house and stunk up the place so bad that my family had to move out. Literally. We moved into the one room loft apartment above our detached garage. After one week in the apartment my husband built the boys their own bedroom. That pretty much saved my sanity. We went from a 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom home, to a one ROOM, one bathroom loft.
Through all of this, comparing my situation to others’ situations has really helped me put things into perspective.
It is not a rare occurrence to hear about friends whose kids are in the hospital, parents are diagnosed with cancer, babies are lost to miscarriage, and on and on. Me? I have a cold. That’s it.
I just finished listening to the book “Fast Girl” by Suzy Favor Hamilton. Holy. Moly. I didn’t know the Suzy Hamilton story (Olympic runner turned high-end Vegas escort). And, if you don’t, I recommend Googling it. It’s crazy. The book itself was hard for me to listen to because it did not align with my moral compass, but the insight into bipolar disease was pretty eye-opening and left me feeling extremely grateful for my mental health.
Then, I just started to listen to the book “A Stolen Life: A Memoir” by Jaycee Dugard. It is the story of the girl who was kidnapped in 1991 when she was 11 years old (I was also 11 years old in 1991…) and kept by her kidnappers for 18 years. EIGHTEEN YEARS! I can’t even wrap my brain around that.
My life in a one room apartment with my husband, two kids, and a dog is sunshine and rainbows compared to SO MANY peoples’ situations.
Yesterday, I got a snow day and my sister-in-law offered to watch my boys for a bit so I could have some “me” time. Ah-mazing.
Tonight, as I was tucking my boys into bed I told them that I was heading over to the house to run on the treadmill and that I wouldn’t be back for quite a while. Liam, my 10 year old, asked how long I would be over there. I said it would be at least an hour. His response, “That’s not a long time.”
Me: “It’s going to feel like a long time.”
Liam (in a snotty, 10 year old voice): “Mom, I thought you LIKED to run…”
Me: “I do. But this is going to be a really hard workout…”
I do. I like to run. I GET to run. I am getting faster and stronger and my body is holding up. It’s amazing. I am blessed. Compared to others, or not. My life is pretty special…skunks and all.