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When you go out to dinner, do you ever get jealous of what someone else orders when you see the waitress bringing it by? I do, a lot, to be perfectly honest. I am one of those people who struggle to make up my mind as to what I want to eat, only to find myself somewhat disappointed when my meal comes and I look over at what my partner ordered and kick myself, wishing that I ordered what they ordered instead. The whole time, I wish I was having what they were having.
I do this in other areas of my life as well. When people watching, I wish I dressed more like the lady with impeccable fashion sense, I wish I was the jogger who’s in her own little world getting her groove on and I wish I was as happy as that mom of two toddlers playing at the gymnasium. Farther away, in the distant, there’s the couple kissing by the fountain appears who to be incredibly in love and I long to have that kind of love. Or the old couple that are not only deeply in love with each other but are the best of friends. They share the best friend love that you find in novels like Nicholas Sparks “The Notebook” kind of love. I want, I want, I want. And in my head, everyone else has everything better than what I have.
I realized that I spent a good 10-12 years stressing over my body, the shape of it, it’s size and my weight when I had absolutely no reason to stress. Boy if only I could have back the body i had in my 20s, the body I didn’t want then, I surely want now. A hysterectomy in 2014 and a mental breakdown that resulted in the diagnosis and treatment of Bi Polar Disorder in 2016 and Hellooooo an extra 25 pounds!!! And then, and only then, did I realize that I should have been grateful for what I had in my 20s, and in a round about way, that I should be grateful for what I have now.
I am learning that I will never have what everyone else is having. One, I have food allergies, so that nice pasta dish that my good friend is enjoying will leave me bound up and in pain for days. And, when I am in a good place mentally, I dress pretty well. Like today, I am rocking skinny jeans, a peplum top, a blazer and ballerina flats, and let us not forget Alice in Wonderland inspired dangly earrings. Did my threads come from a high-end fashion boutique, nope, but you wouldn’t be able to tell that just by looking at me. Plus, I feel very put together and when I feel put together, I am more confident and when I am more confident, I am more productive and when I am more productive, I have a better day. Win, win, win!
In all reality, I could be that jogger, if I would actually jog. But I dislike jogging since this old bladder of mine doesn’t like to behave. I do, however, have access to a gym, which I can and do attend, and I am capable of working out where I go to my own little world (usually watching HGTV and day dreaming of a custom renovated home) and get my groove on.
I will never be a mom of two toddlers. It was not in the cards for me for a number of reasons. But I AM part of a mom’s group and I now am able to share in the happiness of other mother’s and share in the joy that their kids bring to their lives and be kind of like an “auntie” to their kids which is a wonderful gift. Plus, I AM a bonus mom to two teenagers, and we do lots of fun things and they are potty trained and can make ME dinner and that is quite the trade-off.
I have a partner who is my best friend. He has been with me through my worst of days. They were the ugliest of days and it was simply, horrible. However, we did not give up on each other and we stayed true to the commitment that we made to each other and our family. My love for him has only grown and strengthened as result of all that we have gone through, and each day I find more and more things that make me love him more.
I doubt anyone would ever look at my plate and say, I want what she’s having, and you know I don’t blame them. There are days when I look up at the sky and I ask the universe why oh why did I get handed what I have. But, then, on other days when I am not feeling so sorry for myself, I am able to see all the gifts that I have been given, and how each and every ailment has made me stronger and has helped me persevere just a wee bit further.
Having a mental illness is a challenge. Not having a mental illness is a challenge. Living day to day is a challenge. It is hard as fireflies to not compare ourselves to others. But keep in mind that the more that we do compare ourselves, the less able we are to be in a place where we appreciate all that we currently possess in our own lives.
When the waiter comes around with the plates, be excited for what you ordered. When you see the people at the park, try to not compare, try to be present in your body and be thankful for all that you have. We never know the inner wars that those people are fighting. Love yourself, because if you don’t love you, who else will?