During our Write On, Mom creative writing workshop, we were tasked to write about our fears, joys, to explore our inner depths and commit them to a blog post. Like my fellow writer-moms, I’m taking on the challenge, and so this post is dedicated to my fellow mom-writers from last week’s workshop: May we, as Hemingway says, keep “bleeding,” so that we can (as Maya Angelou says) “find out who we are, what we’re capable of, how we feel, how we lose and stand up, and go on …”
Last week, as I was reading through my fellow writer Van’s blog, I came across her reflection on being “enough.” If you read through Van’s blog, The “Shed” Mom, you’ll see that she mostly writes about the process of simplifying: doing away with excess baggage; getting rid of the non-essentials that bog us down, whether they are things or situations in life.
One of non-essentials I constantly find myself getting rid of this bad habit of comparing myself to others — specifically other moms.
I say “getting rid off” in the present-progressive tense, in that I’m still learning to not make comparisons.
It’s hard. It’s a human inclination for us to compare: Why else would one of the seven deadly sins be avarice? We’re all familiar with the commandment, “Thou shalt not covet,” aren’t we? God must have had a reason for implementing that: it was for people like me (
especially when I’m lacking sleep and pimple-ridden from PMSing).
It’s for those moments, when I believe that those women seem to “have it all.”
You know who I’m talking about. Those successful mompreneurs. Those magazine cover ladies who seem to have found the perfect balance between marriage, motherhood and “me” time. Those “it” bloggers — both the moms and non-moms, of course. Those friends on my social media feeds who are on their next vacation in an exotic white beach, slathered in tanning oil and sipping champagne on board a yacht or private jet. And yes, those friends and family with 2nd and 3rd babies… sigh.
Yes, I’ve coveted.
Yes, I’ve wished on “what if’s” and pondered, “what about me”?
Sorry, God… but hallelujah! It means I’m normal; I’m a thinking, feeling human being.
If I can borrow from a favorite movie, “I lead a small life; valuable, but small.” Seems like it: I work at home, between the living-dining area, on a laptop, five days a week.
Through narrow eyes, that’s all one sees. I’ve come to realize that it’s actually a much bigger picture:
- I have a supportive husband, who like me, is passionate about being a work-at-home parent and startup entrepreneur.
- Said husband is wildly supportive of my goals and ambitions.
- I have a beautiful son, whom I’ve been able to accompany day-in and day-out, whose milestones I’ve witnessed first-hand, together with my husband.
- I have a small, startup businessboth here and here, which allow me to work where I want, when I want.
- I’m part of a community of 200+ women who, like me, are striving to make a living while making a home, many of whom have become good friends.
- We are able to live with more than enough, with money in the bank, even in investments.
- We are surrounded by family and friends, all of whom are healthy, strong, and abounding in their own way.
Then I realize: What a silly, ungrateful woman I can be, to think that I am neither blessed nor enough.
Being “me” is a blessing. Realizing that life is blessed and enough: that is a gift.
If I can be nerdy for a moment: According to studies, the ability to imbibe happiness has little to do with one’s circumstances and accomplishments. Rather, happiness is measured by how we gauge the good things in our lives, no matter our age or life stage. It is simply to practice wanting what we already have, and to enjoy our present state of blessing.
So the next time a friend tells me, “You’re so blessed, Marts,” I won’t be feigning humbleness.
I won’t be saying, “Aww, shucks. No, no…”
I’ll be crying inside that life has been good to me.
Maybe they see my life and say, “I’ll have what she’s having.”
Should I rejoice that others perhaps covet me? No. I don’t wish covetousness on anyone. And so, to anyone I’ve offended by not being grateful for my blessings: Please forgive me for my pride. To God, who is infinitely gracious: I’m sorry for belittling your goodness. As I write and reflect on this, I am humbled. I knock myself on the head, and I am brought to my knees. It’s God’s and the universe’s way of putting me in my place, telling me: “Yes, right here, right now, you are blessed.”
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. — Mother Teresa
I’ve never been perfect at it, but today, I choose to be thankful that my life is blessed and “enough.” What about you? How will you find “blessing” and settle into that state of “enough”?