A gentle reminder


Comparison is the thief of joy – Theodore Roosevelt.

How true this is. I heard this the other day and have been thinking about it ever since. It came into my head when I helped my son cut down the sunflower he had grown for a competition at school – he was so excited, he even hung a toy medal round its stalk, yet at 83cm tall (the results have been counted and verified) I knew he had little chance of winning.

The thought of him being disappointed made me think, I wish he could just stay happy that he’s managed to grow such a cool flower all by himself? He tried his best, even though our garden doesn’t get the sun all day and his flower had been munched on by caterpillars. Anyway, he didn’t win, and of course that’s ok, it’s all part of healthy competition, I just didn’t want him to lose that joy.

It came into my head too, many more times this week while I’ve been thinking about where I am in life, what I’m doing now and what I’d like to achieve. I started this blog, for example, as a bit of a hobby, a way of writing more creatively and sharing ideas about things I like with the wider world. I mean, why not? It seems like a kind of fun thing to do. Maybe someone will be touched by something I write or be inspired by it, who knows, even if I make just one person smile through doing it, then it will have been a success. But the more I get into blogging, the more blogs I read, and the more I feel there are so many people doing the same thing that can I really be a voice that can be heard? Then I remember the quote, and just think well, if I get something out of it then I’m just going to keep going. Who knows where it will take me, and the people I will meet. I’ve already met quite a few, and if you’re reading this, hi!

It came into my head when listening to my husband talk frankly about how he has changed since being ill, and how a once fit and healthy man could have changed to being someone who needs to be cared for, when really all he wants to do is to be able to care for those around him. After having two major operations on his abdomen, he’s understandably self-conscious about how he might look with the scars those ops have left behind. Yet to me, they’re signs of survival and pure strength.

Perhaps we all need a reminder of the how comparing ourselves to others may not always be the most helpful way to go. I’m not saying we shouldn’t compare ourselves at all, as there’s a lot to be said for looking to others to see how we can change. It’s just that we need to make sure we keep an eye on how we can applaud the things we do that we can be proud of. After all, we encourage this in our children, so why not in ourselves?

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  • Reply
    July 3, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    Lovely words, certainly made me think this evening-thank you xx

  • Reply
    Jenny @ The Brick Castle
    July 4, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    It’s a lovely quote and something we really should always remember because it’s stunningly true. It’s so easy to lose our happiness at something we’ve achieved, because someone else’s is read by more people, bigger, more expensive, spanglier or whatever, and it’s wrong 🙂

  • Reply
    Cathy Lavictoire
    July 4, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    Great post – really enjoyed reading it 🙂

  • Reply
    uncheshire wife
    July 5, 2014 at 10:17 am

    That’s a lovely post, I enjoyed reading it. Hope your husband is on the mend. x

  • Reply
    Angela Webster
    July 5, 2014 at 10:34 am

    What a lovely post, I think sometimes the person we need to be kindest to is ourselves and not to worry what everyone else is doing, I’ve starting doing that recently and I’m a lot happier for it x

  • Reply
    Susanne Remic (@Ghostwritermumm)
    July 5, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    This quote needs to do the rounds a bit more I think. Thank you. There are so many ways that we compare ourselves, rather than being truly happy with what we have and what we’ve achieved. It does no good to compare! x x

  • Reply
    VaiChin @RamblingThroughParenthood
    July 5, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Something we need to remember in all walks of life, but perhaps more so as bloggers where recognition really does not come easy. #sharefriday

  • Reply
    Erin Ek Rush
    July 6, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    This was a nice to read – it is true! I think things like blogs and facebook can make comparison so much more tempting as well. It can be easy to stop and appreciate what we have!

  • Reply
    Maxine (@agirliknow_)
    July 7, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    Such a lovely and thought provoking blog post. We waste to much of our life comparing ourselves to others. I’m going to write this quote down on a Post It and stick it to my screen at work as a reminder every day. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  • Reply
    July 9, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    I agree – I think all this competition takes our eyes off the realities of what we have achieved, I do it myself all the time, ‘not as good as…’ ‘Should do better’ ‘ why haven’t you managed this yet…’ And then sometimes I stop and think, well, actually, you’ve done alright really, business still going, kids pretty clean and smart most days, it’s all ok – we should all take time to pat ourselves on the back. Regularly! Xx

  • Reply
    October 7, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    Hear, hear! I do spend a stupid amount if time wishing my blog were more beautiful/creative/cool/appealing to sponsors/brands etc and then I remind myself that like you, getting some joy out of it is the best thing.

    Comparison is indeed the thief of joy. Loved this post, it resonated so much. Thanks 🙂
    Steph x

    • Reply
      October 7, 2014 at 8:31 pm

      That’s so kind Steph thank you, I love your blog anyway so you’ve no need to worry! I think we all get bogged down in comparing ourselves to others in all sorts of ways x

  • Reply
    January 5, 2015 at 10:04 am

    Great post and a great quite, one we would all do well to remember 🙂 x
    Seychellesmama recently posted…Getting back to ordinary {The Ordinary Moments 15} #1My Profile

    • Reply
      January 5, 2015 at 10:18 am

      Thank you! X

    • Reply
      January 5, 2015 at 9:19 pm

      Thank you! Xx

  • Reply
    January 5, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    Lovely post-I think this should be my mantra. Thanks for reminding me about it x
    Amy recently posted…How to start a blogMy Profile

    • Reply
      January 5, 2015 at 9:18 pm

      Ah thank you Amy xx

  • Reply
    March 23, 2015 at 6:49 am

    So so true. It’s so easy to forget and so easy to compare and think the grass is greener. I think we all forget that bloggers especially can be very selective about what they publish and it’s very easy to fall into the trap of thinking one particular family is living a very rosey life. Brilliantly written x
    Notmyyearoff recently posted…The Little Big SurpriseMy Profile

    • Reply
      March 23, 2015 at 12:55 pm

      Thanks so much – I should remember it more often myself too! Xx

  • Reply
    March 23, 2015 at 8:57 am

    We are very big on quotes around here and that is a great one. So true! I never did the competitive mum thing when the girls were little and still don’t now because for all their accomplishments, there have been just as many issues ha! I wish that school would celebrate the growing of the beautiful sunflower and the keeping it alive too, because the size is more to do with luck than skill. A lovely thoughtful post X
    Lisa@intotheglade recently posted…Spicy Orange Cake!My Profile

    • Reply
      March 23, 2015 at 12:54 pm

      Thanks Lisa xx

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