When I was in school we had to write themes, essays or papers that were often called compare and contrast. Did you do that too? I remember thinking they were difficult and not my favorite thing. Teacher would make the announcement and a collective groan would emit from all the students. Memories.
I have found myself doing a really unhealthy and downright stupid thing lately. Comparison. I believe it may be part of the human condition. I also believe we can stop doing it if we are aware of these thinking patterns.
Have you ever done this? I made a quilt that was pattern in a book. I really bought the book because I was a huge fan of the long arm quilter who quilted in it! I made the quilt and have been studying the stitching picture close ups for nearly a year. I have spent hours practicing her stitch patterns. I haven’t quilted my version of the quilt because … I can’t quilt those tiny stitches and designs in a 6 inch block currently. I may never be able to do that. I stopped the finishing process before I even started it.
I was studying people’s Instagram feeds to see why some have such large followings. OK stop right there… first I was comparing followings, collective groan please…. and I wanted to see what WOW factors that I could glean as take aways to the success of their IG account. Hmmmm. Comparing my pictures and work to theirs. Yikes, and double yikes. I felt like my feed doesn’t measure up to “the standard” what ever that really is today. And that I didn’t have enough influence to have a 10g following. Insert sad trombone wha, wha , wha … here.
Which all leads me to looking at my videos and that is a whole essay on being self critical about my age, appearce and why my really bad tooth that will be fixed in early 2018 has cause me a lisp….. I also have a slight droop to the right side of my face from past infections and the wrinkles, bags under my eyes , weight, inability to wear stage make up due to allergies etc … see the list could go on and on and on …. I compare myself others and become insecure.
So this month, I decided to be thankful. Listen to my last podcast if you want to hear about my December of meditative thankfulness. I am happy to be here on this planet because I have survived a few pretty nasty illnesses in my life and continue to work on managing disease. I am happy I have the ability to blog and do social media. I didn’t have the equipment in the past to do it. I am thankful for creativity and quilting.
See, I have some awesome things happening. I have some fabulous materials and items to create with. I have met some wonderful people along the journey and I have fantastic family that support me. I have had time to teach others about quilting along the way. What else is there to compare, because that is most important to me…. the ability to do something creative , the people and love along the way!
So whenever you find your self in the pattern I describe above , just stop yourself in your tracks. It helps me to immediately think about what I do have that I am so thankful for and if I can go look at it or the person , I do! I change the pattern of thought and then say to myself….. I am Vicki and my journey is unique to me. I am not anyone else and our journey will not be the same. I also try to stop studying and analyzing things. I try to just enjoy it unless I am trying to learn a specific task. I also find taking care of myself helps, too.
Embrace your own journey and then enjoy those that choose to share theirs online!