fight the urge to compare!

A while back I wrote about how I didn’t cry when I crossed the finish line of my first marathon.  Everyone told me I would since I just completed this huge experience but I didn’t.  I was proud I finished but disappointed because I thought I would do better.  I wrote how I was hoping to have this major flood of emotion when I crossed the finish line in the final race of the Dopey Challenge.

I should be crying after all of these miles, right?
I should be crying after all of these miles, right?

And I did.  I cried a bit and was bursting with pride… but not for long.  First of all, I was surrounded by people who had just completed the Dopey.  There were 7,000 of us total who attempted and I am not sure what the final total was who finished but I am thinking most people did.  Then there was the conversation I overheard the night before the marathon on the bus back to my hotel.  The gentleman said, “I’m doing the Goofy.  I didn’t get into the Dopey but seriously, the Dopey is the same as the Goofy with just a few training runs before it.”  Hmmm… sour grapes much?

It did kind of stick with me though – was this really a big deal?  Was it simply a couple of training runs?  I thought about this and remembered earlier that day while running the half my legs were indeed, fatigued from the two days prior.  So, I (essentially) stamped out that little bit of doubt.

Of course, missing the under six hour mark by two minutes stuck in my craw a bit!  Haha, I know this is beyond ridiculous!  Pretty soon I did hear stories of others who finished the marathon portion of Dopey MUCH speedier than me and I started wondering if what I just did was actually all that great.

When I got home, I had two friends in particular who pointed out how proud of myself I should be.  In fact, they both said “I hope you are proud of yourself…”.  Not to mention, these weren’t two of my friends who I would have ever expected this from.  Hmm… is there a sign on my forehead describing how I downplay my achievements?!

My mom used to do this all the time.  She was an amazing artist but could never see it on her own.  It drove me nuts.  She would constantly compare herself to others.  Sound familiar?  When I realized I am guilty of the same thing I knew it was a habit that had to stop.  The achievements of others only over shadows mine if I make it so.

There are loads of memes out there that talk about this phenomenon so I know it’s common.  I don’t want to do it anymore.  It’s silly and feeling proud of myself is such a GREAT feeling!  Not to mention, when/if I have kids of my own I don’t want to pass this along to them.  While it’s part of human nature, I can make it less of a part of my nature.  It is something I need to commit to, I already know it.  It’s very similar to breaking my habit of amping up my anxiety by playing situations/conversations over and over again in my mind.  By saying “stop” out loud, I’ve been curbing this pattern and it has helped!

So, I am confident I can change this about myself.  Besides, who doesn’t want to embrace their accomplishments?!  Heck beyond embracing them, CELEBRATING them!

in style of course

the last bit of birthday talk

Thank you all for the birthday wishes!  I have ALWAYS loved my birthday.  When I was younger, I had great parties and my family was really good at making them special.  I am a firm believer that birthdays are INDEED special and it sincerely boggles my mind when people don’t like theirs.

That all being said, I’m still not quite sure about this whole “getting older” thing.  There are several aspects that I appreciate:  being more comfortable in who I am as a person, not caring (as much) about what other people think of me, the ability to better balance my work and personal life and understanding what I want out of life.

Now, what I do not appreciate is the slowing of the metabolism, the pressure that I should want or be more than what I currently am and this feeling I have that I am “behind” a.k.a not married (heck, not in a relationship!), no kiddies and not living in this house

-6

I’ve also grown up… for the last several years, I’ve gone out to get a FABULOUS birthday dress.  This year was not different but it didn’t get here in time!  I did order it from my favorite store that has all kinds of umm…”party dresses” so I was disappointed but I made do.  If this had happened last year, I think I would have freaked out.  I know this seems like a small and perhaps petty example but learning to chill out is a great accomplishment for yours truly!

haha, this was NOT what I picked out to wear but I thought it was ridiculous and had to show you
haha, this was NOT what I picked out to wear but I thought it was ridiculous and had to show you

Oh yeah, birthdays surely make me think!  But honestly, did you expect anything different from me?!  The last few days, I’ve thought about the fun experiences I’ve had this year and the situations where I stepped out of my comfort zone.  I got a promotion and interviewed for a few other positions.  I’ve traveled (a crazy amount – I’ve worn out my suitcase!), spent time with my family and (ugh!) MOVED!  Haha, yes, moving was probably one of my biggest accomplishments because packing essentially makes me break into hives.

I paid off a lot of debt, developed and nurtured  total kick-ass friendships, ran a FULL marathon (x2!!), actually kept up with blogging, watched every season of Supernatural, tried crossfit, ran a relay from Madison to Chicago, and am getting better with the whole “simplifying” aspect of my life.

wanted to post this one again!
wanted to post this one again!

My favorite poem has always been Robert Frost’s “The Road Less Traveled”.  I know it sounds cheesy but I’ve never taken the well-beaten path and it’s something I have to remind myself when those “I’m behind” feelings hit.  I have some big plans for this next year… can’t wait to fill you all in!