Friday, April 29, 2011

I'm A Mess! Or Am I?

My friend, Kristin, has it all together. She's a great mom and her daughter is very developmentally advanced. She's incredibly dedicated to a healthy lifestyle, works out several times a week, and eats a very healthy diet. She always looks awesome and her home is clean and organized. She recylces, takes piano lessons, teaches fitness classes, and is a personal trainer. (Yeah, I know. I want to kick her too sometimes). I am constantly comparing myself to her and my kid to her kid, especially on particularly frazzled days when I feel like my hair and my house and my life are a mess. Sometimes I just look around and wonder how moms like Kristin are doing it all!

Then one day, Reese and I went over to Kristin's house to play, and I wish I could remember exactly what prompted the following comment, but she either forgot about something or misplaced something or needed to borrow something. And would you believe that she said, "ugh! You always have it all together. You must think I'm such a mess." Well, imagine my surprise! Here I was thinking she has it all together, and then she says the very same thing about me! I thought about that for a long time wondering how it was even possible for me to give anyone the impression that I have anything figured out.

Well, here's what I learned from that conversation. I didn't learn that I really do have it all together or that maybe she should be the one comparing herself to me. What I did learn is that you can't compare the entire iceberg of your life to the tip of someone else's. When Kristin and I first became friends, I only saw her in the moments when she seemed to have it all together, so I assumed that's how she always is. And it was the same when she would see me. We all tend to put our best (or at least our better) foot forward when we're around other people. I've only known Kristin for 2 years and the more I get to know her, the more I learn that we're not really that different. We both struggle to get it all done. We both have unproductive days. We both drop the ball once in a while (probably more often than either of us would admit). We both think everyone else has a better handle on life than we do. And we both look much more "together" on the outside than we feel on the inside.

So if you think someone else has it all figured out, trust me, she doesn't. If you think she is getting everything done, trust me, she isn't. If you think she couldn't possibly compare herself to you, trust me, she does. And if you think she has it all together... well, I bet she thinks you do too.   

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