Friday, 22 August 2014

Put One Foot in Front of the Other

I think that is part of my philosophy of life, but then I suppose I must add '..and lie down when you need to.'  Being the wordy person I am,  I doubt I am capable of a succinct philosophy on life at all;  I would always have something else to add.  But somewhere in my busy brain there exists some sort of guideline I follow in life even if I cannot articulate it and while aspects of it may be universal, it is also very personal because life, and living with a chronic illness has taught me that in order to look after myself I must know what is right for me and apologetically do it.

Sometimes I slip into just coping mode and the feeling of being a bit overwhelmed always sneaks up on me.  I carry the delusion that I am super woman and can do everything I want to do, believe I should do and need to do.  I put my head down and plow ahead until I hit the brick wall I didn't see.  I am never able to do as much or do it as quickly as I am inclined to believe I should, and to be honest I am sure I am not doing things as quickly as an unafflicted person might, but that is something I have to accept and forgive myself for.  The Shawna in reality does not always, and probably does not usually, match up with the Shawna in my head.  The one in my head actually wears all of these lovely baubles and bangles that hang  on the wall in my bedroom.  She wears them every day instead of only sometimes, and they never get in her way or irritate her while she is doing things.  They would look lovely while she is napping too but of course the Shawna in my head doesn't need to nap.

A sneak peek in my bedroom, where the refreshing process is still underway. 

 There is a wonderful bit of advice floating around the internet and I've seen it on Pinterest, which is my preferred online hangout for my brainless days.  I will paraphrase it here, and I do not know to whom this bit of wisdom should be attributed but it is useful for all but those with the most iron-clad self confidence.

It advises us not to compare our true raw selves with the varnished version others present.  It is the character equivalent to comparing your real in the flesh self with the photo-shopped version of a model in the magazine.  Some people are very good at presenting a flawless appearing image of themselves, whether it is physical or whether it is a representation of all they do in a day.  We read about or hear about all that another does and is and on top of that we probably think she looks better than we do too, and we compare the reality of our own selves and situation forgetting that nearly everyone presents a carefully edited image to the world and some are much better than others at fluffing up their CV.

Whether it's comparing myself to what I think others are doing or comparing my real self to my idealised self,  I am likely to be disappointed so it is my goal not to do this and I have become much better at achieving it.  The strategy is simple.  I put one foot in front of the other.  I stop and rest when I need to.  This is what I am good at; I keep on keeping on.


  1. Comparing is never a good idea, but I think a natural path the brain takes to keep ourselves in check. Even if it's in a negative way, sad as that is. I've never been a big career person so am always feeling inadequately intellectual around career women. But then I have to remember my limits, especially during family raising years, that I am easily over taxed and stressed when there's too much on my plate. But there's always a tiny voice in my head telling me that I'm "generally a lazy person who's never really accomplished much." Yikes!
    I just woke up from an afternoon nap before I came on line. ;D
    I had to delete my Facebook account a few years ago because I felt like such a loser. Being positive takes so much mental discipline!

    Love your bauble wall. I think we enjoy our things just as much, maybe even more, hanging in our view instead of around our necks.

  2. I think you've hit the nail on the head. Anyone posting anything on the net is always giving an edited, abbreviated version of their life. It does no good to compare yourself favourably or unfavourably to them. I don't think people are necessarily trying to represent a false image ... just that the boring bits don't seem worth mentioning.
    Mind you I must admit to feeling a little gleeful when I noticed on the blog of a lady that represents herself as a clean freak, housewife extraordinaire an outrageously dirty sofa in the background of an otherwise perfectly posed photo. Nothing wrong with having a dirty sofa ... but it was so NOT how she presents herself.
    Just remember ... things are not always as they seem :0)

  3. I want your necklace hanger! :-)
    You and I are going through similar processes it seems. Interesting read. I think my thought processes started my blog post because of your absence.
    I totally get the whole jewellery becomes too much sensation. I like stud earrings on those days!
    I love your putting your head down and charging until you hit a wall analogy:-)
    You are a lovely friend and I appreciate your presence in my life because we have a lot of similarities, and because you're rad!
    Thanks for being in my life. XO JJ

  4. Comparison is the thief of joy.

    True dat.

    We are all feeling this way. Even the ones that look like they are Photoshopped and do lead the perfect life. (Gary Pepper I'm talking about you!) I'm sure she still compares herself to other bloggers as well. It's a never ending circle though and sometimes it is nice to just simply step off and forget about the other people for a while. It puts your own life and challenges back into perspective.

    We all have something entirely different to offer.


  5. Wow, I can so relate to your words, and Joni's, too. Looking at too many blogs and stuff online, you can't help but compare. But like you said, those images are polished, "curated" visions of someone's life. We just have to be ourselves and find joy in our own small lives. Nothing wrong with that!

  6. Hey Shawna ... Great post. Putting one foot in front of the other most days is all that we can do ... Just keep on keeping on!!!! Can't wait to see the refreshed bedroom.

  7. I have victimized myself by comparing myself to others. Like Joni, I had to delete myself from Facebook because I always felt sad and depressed once I got off of it. I found it extremely torturous. I'm just trying to figure myself out at 48 and I don't need the intrusion of the outside to make me feel inadequate. All we can do is our best. Right?

  8. This is a great post. I'm guilty of comparing myself to 'where I think I should be' and being incredibly disappointed. I will try to remember this post- I just gotta keep on keepin' on. ;-) Solid advice.

  9. Dearest Shawna, it's heartening to hear that you are on the look out for the signs of pushing oneself to the limit and fatigue. I find it hard to cope with people with boundless energy at the moment and I'm relieved there are others who need time to step away, slow down and take a break. Hugs to you sweetie. xoxox

  10. There is always going to be a gap between how we present ourselves to others, in reality or online, and how we feel we truly are, isn't there? We edit ourselves all the time, except perhaps with those we are closest to and trust to love us, warts and all. I think it's a given really, which is why I don't feel insane jealousy over other bloggers' apparently perfect lifestyles, or the "look at my lovely life!" Facebook posts. Because no one's life is perfect, and I am experienced enough to know that the window display might hide all manner of chaos in the stock room...
    Ultimately, the person I need to know the truth about is myself. Not an idealised version, not the "wish I was..." me, but the here-and-now me. Good for you, that you have worked on comparison as an issue (the thief of joy is so true), and recognise that it isn't a helpful or accurate way to assess oneself. Keep on keeping on, Shawna! xxx

  11. This is so true! We often choose to see the perfect sides of people- rather like the grass is greener on the other side. I love your organised jewellery- imagine a really tangled, messy, cluttered version of this and that's what I have!x

  12. Great post! I try so hard not to compare myself to others, and for the most part I do a good job. But having a blog sometimes gets into my head, and I see someone else wearing something I own, or making something I made, and it sneaks into my head that maybe I could be doing better. I snap out of it quickly enough, but it's there, and I don't love it!


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