Mindfulness, Relationships

The Joneses are a Nice Family, But…

You know that saying, “Keeping up with the Joneses”?  It’s been on repeat in my head lately.  Like, for a few days now.  Maybe it’s because of the nature of my life is now or maybe it’s because I’ve always compared myself to others.  The real reason is unknown.  But the saying has burning a fire in me lately.  So hot and bright that I had to jump on and share with you what’s been happening and what my thoughts are.  Ready?  Ok, here we go…

We all have those moments where we compare ourselves to someone else and we may even have times where we compare our situation to something else.  For most, these periods pass.  For others, the periods pass, but the action of comparing sticks.  For me, I’m kind of in the middle.  I have phases where I compare my house, my financial situation, my clothes, my beauty, my weight, my mental health, etc. to others.  I call them ebbs and flows, just like the ocean.

Recently I’ve been in one of those phases and I cannot seem to get out of it.  Every morning I wake up, groggy and needing my coffee, and desperately wanting to stay home.  I don’t want to leave my house, I don’t want to work, I don’t want to be around people and it seems as though I don’t want to do anything.  Despite these feelings, I adult.  I get up, shower, get dressed…you know the routine.  But why am I stuck in this phase?  Again, the reason seems to be unknown at the moment but on my drive to Starbucks today, I realized something.  I noticed how my internal feelings are affecting how I perceive other people.  Let me explain…

Most of us are around a lot of people throughout the day.  Some we like and others we don’t.  Some of the people we’re around make lots of money and others make only a little.  Some have incredibly great fashion sense and others, ehhh, not so much.  Some people may have an amazing car and others might have the low-grade model.  My point is, we’re all different.  We have our own likes and dislikes and personality traits, behaviors and characteristics.  And that’s what makes each of us special.

What I noticed today was that how I feel about my own life, isn’t as great as I would like.  Don’t get it twisted, I have everything I need to survive right now.  But I don’t have everything I want.  For the longest time, I’ve been a people pleaser.  I like to make others happy and put everyone else before myself.  I feel like I have to look a certain way, act a certain way, talk a certain way and I have to embody a persona that whoever I’m with expects.  Bottom line, I’m not myself in all situations.  And by trying to be a different persona in all situations, I’m ultimately trying to keep up with the Joneses.

Let me tell you…it’s not working.  I’m getting burnt out.  I’m getting frustrated with everyone around me.  I’m feeling lost.  I’m feeling alone.  And I’m feeling like I’m not keeping up.  That last one, I know is true.  How?  Because I’m feeling burnt out, I’m letting my personal frustrations take over and I don’t have a local BFF to help me through this.  Now that I’ve discovered all this, where do I go from here?  I can only get better and improve now that I’ve seen the problem and acknowledged it.

Here’s my plan of action.

  1. Start doing ME! – What I mean by that is to do what I like to do.  Workout in the mornings, followed by a 10 minute meditation and end the day by journaling and reading my book for 30mins.  Everything else in between is just adulating with a side of fluff.
  2. Schedule coffee dates – That might be a coffee date with myself, with my bestie in Connecticut or with my other bestie in Rancho Cucamonga [yes, that’s really where she lives] via FaceTime.  This time will allow me to be with my thoughts or be with my bestie to catch up and hash out things in our heads.
  3. Start speaking up – As an outgoing introvert, I like to be with people and have fun but I don’t speak up when I should.  When something isn’t feeling right or something isn’t working, I don’t say anything until it breaks or blows up.  Instead, I need to just use that teeny bit of courage and have a conversation.  Simple as that.
  4. Remember this saying and have it on repeat – Comparison is the thief of joy.  I first heard Danielle Redner from Stella & Dot say this and I’ve never forgotten it.  By allowing myself to compare my situation, my looks, my weight, my finances, etc. to others, I’m allowing my joy to be stolen.  This ultimately leads to unhappiness and I don’t want anyone to steal my joy.
  5. Rely on those around me – Instead of trying to do it all, I need to utilize those around me and ask for help when I need it.  Laundry is a perfect example.  I like to do that chore [because of my OCD], but I don’t have the time and I can’t afford to pay someone to do it for me.  Instead, I’ll ask my husband to help.

You’ve seen my action plan.  I share because keeping up with the Joneses isn’t always the best thing to do and I want you to know you’re not alone.  If you’re feeling like I am, make your plan today.  Hell, take from me if you have to.  And if you change it up, make sure to comment and tell me what your action plan looks like.  You might just be helping someone else in the process.

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