I’m too tired to compete with you anymore.
I’m too worn out and overwhelmed and distracted to care about what you have that I don’t.
And it feels absolutely wonderful.
Many of the things I love the most in life are based on being better than others: running, writing, social media, teaching, parenting, being female, lifting weights, heck, even following Jesus seems to be a competition at some point. Having more readers, having a better finish time, having cuter kids, having smarter kids, having better, more impactful words, having more followers, suffering more for Jesus, overcoming more than someone else, being skinnier, being prettier, having more students pass the test, reading more books, doing more.
Making someone else less so that I can be more.
I don’t want to be a part of that mentality, that race, anymore.
The older I get, the more I’m drawn to the broken and cracked. I would like to pretend I am doing this because of Jesus, those are the people he would hang out with, but if I’m completely honest with myself, that’s probably not the reason. I just need you to be honest with your life and I’ll be honest with mine. And if you’re not, I just don’t want to be a part of it–it’s not healthy for you or for me. You set up unhealthy expectations for your life and through that, I get damaged by them. I find myself less than. I see myself as not striving enough, not trying hard enough.
And that’s dumb because I’m not less, I’m striving enough, and I’m trying hard.
So I’m done competing with you.
Last week I ran a race with my dad. I was feeling strong and fit, ready to race. But when I got done, I was still bummed with my time. Not because I was racing anyone, but because I knew I could do better.
I want that to be my main motivation in life, knowing I can do better because I know myself well, realistically and honestly. Not because I’m comparing myself to anyone else.
I save all my race bibs and write the date of my run, the distance, and my official finish time on the back. I ran the same race last year so I pulled out the old race bib to see what my time was. Last week, I ran 24 seconds faster than I did last year. That doesn’t seem like much time, but to a runner, 24 seconds is a lot. Suddenly, I was proud of my effort and time–I was faster than I was last year.
I was my only competition and it was enough.
Sometimes I see someone on social media that has a bazillion kids and they’re all dressed in cute, coordinating outfits and everyone is not just smiling, but LAUGHING, because their life is so awesome and wonderful. And then I think about how I only have two kids and sometimes I tell them to shut up when I’m grouchy and on Sunday Harper wore her Easter dress to church with knee-high storm trooper socks and combat boots and then she ended up on stage in front of a thousand people to watch a friend be baptized and how do other moms do it?
On top of that, I let Ellie eat three chocolate-covered granola bars on the way to church because I took a shower and forgot to feed my kids breakfast.
I just can’t compete with moms anymore.
Mostly because I keep losing but also because I don’t want to worry about it either.
I know it’s just a moment on social media and they’ve probably had to wipe poop off the wall at some point too, but I’m just gonna unfollow you, sister. Sorry.
I hope you do the same; if I say something or post something that seems so unreal and unattainable that it made you feel pretty low about yourself, get rid of me. I have to stop letting that stuff in my life, and I hope you do it too.