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Timeless truth in a changing world

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Comparison

Tried and Found Wanting

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Looking at my friend’s list of goals for the week, I started to feel rather unambitious. She and I are accountability partners, so we check in every week to report progress and set new goals. It’s a lovely arrangement, but last week she sent me her list that included seven items, many of them multi-faceted. My list had all of two things on it, both related to writing. I told her my goals looked completely lame in comparison, and she laughed and said, “I was thinking my goals were lame! You’re writing a book, and all I’m doing is finding people to fix stuff around our house!” Then she reminded me of a saying someone had once told her: “To compare is to despair.”

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Measuring Up

 

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I was almost done unloading my shopping cart when another lady pushed her cart in behind me.  I glanced at her apologetically, saying, “You’ll be here a while.”

“I’m in no rush,” she assured me.

I smiled and continued unloading.  Half of my groceries were already bagged and loaded into another cart, the entire conveyor belt was full of more groceries, and there were still some left in my original cart.  The lady behind me observed all this, and tried to make small talk.

“Big trip today, huh?”

“We have five kids,” I explained.  “And I try to do a shopping trip for two weeks at a time so I don’t have to come as often that way.”

Her eyes widened.  She took in my three-year old and 15-month old sitting side by side in the double cart, uncharacteristically docile as they looked at her.  She hadn’t been privy to their meltdown on aisle 8.

“Do you plan out your meals two weeks in advance, too?” she inquired.

I nodded in affirmation, and her eyes got even wider.  With awe in her voice, she said, “You’re so organized!”

I sure had her fooled.

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Keeping up with the Joneses

“I’m pretty much the only one in my entire class who doesn’t have an Xbox or a PlayStation or a Wii, you know,” my son said reproachfully to me a few months back.  I’m sure he tried to use this to make me feel guilty so I would cave in and buy one for him, but instead I turned away to hide a smile as I secretly gave myself a pat on the back.  He may have meant it as a guilt trip, but I took it as a compliment.  You see, we were both comparing ourselves to other families, but with completely different results.  He saw his lack of gaming system as a disadvantage compared to his peers, something that made him inferior.  I, on the other hand, saw it as a victory that we hadn’t yet caved in to peer pressure from other families or even from our own kids.  Score one for us!

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