I had heard of it, in passing.
I even recognized the characters’ names, somehow?
But I had never actually engaged.
Through the advice of coworkers, two weeks ago I began watching episodes of FixerUpper.
I’ve had a strange urge
to burn our house to the ground
For the three people left in this world not familiar with the show (I was one of you, only weeks ago), Fixer Upper is a home improvement show hosted by a young, charismatic couple that transforms dumps into dream homes…in one episode…with humor…and a perfect budget.
Every project they complete is fresher, brighter, and more charming than anything I’ve ever lived in. Sorry, Momma.
They just don’t build shiplap bathrooms made to house frozen baby calves over night.
Chip and Joanna are like the admirable, adorable older cousins who live states away that you keep up with only seeing the highlight reel (Christmas letter). Even after seeing them every so often (Tuesdays at 9:00 EST), you leave feeling just a bit envious of the amazing work they do, the ease of which they do it and the allure of the life they live.
And that’s why
I’ll never watch the show again.
I have to tell you something.
In hopes that maybe by telling you – and only you – I’ll do a better job of holding myself accountable.
I do this thing. Not often, but every once in a while.
I’m aware of it, only once it begins.
And I cringe each time I let myself do it.
Still, every so often, it happens again.
I let comparison creep into my mind and
I quietly begin to discount the positive things in my life.
I see a beautifully renovated Fixer Upper house and I forget about how far along our home has come.
Today our home is filled with ranch and family history. And walls. None of which you can buy at Magnolia Market.
I see someone begin to take impeccable care of him or her self and I wonder why I’m ok with WhirleyPop for supper when Cody is out of town.
I see people younger than I chasing beautiful kids around and worry: Am I going to be an old Mom?
But isn’t it so easy? The comparison thing.
Isn’t it so easy to watch good things unfold for someone else, then quietly sit back and think: I’d like to experience that, too. If only just a little.
In a time where we have access to every intricate detail (whether we want to or not) of a family’s highlight reel, it’s so easy to watch our own behind the scenes footage unfold, and compare. If only by saying something as simple as: I like what they did in that space; I’d like to completely renovate our bathroom.
Side note: A plumber is seriously coming to our ancient farmhouse today – on the day of this writing. If he can’t figure out something quickly, I’m taking the lightening rods off the roof and letting the problem sort its self out.
Comparison, in moderation, is not necessarily an evil. In fact, it typically encourages the desire to do more or do better.
So when is comparison a bad thing?
When it begins to steal your joy.
When is comparison a bad thing?
When it begins to steal your joy.
A heart at peace gives life to the body,
but envy rots the bones.
When you expend enough energy comparing anything that you have (or don’t?) to others,
that you’re too worn to seek out and enjoy the wonderful things in your camp,
the rot has already set in.
And by “someone else’s beauty”, I mean someone else’s
Career, path, professional success
Family, heritage or history
Home, house or furnishings
Friends, social scene or status
Appearance, confidence, or closet
Health, strength or energy
Location, proximity or zip code
Winnings, success or trophy case
Body type, body type or body type
Children, legacy or rendition
Schedule, production or obligations
Someone else’s Life.
Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”
But that has nothing to do with this blog.
What I really wanted to share with you is that Theodore Roosevelt is also accredited with once saying:
Comparison is the thief of joy.
What a simple, profound way to think of something so common in our every day life.
Do you find yourself - if only just a little - comparing what you have to what others do? What about comparing your life's path and timeline to other people's? Why do that to yourself? God made your life's story uniquely for you. Only you were meant to live it.
You lock your car when running errands.
You use a password to securely lock your personal information online.
Certainly, you lock your home up when you leave for an extended period of time.
Because you don't want a thief stealing the physical things that are important to you.
So why - why - would you allow
conscious comparing to trespass
into your most guarded possession:
- your heart -
so it can
steal your joy?