Last week I had dinner with longtime besties.
We’ve been doing dinners together for over a decade.
When I tell Daniel, “I’ve got a girls dinner this Friday night” he knows straight away which girls and asks who’s turn it is to host.
I wish we had a better name for them than ‘girls dinners’ but they are what they are, and they are wonderful.
We sat in front of a fire with mugs of mulled wine, and ate way too much baked feta and sourdough, and soup and apple crumble and vanilla ice-cream. I was so full it hurt and I lazed back in a big armchair that hugged me with its arms, holding onto my tea.
Our conversations are easy. We’ve known each other for so long, everything we say is understood in context.
One conversation though, flowed through my mulled-wine-softened brain without too much thought until the next day. We’d talked about comparison, and I was surprised that it wasn’t just me.
We’re all in different seasons both of motherhood, career and ministry.
When I look at the lives of my friends I see success, and contentment.
When I look at mine it’s hard not to see so far from where I need to be.
When I look at them, and what they’re doing with their lives I think You are enough. You are amazing.
But when I look at mine I so frequently think not quite there yet. Try harder. Do more. Be different than what you are. Not good enough.
And I realised after our full-bellied conversation that it’s the human condition.
Our fallen nature causes us to feel like we are not enough – and always assume the lives that other people are living are better, more fulfilling, more adventurous and much easier than ours.
This semester it was hard not to feel a little pang of envy when I saw friends work on creative fun exploits, or make amazing career moves, or take their families overseas. I was running women’s events at our church like a crazy person, and writing essays like mad.
When I dwelled on what someone else was doing for too long, I started to resent what I had to do.
Which was nuts, because I happen to love running women’s events and I am closet-nerd and I really love studying English Literature. So why was I starting to become discontent?!
Because I thought I’d be happier doing someone else, instead of doing me.
A phrase I’ve been pondering on though lately is this:
YOU DO YOU.
How do you do you?
It doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing, or what their life looks like, theirs is not your lane.
You run in yours.
Cheer them on, and then shift your eyes to the front, put your head forward and work hard at what’s in front of you.
When I made the effort to shift my thinking, my attitude changed.
How deeply grateful I feel to lead our women’s ministry!
How accomplished I feel that I’m diligent at uni, getting closer to my degree.
How blessed we are to have almost paid off the credit card, even if it meant no holidays for a little while.
And while I love social media, sometimes “doing me” means I need to stop scrolling for a little while so that I have enough headspace to realise that this life I live is actually a wonderful gift and one I don’t want to waste by drowning in comparison.
You do you sister.