Sunday, September 19, 2010

Eyes on Your Own Paper

"Keep your eyes on your own paper."

I remember hearing that quite a bit back in my school days. Every test, the teacher would watch the room, looking for straying eyes. Not that my own eyes roamed - I was too much of a good girl to even lift my head. 

I never was even tempted back then. So, why is so difficult now?

Women, on the whole, are notoriously bad about comparing themselves to other women. We mentally compare body sizes, clothes, children, cars, men, careers, talents, happiness, and spin it all into a tale of such perfection, it could be a Hollywood film setting.

"Her hair looks so good. Not like mine. Mine is gross today. i tried to cover the grey with a headband.
         Oh, and look at her cute dress! I love that pattern, and she can pull of those heels, too. I look like a badly dressed nanny today.
         I wish my stomach looked like that! And her arms - so fit!
        How does she get her children to behave so well? And their outfits are so adorable. I had to tell Romeo he was wearing the Mad Toddler's shorts today (granted, they are big), and then did not have the heart to tell him that the next pair he put on were Cookie Boy's. Oh well! They are baggy, but they aren't slipping down.
         How does she look so together? I rush here and there and still know I am a flighty ditz who has forgotten something even in spite of all the preparation I did to get everyone out of the house."

And on and on like that.

The funny thing is, while I am looking at her, thinking these thoughts, she is probably looking at someone else, thinking along similar lines.

It is difficult to live a contented life while our eyes are straying elsewhere.

So, eyes on your own life, please!


kkollwitz said...

I think it's also a mystery to husbands: if your husband thinks you're beautiful, what more can be accomplished?

Barb Schoeneberger said...

Love the title. When you get to be a "certain age" the comparing stops. At least it has for me. As long as I don't embarrass my husband, everything's fine.

Mary said...

Oh, how I understand what you are saying! The funny thing is, the couple of times I've confessed my admiration of a mom who has it all together, she has confessed how she is a mess much bigger than me. Eyes on your own life indeed!