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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Birthday musings on comparitivitis

This is me thirty-two years ago. I can't believe I'm actually posting this, but I figured in honor of my birthday on Monday I'd post a picture of me from back in the day.

Can we say Mona Lisa smile? At least it's better than what one of my girls did to a photographer when she was a baby. She not only didn't smile, but she stuck out her tongue. Complete with eye roll and attitude. I totally love that baby picture now. ;-)

Thinking of my birthday has me a bit pensive. I'm afraid I'm burning out the few brain cells I have left after three pregnancies, but here are my wannabe sage musings...

I'd like to think as I age I've grown wiser, but recent actions have me reevaluating that hope. You see, I've spent the last few months playing a game I'd hoped I'd outgrow.

In Kindergarten it looked like this: Susie has more chocolate.

In High School: Susie has more chocolate and she can eat it without gaining a pound.

As a new mommy: Susie's baby is beautiful, chocolate is still kind to her, and she left the hospital in her regular jeans.

As an over-thirty woman: Susie's kids are high achievers, chocolate still doesn't expand her hips, and she's published a book that's selling off the shelves with an Amazon rank so low it's hard to see.

Okay, everything in me says to get a new friend and stop thinking about Susie and her chocolate. But the reality is "Susies" are everywhere. And I keep comparing myself to them and coming up way short.

This comparison game has successfully siphoned my joy. But short of turning off the computer, phone, and never opening my eyes again, I can't ever completely escape this game. I live in two worlds (mommyhood and writing) where there are no stars for good behavior, nothing I can study to earn an A, and a plethora of scales from which to be measured...

The bathroom one
Mommy meetings
Christmas letters
Amazon ranks and more review sites than my mind can grasp
Sales ranks which weigh heavily into future contracts

And that's just the short list.

Here's the rub... Joy and contentment are my choice. I can either let those scales define me or choose what my heavenly Father says. One leaves me depressed and the other holds the promise of peace. Seems like an easy choice.

But it isn't.

The scales sometimes tip in my favor and that feels too good.

God's view sometimes seems passionless, like I'm just one of the many He says nice things about.

Here's where I have to cling to the Truth and put all my proverbial eggs in one basket. God's.

Either what He says is true and personal to me. Or it isn’t.

Either God knows what He’s talking about when He calls me His beloved child. Or He doesn’t.

Either God’s perfect and passionate view of me is correct. Or it isn’t.

Simple choice.

Not easy.

But like Pascal’s wager, “the wise choice is to live as thought God does exist (and His love for us is true). If we’re right, we gain everything and lose nothing.”

The wise choice will always be to listen to the Voice of Truth. He knows us best and loves us most.

So maybe the old saying was wrong… Maybe, just maybe, you can teach an old dog new tricks. ;-)

There is hope for me yet. And a birthday to celebrate because once again I have been reminded to choose wisely...

I choose God.


Lori said...

Well I am not going to say Happy Birthday until Monday (I am never early for anything hehehe).

Well I could have written this, girl we have such similarities (except I am not a writer) I get jealous of others spiritual gifts, I am jealous of Mothers who have kids that never seem to get in trouble, or Women who have the perfect husband. Now don't get me wrong I LOVE LOVE LOVE my husband, but he is not perfect. OK SO HE CAN SAY THE SAME ABOUT ME, but that is not the point, hehehe....

Thank you for NOT being a Susie in my life, thank you for being who you are. I was driving to day thinking about how blessed I am our paths have crossed.

Now so how old were you in that picture??

Rel said...

Well, I should be on my way to my 3 year old's swimming lessons so she can beat "susie's" kid by jumping further in the deep end! But here I am loving you Amy and your wise words more!

Wisdom , I think, isn't always about getting it right but seeing the right path and trying little by little to walk it with God, sometimes we wander off it but getting back on track and trying again is just as wise as doing it it right the first time - you do that Amy so you are wise in my book :)

And happy birthday because it is the 21st down under!

Loved your comments too, Laurel Wreath!

Amy Wallace said...

Rel and Laurel,

Thanks for not being Susies in my life too, just great friends and gifts from God!

I was five in the picture. I'll let you do the math or just come on up and talk to my kiddos. They're more than happy to tell you my age and my husband's and anything else. LOL. They're learning not to be so quick with those details of life though. :-)

Much thanks to both of you for your beautiful words and for making my birthday special by sharing it with friends like you all!

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