A man named John Fortesque is credited with saying this. I have to agree with him. How much time have many of us wasted comparing ourselves to others. I used to do that, mainly because of a bad self-image as a young kid. I have an older brother who is very small statured. He is one year older than me. I hated being bigger and taller than he is. I’d pray for a miracle overnight to switch sizes with him. Silly, right? I really wanted that miracle for both of us. He was bullied, and I was compared by other people.
The folks at Madison Avenue marketed skinny young blondes as the ones who “Have more fun.” Although inside every blonde is a smart brunette begging to get out, I couldn’t do anything at the time about hair color or height, I hated the body I lived in. In later years, I accepted myself, and marveled at how I had three beautiful kids. So many pop culture people wished for what I had. A family. I was grateful, even though I wasn’t a skinny blonde.
When I started coloring my hair due to premature graying (at 37!), I never went blonde. It just wasn’t me. Now, it’s silvery and still very thick. Funny, people compliment it all the time. I’m proud I have my dad’s hair. The Hurley/Jewell family all have thick, beautiful hair. It would have been hard to lose it. Luckily, I didn’t need chemo for my cancer, so I didn’t have to endure that. My body betrayed me in several ways, cancer included. Somehow, I always knew I would get it. I don’t know why I thought that, but it did come true. Maybe expecting it made me get through it better. Now I pray it doesn’t return. Twelve years out, I’m blessed.
We cannot win ever comparing ourselves. Not great hair, a big bank account, prestigious friends, or a better wardrobe helps us win anything. Some folks never get it. They chase the Jones’ all their lives. And for what? Many people think the Babe and I should be traveling a lot until we can’t. We thought we would, but the Babe is preferring staying home. I don’t blame him. Should the worst happen, he doesn’t want to be away from his doctors. I can respect that. I’m not going to be upset about that. We make our live together one that is pretty relaxed, and respectful of each other. He applauds me and encourages my writing. He’s told me several times, “You can’t just quit.” That support is worth so much! I’m lucky. We both are.
As I watched over Mom yesterday getting used to her new walker and striking out on the adventure we had yesterday, I realized how I just need to try to get her our once a week. Somehow, somewhere. Until the snow flies. Then she prefers staying home. I’m so relieved she finally listened to the doctor and started using the walker. All that matters is that she does, and it’s so much safer. She was way too wobbly with just a cane. Thank goodness she didn’t break anything!
This craft I’m learning about now, this need I’ve uncovered in myself to write, it something to look forward to as I age. It’s not about the lifelong learning, the hours spent reading and writing, or the number of words I spew out on any given day. It’s about what it can become. And I’m eager but patient enough to stick it out, work hard, and get there. Because I know it will happen. And I’m grateful for this and all opportunities I’ve ever grabbed. Thanks for walking with me through all the learning. I appreciate it a lot. See you tomorrow!