Last week, you and I took on the twin terrors of jealousy and competition. But as it turns out, once is not enough. Lately, they've barged into my meditation and computer time, crowding out other hot-potato issues. So the conversation continues here.
Even after you're at peace with what other women (seem to) have — and you don't — there will still be times when you find yourself wanting what you cannot have. (For example, maybe you envy the incredible figure of your aerobics instructor.) But stop wishing and start thinking — realistically — about your life compared with hers. She leads aerobics classes for five hours a day, five days a week. You take them twice a week, one hour at a time. You are 45 and have two children. She's 25 and never been married. Of course you're not going to look like her! Still, you can twist your jealousy into a determination to step up your own exercise regimen. And when you do, your jealousy will simmer down to a dull throb because you're doing the max with what you have.
And besides, you may not want the package that goes along with the women who give you the greens. All of us have private demons, personal disappointments and unspoken sorrows. They may not show on the outside — only perfection is shown to the world — but the inner life is what you bring to your pillow each night. In the final analysis, all each of us can do is show kindness to ourselves and to others. All you can do — the best you can do — is to work on yourself.
The next time you take a walk, make it a point to pass a playground and watch the children at play. Each one is a perfect example of true single fulfillment because each is totally absorbed in the present moment. Think about that as you work for whatever it is you want from your life. Keep your mind focused on what you are doing and on ways to possibly do it better. And as you improve yourself, be sure to admire your own efforts. We're all together on this journey — and it's not a race.
I'd love to hear from you, dear readers. After all, your letters are the strong connection that keeps this column focused on the issues that matter most to you; critical and laudatory, every word matters to me.
Have a question for Susan? You can reach her directly at [email protected]