'That' woman

Photo by Elaine via Flickr
Yeah, you know her. You secretly cringe when you hear her mentioned. In your mind you count the number of ways you just don't measure up to her. She's got great clothes and you're knocking about in your sweats. She's an entrepreneur, a real estate investor, and a philanthropist; her husband is highly respected in the community. She's got it all. She's also got servants. Yep, I'm talking about HER; the Proverbs 31 woman.

This woman is a dynamo, charging through life running her own business, cooking, gardening, shopping, sewing and who knows what else. I read the list and think "I cannot possibly begin to measure up to this woman!" I forget about everything that I accomplish in my frustration over not being able to be HER.

Let's not forget something in our rush to measure ourselves against her. She's fictional. And really, aren't they all? These women that we measure ourselves against, be they bloggers, friends, neighbors, the woman at the grocery store with an impeccably dressed, clean, and non-fart-joke-telling nine year old boy, aren't they all a bit of fiction created in our minds when we take our little snapshots of them and assemble them into something that we think is the whole picture?

Some days I feel more like a limp noodle than someone who is 'strong to the task'. The list of things that I think I ought to be doing is longer than the list of things that I've done. Sometimes I need to consciously list the things that I accomplished in any given day and make the choice to be grateful for them. They are my accomplishments, no one else's. I did get up this morning. (Anyone who has ever struggled with just wanting to stay in bed with the covers over your head, give yourself a pat on the back for just getting up.) I did manage to feed my children breakfast. Was it a fully balanced, no preservative added, home cooked meal? No, it was Honeycomb cereal. Cereal that I managed to go buy at the store yesterday because I FORGOT to buy cereal last week when I shopped and so I think I get bonus points for throwing in an extra trip to the store just so that my children would be fed. And even though as of 12:43 I have spent the last three hours producing essentially no new writing, I've managed to play with and delete at least three ideas that were going nowhere. Which is still three ideas. OK, three ideas and a poem about Alzheimer's for a writing group prompt.

The next time you're tempted to compare yourself to someone else, whether that person is fictional or living next door, stop. Take a moment to consider what you do. What would be YOUR list of accomplishments for the day? Write them down, no matter how mundane they seem to you. Look at it and realize just how much you really do; realize just how important you are to those who matter in your life and be at peace with yourself.

This post is republished (and slightly rewritten) from my old blog. Because I'm too much of a perfectionist to just hit 'publish' on all of them without editing. Also because they come in handy when I can't come up with anything new.


  1. This is a phenomenal post that every woman I know should read!!!

  2. Oh, posted a comment on a blog that touched my heart... check!! :-)

  3. Love it!!! This is such a great post. I think about that woman often yet I too remind myself she is something to admire yet not strive for... I will make my list today and reflect on what I did accomplish instead of what I didn't accomplish.

    Thanks for the reminder.

  4. Living with comparisons is SO not fun. I'm thankful to be me. To be living and learning and growing each day... to be striving for an ideal, but satisfied with the work the Lord is doing in me NOW. :)

  5. I never thought of her in that way...excellent post my friend.

  6. YOu know that's not a bad idea. I think i might make a list tommorow. It will be a short list...but a list none the less. I hope to get something accomplished.

  7. I can relate to this practice, both the one where I tear myself down and the one where I count the ways in which I am accomplishing goodness.

    Great perspective here, thanks!


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