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Monday, June 6, 2011

Living in Plenty

My van is back in the shop today.  It's the third time within four months and I'm feeling a little sorry for myself.  A relative rolled into town in a very 'tricked out' minivan that seems downright glamorous compared to my ride.  Yes, minivans are glamorous to the stuff-toting, car-pooling, multiple child mother.  I see children with ipods, specialty sports lessons, high end gadgets and I wonder if I'm setting mine up for failure by not providing as many opportunities.

It is so easy to compare myself negatively with others.  Someone is skinnier, prettier, more hip.  Someone else has the ideal home, is not required to work elsewhere and spends hours in the pursuit of hobbies and extracurriculars for her children.

Intellectually, I know that I live well.  I have seen first hand the poverty in Brazil, the modern starkness in Hong Kong and the diverse mix of excess and need in Singapore.  Statistically I live better than 85% of the world population.  But when I compare myself, then I can find my lack, the gap between me and another who has more.  How foolish of me to dwell of what I don't have rather than all that I do have!

Comparison never leads to anything good.  It is altogether unhealthy and a habit that only feeds on itself.  I don't want to guage my life by looking at others to see 'how I'm doing.'  Also, I want my children to be grateful for what they do have.  What are some ways to train gratefulness, contentedness and joy with what you've got?