Crap. Look at their kale. It’s like, so much better than mine. Man, I wish my garden was that big. Jeez, I wish my garden was that small – I would have so much more time for other things. Wait, why are their tomatoes ripe already and mine aren’t?! Oh. my. god. Look at their stunning soil. You got how many pounds of garlic this season?!?! Holy crow their garden is prettier than mine. Sigh. Other people’s gardens…. they are so much better than mine.
Wait… WHAT?! What is this insane inner dialog about how other people grow? Why the heck am I comparing myself to them again?
Let me go back a bit, to the first five years we were farming – when I really did this. Like all the time. I’d sit on Facebook and look at other people’s gardens. And I’d get really upset about it. I’d sit around and compare what I had to what they posted. I’d beat myself up about how much better they were at gardening than I was. How pretty or cool their gardens looked, how much I wished I was raking in as much food as they were. I’d figure that they, their gardens, and their lives were just plain ol’ better than mine.
After the first year or so, this whole thing crept into my brain and built a tiny house there. As I started to compare myself and my situation to other people’s everything. Their houses. Their businesses. Their farms and homesteads. Their trucks. Their tools and tractors. How many eggs their chickens were laying. It all seemed so much better than my farm life. I’ll never understand why we do this whole comparison thing to ourselves. I mean, I guess I could blame instagram… but it’s really not the apps fault.
It was mine. This was a completely ridiculous way to be spending my precious time on this amazing planet. I wasted a lot of emotional energy on something that is just the devil. Comparison. Coveting what other people had…. instead of being grateful for the amazing homestead life, body, partner and piece of land I already have.
Over the last year, the two of us have been out here alone for the most part. It’s the first year since we bought our farm that no one else has lived here, we’ve not hosted any interns or wwoofers, or had a staff. There’s been nowhere, no one, and no distractions to hide behind. What there has been, is plenty of time to work on myself, my land, and continuing to strengthen my marriage.
Finally, I not only started to realize this habit I had was a really bad one for me – I busted through doing something about it. Demo on comparison’s tiny house in my brain started. I just worked towards building a big ol’ gratitude house instead.
It’s been an incredibly hard couple of years of growth and change. However, beginning to finally crush this bad habit of worrying about what other folk’s gardens look like is something that I’m starting to be incredibly proud of.
And my garden…? It is becoming something that I’m incredibly proud of too. It is where I lost 150 pounds. It is where I kept it off for over three years now. It is where I lost myself and found myself. It is where I got my heart broken and where I healed it too. It is where I grew a marriage strong enough to traverse starting a farm, a business, and remodeling a foreclosure all at the same time… and still manage to be crazy in love with each other too. And I wouldn’t trade it for anyone else’s life or garden…. because I’m the one that grew it. And it makes me feel like a total badass.
I’ve been thinking about this blog post for months, but it took having this concept come up in conversation with a handful of different women in the last week or two that finally got me to sit down and write it. It gave me the room to realize that a lot of other people do this too. And that maybe we should just… like… stop doing that! Our lives, are our lives. Our gardens, are our gardens. No one else has to understand it, agree with it, or like it. So long as we do.
I got loaned this amazing book last winter by our neat-O friends at Life Boundless Farm. Then I bought it and read it again. And again. Now, I’m over the moon to be listening to the audiobook on YouTube. I’ve never been super into self help kind of books, but this one totally changed my life and it is worth sharing. She talks a bit about this whole comparison thing and how it’s the devil. She cracks me the heck up over and over again. And this book is SO REAL and good. If you are in a position that perhaps you want to be a bit more badass than you currently think you are, I highly recommend it. Because it is so awesome. <3