Comparison is the death of joy. ~ Mark Twain
Growing up, my mother made many of the clothes my sister and I wore. I have fond memories of going to the fabric store to look at patterns together, and then wandering through the aisles filled with bolts of colourful material, excited that I was being allowed to pick out my own cloth. Within days, I had a new dress made from material I’d chosen and I loved it. But when I received a “store-bought” dress as a gift from my grandmother, the new homemade dress that had given me such joy just a few weeks previously now suffered from comparison to the dress that had arrived carefully wrapped in the box from the department store. I wish I could say that over the years I’d outgrown the tendency to compare.
It’s October and the days are getting shorter, the mornings cooler and the skies cloudier. All harbingers of a change in season. The thing is, I’ve always loved fall with its crisp breezes and vibrant colours. But I can look at a picture like the one today of the beautiful cherry tree in blossom last spring, and if I’m not careful, I find my mind straying. I glance out my window and instead of brilliantly coloured fall leaves, my eyes are drawn to the grey colour of the sky. I look back to the picture with its bright blue spring sky and suddenly my grey day looks even more grey. Before I know it I’m heading down the path of dreading a long snowy winter that hasn’t begun yet, rather than focusing on the beautiful fall that is happening all around me. I’m tripped up by comparison once again and once again I have to choose to pull my thoughts back to the abundance around me. The skies may still be grey, but the beautifully coloured leaves are also still here. Plus, I’ve remembered another one of the reasons I love fall. The weather is perfect to pull out some of my favourite soup recipes that I haven’t made in months!
This is Day 13 of 31 Days of Soul Tending and the focus is practicing gratitude and choosing to remain aware of what I have. When I initially laid out my schedule of posts for this month’s 31 Days challenge, I planned gratitude for Mondays because I liked the flow of writing about gentleness one day and gratitude the next. However, I’m enjoying the serendipity of scheduling a post on gratitude that coincides with a holiday focused on giving thanks. Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends!