March 2, 2012

It’s snowing today.

It does this a lot, here in Wisconsin. But we’re not really winter people. In situations like this we’ve found that we can do two things: complain or search for something to be thankful for. This probably sounds like the whole “glass half full or empty” sort of thing but, to be honest I think we’re all naturally glass half empty kind of people. Because it takes work to see things from a positive perspective, doesn’t it? So today we are thankful for little hands that are willing to shovel the driveway for us, warm drinks, and delicious leftovers from a party we had last night. Yes, I have a headache that hasn’t left me for days (weeks?), it’s cold and slushy, and we have to shovel our car off if we want to go anywhere, but let’s not focus on that okay? 🙂

A month ago, we went to the world’s greatest photography workshop and while we were there, we were reminded of how much we waste time comparing. We were all challenged to do a “blog fast” for an entire month.

It hasn’t quite been an entire month for us, yet, but we’re already amazed at how many things we’ve created in the past few weeks. Because our eyes and minds aren’t being fulfilled with the beauty that other people have created, we’ve found ourselves really itching to create and find beauty on our own. In just a few short weeks, between the two of us, we’ve created four pillow covers, a tree branch light fixture, a crazy window covering made of fabric scraps, multiple pieces of artwork for our walls, beautiful food, a new logo for our website, and more.

We believe that we have it planted in us — a desire to create and see beauty. Yet, by looking at things like Pinterest and other wonderful blogs, we get a little depressed about the truly great, creative things we have already done AND it quenches our desire to actually DO anything new. That makes us really sad, because there is soo much more satisfaction in creating our own art that isn’t inspired by/a copy of someone else’s. (We’ve also found that it’s hard to try something new because we tend to be our own worst critic and many times that robs us, too.)

So if you’re struggling with comparison we’ve found a few things that have helped us…

Stop looking at blogs. We won’t be offended if you ignore us, too; we’re actually telling you to do it. 🙂

It’s not always easy to appreciate what is right there in front of us. It becomes such an ordinary part of days that we don’t even think what we have is worth being thankful for. And if we’re truthful with ourselves, it’s because we’ve been comparing our lives to what someone else has/does. We’ve moved a few times in the last five years and have found that beautiful, happy moments happen just the same in big houses, tiny apartments, and rented places with stale, white walls. We just have had to search a little harder at times.

Over the past year or so, we’ve started to hang artwork, verses and phrases around our house to help us look at our everyday life with amazement, wonder and joy. And you know what has happened? We’ve become thankful. People who are thankful. We’re not perfect and many days we fail miserably but, in general, we’ve realized that we have more than we need and there is always something to find joy in.

We’ll leave you with this: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Click on that quote – it’s a link to a great little poster that we think everyone should have on their wall. If not this exact one, then at least the quote, in some form.

Happy Friday, friends! We hope you have a joy-filled weekend. 🙂