Monday, 11 February 2019

At Least the Tiles Aren't Peach: Why house-envy doesn't need to be the thief of joy

Why comparison can be the thief of joy on Instagram, and why you should be proud of yourself and your own achievements.

It’s 5 to 11 on a Saturday night. My back is killing, I’ve got gloss paint stuck under my fingernails and I had a (family) bag of Walkers Sensations for tea, because I've spent my day off painting the kitchen tiles. 

However, although I’m now rid of the 90's peach monstrosities I've been complaining about for five years, I still feel like I want to cry about the state of my kitchen. Irriational I know. But Insta-worthy beauty it is not. There’s no shaker-style units painted in Farrow and Ball. I don’t wash up in a ceramic butlers sink with brass taps, and my worktops aren’t sculpted from carrera marble. It doesn’t have an island, beautiful Victorian tiles don't adorn the floor, and all my appliances aren’t hidden away in a separate utility room. 

But I don’t have the money to rip it out, so I’ve had to do the best I can with some £7.99 tile paint from Aldi and a foam roller which keeps falling apart. And although I don’t know anyone in real life that has the above described kitchen of dreams, online it seems like I’m the only one without. Comparison is the thief of joy and all that, but more importantly comparing yourself to others (particularly other people’s ‘highlights reels’, which let’s face it, is exactly what Instagram is), can have such a negative impact. I should be proud that I got round to such a mammoth DIY task while juggling a teething toddler and putting tea in the oven, however for my ridiculously high expectations, its not enough. 

Why comparison can be the thief of joy on Instagram, and why you should be proud of yourself and your own achievements.

But that's life isn’t it. There's always someone richer, prettier, more successful, and choosing to concentrate on that can shine a huge glaring spotlight on our own flaws. As cliched as it sounds, spending your time looking up to what someone else has can take your focus away from what is right in front of you. 

I saw a drawing once that showed a man sitting in his car thinking "I wish I had a sports car". Another man sitting on a bus was looking out the window at the car thinking “I wish I had that car”. Meanwhile a third man was walking along the pavement in the rain was thinking “I wish I could afford to take the bus”. Ignoring the fact that its the type of cheesy Facebook meme your Auntie Sandra would share, doesn’t it just say it all?! Yes there’s always someone better off than you, but all that really means is there’s also someone worse off. Be proud of others and happy for their achievements, but remember that it has no bearing on your own at all. 

So never mind the fact it’s not a herringbone mosaic splash back - at least the tiles aren’t peach. 

Thanks for reading,
Sam Xx
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