I was cruising around Pinterest today and came across this quote, “There are people who would love to have your bad days.”
Very true, I thought. People out there would love to have what I consider a bad day. It would be a pain free day, or a day without abuse, a day without fear, a day with loud but living children-a better day than they are capable of having. Then I felt a little bad about all the times I was frustrated with my day and promised myself I would be more patient and easy going.
But then I thought about the quote just a little further. I think sentiments like this can cause problems. See, I think it is important not to invalidate our own troubles because someone out there has it worse. Why can’t we can have perspective that others have it much worse than we do while still having sympathy for our own troubles?
Nothing makes me more irritated than when someone would take my half muttered complaint about being a temporary single parent and compare me to the life of military families. Yeah, they have it a ton worse, but knowing that doesn’t make it easier for me. It will just make me feel guilty for feeling bad about my current struggle (btw, just an example, though that was something that was said when my husband was gone for 6 weeks while I was working full time and taking care of three small children).
I know I’m not alone in this sentiment. I recall a podcast I listened to by the Mighty Mur Lafferty where she talked about depression. At one point she said something like “Your amputated leg doesn’t make the knife in my arm hurt any less.” and I wanted to applaud. And it shouldn’t make us feel better. Someone having more misery than we do shouldn’t give us comfort, how f-ed up would that be if it did?
It seems like we hear of someone’s troubles and we either have to discount them or compete with them or solve them (I tend to be a solver, I think it irks some of my friends. But I digress). We can be so full of judgements and well meaning advice givers that we don’t realize our attempts to give what we consider much needed perspective, just makes the recipient feel all the worse. I think women sort of feel like shit all the time on our own, we don’t need your two cents to make us feel worse. We do it well all by ourselves.
So what is the point of this post? I guess I’m saying – stop judging everyone, stop judging yourself, find some perspective, have sympathy for others and yourself and then go drink some wine and eat chocolate.
Bad day solved.
(disclaimer. I didn’t have a bad day myself. I had a tired exhausting day that was irritating at times and great at times. I’m just ranting about the quote.)