Keeping up with the Jones’s

by Andrea Cooley

This quote has been making the rounds on Pinterest and I wanted to take a minute to reflect on it here. Comparing myself to others and worrying about what they think about me or if I meet their approval is something I've always struggled with.

Some days just the act of having a blog intensifies my natural inclination to compare myself to others. It's easy to get caught up in the pretty pictures and perfect lives on display and think that nothing I (and as a result this little blog) do will ever compare. I have an endless to-do list of projects, recipes, and ideas. Every weekend I make a list and it's rare that I ever have everything checked off by Sunday night.

To top it all off, I am surrounded by beautiful images, creative people, and more ideas than I know what to do with in my daily job. It's both a blessing and a curse. I can't imagine not working in the world of home design publications, but it also means I'm constantly seeing "perfect" images, dream houses, and photoshopped layouts.

Sometimes this inspires me to go home and create on my own, but more often than not, I feel like I can't compete with these beautiful spaces and the little voice in my head makes me doubt everything from the paint colors I've chosen to my overall decorating style.

The temptation is to cover my head, turn off the computer, and hide. But then I miss out on doing the things I love! Finding inspiring images, beautiful products, great projects, and writing about them. At the end of the day, I love knowing that other people are reading what we write about, but this is a side project, not a full-time job. It's fun to think that one day it could be something more, but for now, the reality is that it's a hobby. And we're OK with that (until we see the latest project John and Sherry finished and the thousands of comments they get and the cycle starts all over.)

I don't have an answer to how to find balance and peace in a world of Pinterest, blogs, magazines, and home design shows. What I do know is that sometimes you have to walk away from it all and just appreciate what you have. Even if that's a room that's not painted, a project that's half finished, or an idea that never went anywhere. I don't want to spend my life wishing it were something else!

Please tell me I'm not alone in these insecurities! How do you handle inspiration overload and find joy and contentment in your everyday life? I'd love to hear your thoughts and start a conversation!

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Andrea Cooley

  1. I totally understand where you're coming from Andrea! I have declined to join Pinterest for that very reason. I get a lot of ideas from magazines and blogs-they seem to shout, "Do this project!" a lot softer, if that makes any sense. I can save a post to my Favorites, or pull the page out of the magazine and put it in my "idea" folder on my desk. Those options, to me, are less intrusive to my thought patterns about my home. I've incorporated several new ideas but the bottom line for our home and what projects we tackle is the Bottom Dollar. :) The Buck literally stops at some point!

  2. I struggle with this so much! It seems everyone is more creative, more joyful, more productive than I am. And they all have prettier houses, adorable babies, full wardrobes, and are teeny tiny. I always have to remind myself that we only ever see the best side of someone online. And more importantly, God has a plan and purpose for each of us. Just because someone else seems like they have smooth sailing doesn't mean He's forgotten about me.
    But yes, I read far less blogs and pay far less attention to other social media outlets to protect myself from comparison. It's not foolproof, but it helps me a lot!

  3. Oh, I totally agree! I finally this year realized that no one has the monopoly on happiness or beautiful things in life. Someone else’s amazing garden or lovely family doesn’t take away at all from what I have. And to waste any energy being jealous is so hurtful. Plus, working in the industry, you have to know how professional lighting and photoshop make any scene much more magical. Big hugs for talking about this!

  4. Glad I'm not alone in my struggles with comparison! 

  5. Thanks Andrea! This is great.

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