Confession: I am actually at the point where I am totally envious of fictional people. It’s the folks in those Lunesta commercials. You know the ones, where the people have gotten so much GREAT sleep that they wake up smiling, then roll out of bed looking completely rested, dressed in pajamas without wrinkles (or baby spit up, for that matter). I always seem to see these ads early in the morning, when I’m barely functioning, and I just….I pine. I really just pine. What would I give for a full, uninterrupted night of sleep? Oh, I don’t even know. Everything?
(Okay, not everything. And I am getting much more sleep than I was about four weeks ago, so I really shouldn’t be complaining. In fact, I think I’ll stop right now.)
Meanwhile, I got some true inspiration this weekend, when I went to cheer my friend Leigh as she ran a sprint triathalon. It was a benefit for Breast Cancer research, and tons of people competed. We set up shop pretty close to the finish line, with our sign and our baby and our palpable excitement, and cheered on everyone as they passed us. Even though we were close to the finish, the mindsets of the runners really varied. Some people looked like they were still going totally strong, others were having a harder time, and some were really struggling, like they might not even make it. It made me realize that even when everyone is doing the same thing, we all do it differently. Some faster, some slower. Some with ease, some with great difficulty. But the thing is, you can’t compare yourself to how anyone else is doing. What matters is your race, not how everyone else is running it.
This applies, I’m finding, not just to writing (where I feel I am always limping across the finish line, while others seem to cruise in, not breaking a sweat) but also to parenting (which is a race I have barely begun, and yet have already stumbled several times). In the end, you can get a long way just by keeping at it, and keeping going. Maybe I should have known this already, but it was nice to get a reminder. And when Leigh came into sight, I cheered my lungs out for her.