Sunday, 10 April 2011

Skewed perspectives.

I have been thinking about this a lot recently. Why I expect so much from myself...

Well for a start I have 5 siblings. One real sister three step sisters and a step brother but the steps have been in my life for so flipping long I generally ignore the step bit. I defy anyone to truthfully say they have never compared themselves to their siblings. I know I certainly do and, at least in my comparisons, I come off a lot worse.

But a friend said something to me the other day that really made a penny drop. She asked if I thought my perspective was skewed as I come from a family of fairly high flyers. And I really think it is, hard not to be really when in your family you have:

A very successful businessman
A Consultant anaesthetist who also used to run the hospital.
More Doctors
An Officer from the Army.
2 Pilots
TV producers
Event Managers who have done incredible events
Talented Artist
Talented Singer

Not to mention you were the lowest achieving academically in school.

Now I don't hold anything against my family for doing so well and, without exception, I am ridiculously proud of them! But sometimes being "just" a mother feels like I am scraping the barrel of life. I forget my arty stuff, my sewing stuff and general all purpose juggling. So is it any wonder I fall short of my own expectations?! My mission over the next few month is to just accept what I do, take pride in it and enjoy it!


Michael said...

I come from a family of even higher fliers (we're talking more than one Cabinet minister, alongside people who came close to the top of the judiciary and civil service and several academics), and I found that the easiest way to resolve the comparison question was to end up doing something utterly different from everybody else.

Granted, as a film critic I'll never be able to say that I influenced as many people's lives (for better or worse) as some of my other relations, but at least it's distinctively me.

But it wasn't a planned career path at all - it just happened to be something I was good at on the side, until I could no longer ignore the fact that I seemed to be better at it than I was at most of the other things I'd been trying to do.

MrsB said...

Success is subjective. It all depends what your criteria is.

I think the older I get, the less I worry about 'on paper' success - money, possessions, job titles - and the more I think it's about being at ease and comfortable with yourself.

The more long in the tooth I get, the more I realise I'm not a bad person, I do my best for everyone and that's all I can ask of myself. It's not about comparing yourself to others - or even listening to other people making those comparisons - it's about being centred in your own self so that those comparisons can bounce off you - they genuinely stop being meaningful. xx

Mrs M said...

What they said, really. Comparing yourself to others is always going to be a hiding to nothing because there will always be someone better in some way or other.

My demons aren't the same as yours but I do know about low self esteem and that feeling that whatever you do, you'll always just be lumbering along at the back as a bit of an embarrassment to everyone.

It's not true in your case, lovely. So you're not your siblings, well whoop-de-do. You have so many good qualities and I wish you could see the Vix we see xxx

JaneV said...

I always hated being the shy one in a family full of actors and performers.
And talking of expectations, my tiramasu has never lived up to yours!