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When I Compare Myself to you…

Each week the Lord teaches me a lesson. Sometimes the lesson runs for weeks, sometimes it’s a short 2 -day course.

This week’s lesson started  when I came across a statistic that said 67% of Americans are blue collar workers as opposed to 10% of T.V characters. This means  about 90% of T.V characters depict people who are well heeled. While it’s nice to see so many of your favourite characters doing well in er.. T.V land, the problem is that it creates a false reality. Lucky for you if you live in the UK, you won’t have that false-reality issue. Have you seen EastEnders?  They go out of their way here to make sure the homes are run down, characters are in dire-straits and only ever wear grey jogging bottoms and puffer jackets. They live half their lives in smoke-filled pubs, gossiping or whining about their lives in the doldrums. It would appear the plot is thoughtfully woven to stop you from aspiring to be anything beyond working as a security guard at your local supermarket. Compare that to Desperate Housewives, or Dallas where the characters drive nice cars and live in suburban golf communities. They are NEVER without make up; blink and you’ll miss the slight glimmer of lip gloss even as they roll out of bed. They stop for a quick chat and tall latte at gourmet coffee houses,  opening  tiny sachets of sweet ‘n’ low and pouring in the contents ever so slowly with French -manicured nails. Oh, and they only stopped for coffee on their way to the nail bar. The bottom line of the research is (American) television makes people unhappy as they compare themselves to the characters and constantly fall short. I don’t know if the Brits have conducted a similar research but we all know what the result will be. A happy bunch of people. Theoretically.

I guess that triggered a series of observations for me. I discovered that I compare myself unfavourably to others a lot. The most obvious is found in my mothering skills. These are just some of my observations as to what some mothers have done that Toks did not do:

Post first day pictures of their little one with child holding up a large postcard complete with dates, etc.  At least I did take a picture, it’s buried somewhere on my phone providing #4 hasn’t deleted it.

Organise a coffee morning- we see each other every morning and afternoon, there aren’t enough hours between school opening and closing time. Never even crossed my mind!

Ask if anyone else has successfully logged into the new homework monitoring system – didn’t know there was one.

Ask how to make Mr Fox’s tail curl upwards for the upcoming Road Dahl book day- blank stare.

Keeping fit- close to half of the yummy mummies come kitted out in designer, sometimes matching sportswear complete with water bottles and heart-rate monitors. They jog home. I jog to the car. They are a wonderful group of ladies, glad to have them in my life!

I stumbled across a movie on T.V. The scene I had the patience to watch featured three siblings plotting to get their separated parents back together. These young kids discussed. They were well dressed. They ate cookies (which did not crumble unto the vacuumed carpet) and didn’t squabble and scream the words that mine do; ”that was my cookie! I had it fir-ir-irsttt ahhhhh!”

Besides life as a mum, I compare myself to other women in business. I had mixed feelings as I watched another mumpreneur grow her seedling to seemingly huge heights. We started our businesses in the same year, but she has rocketed and I feel like I’ve been left behind. That was until someone told me that things were not what it looked like. For starters she had a multi-millionaire for a husband and worked on her business for 4 years before she actually launched it. I haven’t complained since.

With all of this palaver I need to start a new blog. Pawpaw & Mango remains my first love but an additional one is needed. When I applied to add my business blog a certain organisation to join their network of bloggers, I was turned down on the basis that my business blog was of a commercial nature, promoting a business. They were right. So I was advised to start one that was non-commercial where I could promote my business ‘occasionally’, this was at the start of 2012. The reason I have held back is because I felt doing so will be denying who I truly am. I do love to drop the occasional pidgin or ebonics in my writing but  in the midst of bloggers like Mary, Mary Quite Contrary, and The Quick Brown Fox of Hampstead Heath , I’d stick out like a sore thumb. I am also not too keen on using the word ‘one‘ excessively in place of ‘I’, because one does not really speak like that. There’ll be no talk of eba and banga soup, or NEPA or Kumasi market. You get the picture. So I need an appropriate name for this new blog, I would greatly appreciate your input for a catchy, creative  one please.  Bear in mind I’ll be blogging along with others who go by names such as ‘down the laundry hole’ and other sweet sounding Enid Blyton-type names. While I am trying hard to be authentic and be me, I have to learn how to blog like these ladies do, is that comparing myself?

So this evening I came across an angry tweet conversation started by one of such bloggers and visited her page to see what the furore was all about. I discovered the playing field wasn’t as daunting as I thought. There are some writers I would not compare myself to, some do have a fine way with words. But the exclusive  network of bloggers isn’t really what I imagined. There was bickering, arguing, insecurities, grammatical errors you name it, she was there. They were being themselves.

Comparing myself to them certainly worked well in my favour, just for today.

So what should we name the blog?


16 responses »

  1. Perhaps you don’t know this already, Toks, but you do have a way with words and that makes you one of my favorite writers/bloggers, and I don’t keep a long list. 🙂

    That said, this post got me howling with laughter. The Enid Blyton type name is not rolling off my tongue at the moment but I will be getting back to you on that. So amazing how we compare ourselves with others. This post was just what I needed. Appreciating, accepting and loving who we are is so vital to being a content and happy person.

    Some people just know how to make you feel we don’t measure up and sometimes we buy the lie that we don’t. That perfect mother bit, I’m afraid riles me up. God chose you to be your children’s mother because you’re just perfect for them.

    So let the shopping for Candysweet blog name begin. 😉

  2. Lol! You’re sooo right on this. There’s a fine line between wanting to improve and comparing oneself to others. This line is so thin that sometimes we find ourselves on ‘the other side’ a lot, lol!

    You know this made me think about my parents. I wonder how they felt all those times we (the kids) whined when they couldn’t afford our luxuries. My poor parents, God bless them!

    When you do have time to come on here you’re such a delight! 🙂

  3. Ohhh Toks! You are one funny woman! How did you come by the name “pawapawand mango”? in the first place? Can’t think of any name for the blog right now. Lemme go awhile and come back hopefully with something the next time #smiling face#

    • Nita! The name Pawpaw and Mango was a random thought that seemed to go with my random posts- this new one has me stumped sha! Awaiting your suggestions, thanks so much for coming back each time!

  4. I was going to ask how you came by the pawpaw and mango name. You do write well jor. Make person no make u feel as if u no good reach. (pidgin is just so hawt lol)
    Thanks for coming by mine. I’ll def be back 🙂

  5. You really write well, and when it comes to personal bloggers, I’m sure you’ll stand out. What of Toks Confidential?

  6. Darling, I love your way with words, so carry go jor! 🙂 as for comparing ourselves with others, we are all guilty of that at one time or other. My cure? Sometimes I just need to spend quality time with myself to really appreciate me, and not li’l Ms. Seemingly Perfect. 🙂

    • I couldn’t agree more, I’ll borrow your tip on me time. Having that means we have more to give 🙂 Thanks for your sweet comment, with this post I know I already have some readers even before the new blog has started , yay!

  7. Pingback: Pawpaw & Mango Blog

  8. Sorry, joined this conversation late.Have you found a name yet? How about “O my Word!” or “It just keeps getting better”. Just a thought

    Your writing is so so captivating! I’m going to get into trouble with my time manager! (spent far too long reading every single one. Really good stuff. Please don’t stop. Amazing, enjoyable fun read.

    • LOL! Great suggestions, I like Oh my word, but it doesn’t suggest what I do. I’ve taken a break from searching, perhaps it will come to me without warning. Thank you for your kind comments, much appreciated!

  9. Pingback: Good enough! | Pawpaw & Mango Blog

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