Do you ever get the feeling that all you're doing is trying to catch up to... something?
At work right now, I'm trying to get through a massive edit (over 1,000 pages of text - something like 373,000 words), and although I'm trying to work through it, I seem to keep falling behind.
Then, also work-related, I must admit that my income seems to be lagging behind most people I know. Part of me wants to feel successful because I'm working "in my field," but part of me would definitely prefer to catch up to everyone else.
Studies have been done in recent years about the impact of Social Media on our collective - and individual - psyches. Apparently one of the big issues with most of these sites is that we spend a lot of time comparing ourselves to everyone else. Of course, much of what people put up online is an airbrushed version of their lives and not the nitty gritty. So we're all trying to compare ourselves to something that isn't real to begin with. And this, apparently, makes the rest of us pretty depressed.
Somewhere along the line, instead of Keeping Up with the Joneses, we've all started trying to One-Up the Joneses.
Christopher (and, to be honest, about 50% of the people we know) laughs at me for not having a smartphone. But I have to admit that I like my flip phone. It does what I need it to do (making calls and sending texts), but doesn't force me to be plugged in to the world all the time. Instead, if I turn off my laptop (or simply walk away from it), I'm on my own, in my own little world as I enjoy the great big world.
Perhaps that's part of why I'm having so many problems getting through the book at work. It's so huge that I don't have the time at work to just sit back and stare out the window from time to time without feeling guilty about it. I haven't gone out for lunch in about three weeks - not even to somewhere cheap - so that I don't lose time. All of which - as you might guess - is causing me to feel like I should be getting paid more. (And - look - I've circled back around on all of my topics!)
So, for now, I'm going to keep keeping up with me, instead of the Joneses. I'm not sure it will make me any happier (we'll have to see on that), but I don't think it will make me any unhappier, either.