Monthly Musing – September 2020 – The best version of you

I was listening to Dame Sarah Storey being interviewed on the radio the other day.  She’s a Paralympian, one of the most decorated athletes in sporting history, and now works with her husband to encourage young people in sport.

One of the things that she talked about was being “the best version of you”, which is where they encourage young cyclists in their racing team to always try to beat their own personal best and not worry about what others are doing.  She went on to say that you can’t control what other people are doing but you can make sure that you are always doing the best that you can and by focussing on that, your own performance will improve because that’s where all your attention is.

I may not want to be a gold medal-winning Olympic cyclist (as if that was ever an option – ha!), but Dame Sarah’s words really struck a chord with me.  One of the things that I know I am guilty of recently is too much social media scrolling, and it’s so easy to fall into the comparison trap.  “That person knits far more pairs of socks than I do; this person produces more patterns than me; I wouldn’t have thought to put those colours together; I wish I could draw like that; I wish I had their interior design style …”  What starts off as a fun way to spend half an hour can leave me putting my phone down with a sense of dejection and overwhelm.  Why can’t I paint gorgeous landscapes whilst baking fabulous cakes, decorating three bedrooms in an afternoon and whizzing out a few extra sock patterns in my spare five minutes?  I’m obviously not organised enough, or I’m not talented enough, or I’m just plain lazy …

A friend told me of a podcast she had listened to over the lockdown period about the balance between consuming and creating and how we need to keep that balance for us to feel good.  “Creating” can take many forms and it will be different for everyone, but for me it means that I don’t spend hours on social media passively absorbing information, but that I do get out with the dog in the fresh air, I make time to chat with my family (even if that means watching endless TikTok videos of cats wearing hats which is small daughter’s latest amusement), I knit at my own pace in my own style and I remember that there’s always something new to learn and something new to show someone else.  I’m feeling positive just writing this down!

I don’t always remember to be the best version of me, and it has been very hard to do that sometimes during this strange summer, but practice makes perfect and the more creating I do in whatever form, the more like my best version of me I will become – with no comparisons allowed!

A flatlay showing a candle through a speckled glass holder, a half-eaten chocolate biscuit and a half-knitted blue and purple sock

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20 Responses

  1. happy hooker says:

    As I get older I find I am less worried about comparing myself with others. I don't know if it's because it just takes too much emotional and mental energy, or whether I've just learnt to accept that I'm never going to be "perfect". Mind you, it's taken 60+ years to get there! xx

  2. Mimijo says:

    Thanks for the reminder. It is so easy to compare ourselves with what we see on social media. And let’s face it, most of us usually post what looks good & not the “failures”.

  3. Juliet says:

    A great post, and an apt reminder that we shouldn't compare and be envious of what others produce and their lives. Have been guilty of consuming too much online recently rather than creating, so must try and rectify that in the coming weeks.

  4. I hear you Christine, you could be talking about me as well.
    We are far too hard on ourselves.
    Take care, have a great day 🙂

  5. Ariane20 says:

    Quel plaisir de vous lire !

  6. Rusty'sMum says:

    Thank you for ghis Christine. It is thought provoking. 'Just do your best' was what I was was encouraged to do as a child when opportunities to continually compare with others were much more limited. It is good to be reminded

  7. Susan Rayner says:

    A lovely musing – thank you! I too shall try to be the best version of myself – too easy to feel less than clever looking at how very talented and versatile so many of the Facebook Groups are!!

  8. Unknown says:

    Love your blog as usual and wise words we are always too critical of ourselves and we must learn to love ourselves as we are!

  9. selina says:

    yes, it's a bad habit of mine too, comparing myself to others which is disastrous cos i tend to just give up, cos there is no way i could ever do even half of what so & so has done in a day! boy, you brought back some not so good memories of myself…
    it's good to brush the dust off once in awhile, yes we're all very different & we create in all our own different ways. it's a hard call in this day & age when most are in social media full time; which we shouldn't be comparing ourselves to as half of them are probably staged anyway;
    i prefer reading real blogs & seeing photos taken on the spur of the moment. love the sock down with the half eaten bickie there :)) just awesome photography
    interesting post
    thanx for sharing

  10. Lucy W, Kent ~ England says:

    You also garden, raise two young people to be worthwhile
    future citizens. Help/support your husband, reach out to others
    on your blog and I know from Lucy @ Attic 24 your a good friend.
    So I'd say you've got it cracked in all the important areas.

  11. Unknown says:

    I SO enjoy your posts. Your life is so different than mine. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. Not only are we reeling from COVID, but the fires (the smoke keeps us mostly indoors for a month now) and this circus of a presidential election make it hard to stay positive. So keep the musings coming. They are a bright spot in an otherwise "smokey" period in life.

  12. Hazel says:

    Yes, I'm guilty of that too. I do my best to repeat my mantra 'I will not compare myself to others on the internet' but some days it gets away from me, so you're not alone with that. xx

  13. Attic24 says:

    I loved reading this – you are so right that it's easy to fall into the comparison trap but it is truly liberating to turn all that mental energy back onto ourselves and pledge to celebrate our own achievements each day. Consumption of social media content can be a wonderful inspiring thing, but the dosage has to be kept manageable! xxxxxxxxx

  14. Lenore says:

    Absolutely agree with you. Xx🌺

  15. Caz.P. says:

    Well, I bet the champion cyclist can't knock out brilliant socks like you. Plus you are never going to break your neck knitting haha. You already do what you do best. Your books prove that!

  16. Rumpers Ramblings says:

    What a thoughtful post. I feel the same about social media scrolling. Also I end up having too much inspiration and of course that means more yarn in my ridiculous stash. So I've started having breaks from it and feel better for it. As I do now from your v helpful post, thank you x

  17. JoMartinKnits says:

    Great thoughts, Christine. It is important to always strive to be our best selves and admire others without comparing ourselves to them. Who knows what really goes on in their lives anyway. I'm grateful for my life and I don't need to be anyone else or have their life. xx

  18. FabricDiva54 says:

    So well said! I will keep you comments in mind, and choose a good walk over an Instagram session tomorrow. BTW, I love your blog, I am hoping to teach myself out to knit this winter. Thank you!

  19. Boeremeisie says:

    Wise words – all throughout this crazy time I have found great support and friendship in my craft and craic group, mostly on Zoom but recently we've been able to meet in person (sitting outside in a local park knitting and crocheting!). Their accepting and generous friendship has been a lifeline – the power of the needles is amazing!

  20. Heidijo says:

    I can definitely recognise this, I like to knit and crochet for pleasure,I hate having a deadline even though I am now quite fast!

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