I started my summer reading with “The Hands Free Mama” and it really has me thinking. (PSA: we most likely will be exploring social media/technology/comparison at The Exchange in the fall. Get excited!) As women, we so easily get caught up and hooked into comparing ourselves to others. We are generally content with what we have, where we live, what we drive, the friends we get to do life with, the jobs we show up to, the vacations we take and the people we wake up to each morning.

Until… we compare it to what others appear to have.

I have one piece of advice. STAY IN YOUR LANE. Just like we encourage young swimmers to do. Don’t look at the swimmers in the other lanes. Stay focused on YOUR lane. YOUR race. YOUR progress. YOUR journey. YOUR clock.

Do whatever you have to do to make that happen.

* Avoid settings that make you feel less than.
Get off social media. (This one is HUGE.)
Start a gratitude journal. (People who write down three things they are grateful for each night, generally are happier individuals.)
Take the summer to focus on yourself. Something you want to try for the first time. Or that you want to improve. And don’t post pictures for others. Do it for you, and you alone.
Compliment someone every day.
Look for commonalities, not differences. Commonalities will help foster connection.
Talk to yourself with the same kindness you would a child.
Don’t jump in someone else’s race and don’t allow them to jump in yours. It’s NOT a competition.
My friend Vikki recently told me, “Elizabeth, we aren’t here for a long time. We are here for a good time. So make it count.” Life is too short to waste it. To spend it checking out other swimmers in other lanes. To squander our time comparing ourselves to others.

Ladies, let’s get busy running our own races. And stop “measuring” our lives against those around us.

“New York is three hours ahead of California,
but that doesn’t make California slow.
Someone graduated at the age of twenty two,
but waited five years before securing a good job.
Someone became a CEO at twenty five,
and died at fifty.
While another became a CEO at fifty,
and lived to ninety.
Someone is still single,
while someone else got married.
Obama retired at fifty five,
and Trump started at seventy.
Everyone in this world works based on their time zone.
People around you might seem ahead of you,
and some might seem behind you.
But everyone is running their own race, in their own time.
Do not envy them and do not mock them.
They are in their time zone and you are in yours.
Life is about waiting for the right moment to act.
So, relax.
You’re not late.
You’re not early.
You are very much on time.”
– author unknown

You do you. I’ll do me. And we will cheer for each other every step along the way. No matter if you are the first in the water. Or the last out of the pool…