If I wasn't careful, I could end up one of those perpetually dissatisfied people - always wanting more. More success, more clothing, more holidays, more children even! I resist these urges; I fight my own greed and hankerings by telling myself in a stern voice how lucky I am for all I already have in my life.
At the karate competition on the weekend, I had only one opponent. She was tall, she had bleached blond spiky hair, she had a Nordic accent, and her name was Katarina. Katarina the Viking Queen gave me a thrashing. I tried, I really did, but I was completely outclassed. This woman had been on the State karate team, for Pete's sake! She well and truly kicked my butt.
Now, in my moments of rationality, I can tell myself Jelly, you are a mother and a wife and a doctor and a carrot-cake-maker and that is enough. You do not need to win karate competitions as well. This is what I tell myself, and as you can see, I give myself very sensible advice. HOWEVER..... I am often surprised to discover my competitive streak, lurking evilly under my 'oh-I'll-just-give-it-a-go-and-won't-that-be-fun' facade. I try to be pleased for simply entering the fray. I know that Katarina the Uber-Fighter has probably fought a hundred or more sparring bouts to my now one-bout history, and that I should be happy to have come away physically intact. But dammit, I wanted to win! Or if not win, at least not lose so decisively! Now you know my secret - I am a sore loser.
While I was fighting Killer Katarina, her coach was yelling out from behind me. "Keep going, keep it up, you've got it in the bag. Wait for her to come in, you've got it wrapped." It was all true - KK had it all over me. BUT DID THE COACH HAVE TO TELL THE entire AUDITORIUM? Mean man. Bad man. Stinky bott bott man (whoops, some three-year-old humour snuck in there)
So, like I said, for a day or so, I secretly nursed my wounded pride and wished I'd done better, wished I was better than what I am, in many ways. Then, today was sunny and the clouds were like caterpillars (or so Ben told me) and I laughed at work and kissed Fatty on the lips when I came home again.
My ungrateful thoughts have blown away. The house is still. I sit here typing, in a pool of yellow light. Peace and contentment are mine tonight.