Things may or may not pick up anytime soon, Lori, but you can always take joy and pride in the little, lovely things that life puts in front of you every day.
Or not. The choice is yours.
I wanted to tell you not to be hard on yourself about making comparions. Though, as Dogberry malaprops in Much Ado About Nothing, "Comparisons are odorous," we can't help doing it. It's a human thing. So don't beat yourself up about it; just regard it as a momentary lapse, like grabbing an extra cinnamon bun, that doesn't mean a whole helluva lot in itself, and will pass.
To many of the rest of you here, I probably look pretty much on top of things, but I compare myself to other people all the time and find myself wanting. It's true, I do -- and not to famous overachievers but just other folks in my neighborhood, and in my various professions and avocations.
Being a graduate of Harvard with high honors, one might easily think I've wasted my talents. And I most likely have, but I don't see it in that simplistic way. Many of my rundown public high school classmates are more established, and make larger incomes, than I ever have and probably ever will. But I never wanted what I do not have, in terms of a classic high-income, status-in-a-distinguished-field, three-car-garage-in-the-suburbs, four-kids-in-separate-bedrooms lifestyle that we think of when we think of an Ivy Leaguer. (There probably are a few of those out there.)
Rather, I wonder where I might have been as an actor if I'd tried it, taken the plunge, when I was in my teens or twenties; why I haven't pressed my writing talents much harder; and why so many other people I know with lesser gifts have advanced so much further, gotten more breaks, than I.
Meanwhile, many people -- perhaps even some of the same people I regard with an envious eye -- are probably busy envying me. That's how people are. We can see the good things other folks have; we don't usually know half of the burdens they have staggered under.
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus