Envy is a wicked animal. It tears apart friendships, corrodes self-esteem, forces lies out of otherwise truthful lips:
“You so deserve that promotion!”
“Ten pounds?! Wow! You look amazing!”
“I just loooooooove what you’ve done to your house! The new waterfall really completes the backyard. I don’t know how you’ve lived without it all these years!”
“A dozen red roses? And a candlelight dinner? You and your husband must be so in love. YAY!”
“REALLY? Money? Just falling from the sky? You are so BLESSED! I AM SO FREAKIN HAPPY FOR YOU!!!!!”
It’s not hard to get caught up in other people’s joys and want to rip the bleached smiles right off their faces when you’re going through some personal setbacks yourself.
Jealousy. The gift that keeps on giving.
How’s that for a Hallmark card?
After my husband lost his job last week, my instant reaction, aside from the crying, hair pulling and catastrophic thinking, was a flood of jealousy towards anyone that was still gainfully employed (yep, that includes you).
You see, I have never had any trouble being envious of others. My gorgeous sister. My organized best friend. The girls who hung out in the quad in high school. Anyone not driving a Volvo.
But something has changed. Maybe it’s me.
See, the envy didn’t last very long this time.
Because I quickly realized that I have a pretty radical life.
A hot husband. Who I get to spend some much needed time with as he pursues a new direction in his career. A man who drove me to work this past week because my back went out and helped me chase down unruly kindergarteners. A man who greeted me with a red rose on my passenger seat on Wednesday morning, just because.
Kids that, despite driving me completely insane, own the deed to my heart. Sure, it means more mouths to feed during this economic crisis, but the husband and I agree that they are worth keeping. For now.
Nosy parents who care enough to ask tough questions like, “When will your floors stop being so filthy and how come you don’t raise your children the way we want you to?”
Friends. Like you. Who call, write notes, show concern, give unsolicited yet gladly received support. Who don’t brag about health insurance premiums under $700.00. Who ask for the husband’s resume so that they can pass it on in case someone is looking to hire a man whose job description sort of resembles Chandler on Friends (remember the Wenus?) Who pass on my blog and cheer me on when I say I’m writing a book because they believe in me and want to know me when I am famous and sitting on Oprah’s couch.
*A sister who is smart, loving, inspirational, a natural motivator; someone who never tires of reminding me how lucky I am to share her DNA.
It’s not like our life became great overnight. I was just too busy pitting it against other peoples’ to notice it much.
But I notice it now.
And I think I’m going to stay here for a while. On my own side of the fence.
Where the grass is the perfect shade of green.
And it’s mine.
*Edited portion of post, after said loving sister pointed out she was not exclusively mentioned in the "thank you" portion of this post.