Who Do You Envy?

With Envy and jealousy so closely defined, we need to clarify what they mean before we admit to envying anyone. OK then, let’s dig in.

As a Catholic kid growing up, we were taught jealousy was a sin, as was envy (they were treated as the same sin), and we shouldn’t want what another has; i.e., their house, their boyfriend/girlfriend/car/job or lifestyle. It was wrong to covet. Coveting is kind of like stealing, but just in your mind, and if you’re Catholic and think of doing something, it’s just as wrong as if you actually DID it. Yikes!

Here, I would insert a smart-alecky joke saying, if it’s just as much sin if I do something as think about doing something, I might as well do it and have fun.

Consulting GOOGLE, the Bible of modern definitions; it’s important to mention there is nothing wrong with feeling jealousy or envious – within reason. It’s when you begin to plot and/or take actual action to steal another’s belongings it becomes wrong. Liking a neighbor’s car, with it inspiring you working more to make more money to buy one like it is not wrong; in fact, it’s a good thing. You are inspired to get your own. No problems.

Jealousy is considered worse, since it suggests harboring ill will towards someone who has what you want. Envy is something impersonal and passing. No ill will is harbored.

Sure, when I was a poor single-mom who was living paycheck to paycheck, I envied people who were married and seemed to “have it all.” Often, having it all also meant sacrificing it all, and their lives were not anything to be envied. Often, having respect for yourself was more important than having a nice house, car, bank account. It just depends on where your values are, and how you decide to live. Giving up all your principles for a rich husband is not the right thing to do. Giving up security to preserve the growing child’s self-worth is worthy.

As we enter this Christmas season, let’s remember what is important in the grand scheme of things. Our children are indeed our future, and we must expose them to learning and especially the arts, it helps them grow and stretch into the people they will be who will inhabit this world. The world is full of beauty, and wonder, and things to be in awe of. Let’s treat our world and ourselves well, and carry the wonderment and awe at the world, sharing it with our children. They will certainly share the message, sharing it in ways we haven’t before. It’s what makes the world go on. Let’s help it.

I’ve been jealous of beautiful people (when I was younger); envious of people who made the Dean’s List in High School. I never did, but it was a goal. I did it in College, after I was an adult. Probably harder to do it then, while raising kids and working full time. It all depends on circumstances, my dears. Take it easy on yourself! Take care of your others today, be safe in your dealings with the world. Celebrate the wins in the universe, and enjoy the beauty of it all. It’s what it’s all there for. See you tomorrow!

The Green-Eyed Monster

We have talked about jealousy before; you cannot be a friend if you are jealous, you spend all your time being angry they have something you don’t. It doesn’t matter if it’s a car, house, spouse, job, the list is endless. Perfect teeth and nice hair could be a source of envy, too. I’d guess that doesn’t happen much after high school, but who knows?

Since we are humans, on this earth together, all imperfect, all making mistakes, of course we succumb to sinful ways; Envy is one of the ways. We fault others when they have what we want, but don’t want to work hard for. The temptation comes to obtain what we are coveting and want immediately.

An envious person probably doesn’t have a lot of friends; they seldom can hold up their end of a friendship. Begrudging your friend all they work hard for does not help us find any satisfaction in the what we’re supposed to be working towards. We’re not a real friend, we can’t truly be close as a friend is because we need distance from the person we’re envious of. What a twisted scenario it is.

Changing this behavior is necessary for us to trust ourselves, others, and to have friends. A true friend is genuinely glad when we achieve something. The things in store for us are greater than anything we can imagine, if we correct our own shortcomings.

Some folks don’t think of themselves as ever in the wrong; I cannot abide those people. They are smug, correcting everyone around them; and don’t listen to hear and understand. Rather, they listen to respond. They compose their snappy comebacks to your comments. It’s all about them, and not at all about you. Communication cannot take place.

It’s important we keep our eyes on our goals, and don’t look elsewhere; we stay in our lane, we offer suggestions only when we are asked our opinions. We all run our own races. The prize is ours alone. Each of us wins. And boy, how we can win!

As our week of Thanksgiving starts, we need to keep in mind all the people who have lost family this year. Their holidays will not be as happy or merry as before. Loss changes many things. Make a phone call, send a text, drop a card in the mail. It only takes a little bit of time. They’ll be glad to be remembered.

As for me? I’m going to make another attempt at quilting Kayla’s quilt tomorrow. My new machine isn’t as simple as I thought it would be. It’s me, not it. A different setup makes a difference I didn’t expect. I just need to get used to it. I also need to be wide awake, first thing in the morning, and take breaks. It’ll happen. It has to. Back at it tomorrow.

Have a wonderful evening, see you tomorrow!

Is the Grass Really Greener?

If you really want to sabotage any progress you make in life, just sit and look at the life, possessions, relationships, jobs, and friends of anyone else. Maybe your neighbor. His wife has perfect hair, body, job, and his children are perfect. Or are they?

If we are discontent with where we are in life, we tend to value it less. Especially if we are working towards changing where we are now. On a bad day from our perspective, we think we’ll never make it, that Mike the neighbor has it better, we become jealous, envious, and may give up on ourselves. We’ve lost 10 of 50 pounds, started a community college class for improving our career, and are repairing our home.

When we are upset, we tend to not give ourselves enough credit. For anything. We may have a lot to do, but just the fact we’ve started makes all the difference in the world. We cannot do it all at once. I struggle with this at times. The older I become, the less I accomplish in the time frame I expect. I don’t quit, I just gently remind myself it takes me longer. Sometimes, I need to look at all I’ve accomplished since my life began again at 30 when I got divorced.

That’s when my adulthood really started. I was a grownup, paying bills, raising kids, owning a home, etc. Then I learned about me, about what I wanted, who I was, and how to get there. God was very good to me, and led me to opportunities. He blesses me still, and taught me how to pay attention to His prompts and messages. It has helped my journey immensely.

By wishing and hoping for someone else’s life or success is a great way to destroy our dreams, any work we’ve put in so far, and lose out on progress for our lives and dreams. We have to accept who and where we are on our road to our future. Those others are not as comfortable or successful as you may think. Everyone has troubles. Everyone has things to deal with. Everyone can improve. You’re already ahead by working on a new way of life. Look at you go!

Tomorrow, when a brand new week starts, focus on what you have instead of what you haven’t. When you get where you’re going, you won’t want their stuff. You’ll know your grass is greener. It already is!

Another Saturday Wedding

Later today, we are going to Treynor, Iowa for the last of three weddings in my cousins family. All three girls married within about 18 months, the first delayed because of COVID. After so much disruption of lives by the pandemic, it’s encouraging when something as normal as a wedding can happen. Of course, these young women and men are experiencing their once in a lifetime event. Their lives are pledged to each other and will never be the same. It’s been wonderful to attend these events and enjoy the family growing.

Next month, one of the longer married couples will be honored at a baby shower, they are due in February. I’m so happy for them all. What a lucky baby! Speaking of a lucky baby, I won some Eddie Bauer outfits for Kayla, and that will be part of her Christmas present. I’d better mail things by the first of December. Glad they just happened to be her size and that I won!

Today has been another crazy, procrastinating (?) day for me. I actually shut my eyes for a little while for a power nap. Now I feel awake for the day. I do need to remind myself I will leave my 60s after my next birthday. I’ll get to live through the 70s again. These will be happy and still full of firsts. My first published novel, my first published children’s book, and my first book signing event. Who says retirement isn’t any fun? It’s full of unknown adventures, and I am blessed to have the Babe to explore with me.

I’m looking forward to cooking a traditional Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday. I’m trying a couple new recipes for fun. Mashed potatoes in the crock pot. They sound great. I’ll let you know how it goes. And dessert? Each of the three of us loves a different kind of pie. Minis from Walmart? Maybe.

During this time of giving and family and togetherness, many of us are not in families who can gather together. Some are far away, they make their own plans, and prefer it that way. And it’s ok. We can’t be envious of the people who have family gatherings, closeness we don’t have, and different ways of living.

Envy hurts us, not them. When men are full of envy they disparage everything, whether it’s good or bad. Compared to a moth destroying the fabric of a coat or sweater, envy can destroy our lives. Envy can make us cynical. When we’re cynical, we can’t accept anything that is honest and sincere; we’re too sure it doesn’t exist.

When someone is chronically envious, they have trouble maintaining friendships. Closeness is painful. Envy makes us stay distant. There is more safety in protecting yourself. This leads to loneliness and being alone. Fear makes keeps us on the outside looking in. Learn instead to risk friendship. To have a friend, you must learn to be a friend.

This season is a great time to embark on a new adventure. Learn to be more open, less envious, more happy for others’ successes. You’ll have some, too, once you practice gratitude and being a friend. It’ll be a season to remember. One year, I chose teenagers names and wishes from a gift tree at our church. I skipped the tags that wanted iPhones or Xbox. A boy wanted tools, so I put together a basic set of tools; hammer, screwdrivers, chisel, all sorts of things, including a tape measure. A girl wanted makeup, so I chose neutrals and basic brushes, subtle colors, something that would look good on a young girl. It was actually fun. It lifted my spirits. It was before we had grandkids.

When we keep in our own lane, learn to be happy for our friends, and work on ourselves, we will see what we’ve been missing out on; friends, genuine feelings, and coming into our own. Have a beautiful day today, and we’ll see each other tomorrow.