“Envy’s a Coal Comes Hissing Hot From Hell.” Philip James Bailey.

Is it hard to be happy for someone who wins the lottery? Is it hard to be happy for a relative who is able to retire early? Is it hard to be happy for a friend’s child who wins scholarships?

Or do we believe they don’t deserve it? The lottery, the early retirement, the child’s ability to earn their way through college? Do we think, “That should be me?” “He always was a penny pincher!” “Of course, their kids don’t have to work, like mine do, to pay for their car.” Sometimes it’s hard.

The quote today came from my old reliable, “Daily Meditations for Adult Children of Alcoholics.” Since 1982, I’ve read daily, skipped a period of time, then found I needed reminders of how wonderful my life really is. It’s remarkable, isn’t it? I believe I’ve learned these lessons (well, mostly), and am able to share them with others. Random people will find these blogs for them. Some will skip over this day. And that’s ok. You either skip because you’re offended it hits home or because you’re not an envious person. Or just stick around to learn something.

It can be hard to be gracious in the light of someone else’s success. If you care for your fellow humans (siblings, co-workers, cousins, strangers, friends you haven’t met yet), you’ll congratulate them when it’s appropriate. I used to be jealous when another single mom would meet someone and get married within a few months.

First of all, I felt envious they found love so easily. I spent 14 long, lonely, painful years before meeting the Babe. I didn’t know I was picking from the wrong basket. You only know what you know. Until you learn better. I hadn’t learned better yet.

Second, I thought you could make a terrible mistake by not really knowing the person. Six months isn’t knowing them. The first year you’re both on your good behavior. The second, you settle into everyday living. A lot is revealed during those months. Comes around year three of dating (or living together by now), and the person you think the world of is finally themselves. And so are you. If you both are faithful (a deal breaker for me, always), kind, helpful, equal partners in work and play, and can overlook their annoying habits (and they overlook yours!), you have a chance at having something that will last. But you both need to work hard at it.

This is all based on my personal experience, and I’m glad it took me so long. Marriage is hard enough without raising a blended family. I believe we would have been good parents/stepparents to each other’s kids. And it still would have been hard. This way, there was no, “Your kid, my kid,” arguments. Just being realistic, folks. Don’t jump in too fast. Too many people do.

It’s human to feel a twinge of envy now and again. It’s when we give into it, it becomes a problem. It causes a lot of negativity, most of which, none of us needs. It’s a slippery slope, my friends. When we question the good that befalls one of our friends, why not also question the tragedy and troubles that happen to other friends? We certainly don’t want those difficulties. Let’s learn to be gracious for good happening for our friends, and be kind and caring walking through their troubles with them. Don’t abandon them! Walk through it with them and they should do the same for you. True friends do. Soulmates do, too.

If I were to name a theme song for myself, I think it would be the Beatles’ “Let It Be.” When you really think about it, so little in life is worth arguing about. Don’t get me wrong, I get angry, I stand for myself, and I’m quick to say, “Let’s not argue about that, it just isn’t worth it.” Most of it isn’t. Criticizing someone isn’t worth the time, and I don’t care to listen to it, either. Mom has a bad habit of criticizing morbidly obese people. I tell her it just doesn’t matter, she shouldn’t be critical. I’m amazed for the trouble she has with her vision, she can see things like that and express an opinion. It just isn’t worth discussing, in my opinion. I won’t. End of story.

I’m trying very hard to overlook that part of her personality, it’s part of passed down brokenness from her side of the family. I broke the that tradition, as has my brother Tim. Of course, it’s easier since I have no sisters. Are women worse about being catty than men are? Whatever, I’m choosing to take Dad’s point of view. “You don’t know what’s going on with them. Always give the benefit of the doubt.” Do it. You’ll feel better!

Thanks for reading, I appreciate it. I’m almost caught up on the VFW Post 2503 website and Facebook pages. Today will free up a lot of time and tasks on the to do list. And I can get back to my books. See you tomorrow!