I am incredibly disdainful of this phrase and those like it. When people say that (even me sometimes) I cringe and think to myself how horrible it is to say something like that. I’ve always struggled with comparing myself, my life, my husband, my everything basically, to other people. My parents can attest to it. Even as a child I strove to do as well, be as well, and look as well as others. The struggle isn’t as great now, but it still rears its ugly head at times when I’m not expecting it to.
I think one of the reasons I hate the above mentioned phrase so much is because for me, the grass usually is greener on the other side of the fence. It’s not a septic tank. I understand that everyone has problems. I understand that I could never truly know their burdens, their issues, their struggles…even if they told me about them. Unless I’ve experienced them I cannot truly feel what they feel. However, for most of my friends, I’d certainly walk a day in their shoes. I know they have problems, but to me, they aren’t as bad as mine. I mean that’s not to say that everything in my life is horrible right now. It’s not at all! We’re actually having good times as a family. It’s just to say that there aren’t many people I know that I can say, “I wouldn’t trade with them in a million years.”
I don’t want to trade the people in my family or in my life. I don’t want you all to think I may be coveting in that way…ahem. It’s their decisions, the financial aspects of their lives, or even their possessions. I think, “well, if we had made decisions like they did, we’d be where they are or better right now.” I know. I recognize how horrible that sounds. I’m aware of the green-eyed monster that pops out. But it especially pops out when someone mentions “that phrase” shall we call it.
I am so very thankful for what we have. We have a home. We have more than our basic needs provided for. We have four healthy and alive people living in our home and lots of healthy and alive extended family members (aka mom and dad and grandparents). We have a car. My husband has a job. I’m thankful. Really I am. I’m just thankful and envious. Can you be those at the same time?
Well, today, this week even, that’s what I have been struggling with….the fact that I don’t know anyone that lives in a septic tank. I know lots of people who live on the other side of the fence, and the grass is pretty green. So for those of you who might mention that phrase, please think first. Comparison generally leads to envy or even jealousy. It’s a struggle for many…maybe even most.