Tuesday, November 03, 2009


Envy is supposedly really bad for you. It causes all kinds of bad things like green skin and anger and moping, although if you are Elphaba, I guess green skin is cool. And if you're a frog, green skin would be awesome. But the anger and moping -- or moping and anger --probably wouldn't do Elphaba or the frog any good, either.

And let's face it: Envy doesn't make much sense. I mean, it's always looking better over "there" and at the "neighbors." Somehow, their grass looks all fabulous, and our looks really gross, but we can't help it if our sprinklers broke! Plus, I tend to see things and think, "dang! I'm so glad I'm me!" For example, I wouldn't want to be living in a hole in the middle of a swamp or desert or jungle --although I'm sure many people living in holes in swamps, deserts, and jungles like it just fine, thank you very much --and I'm not envious of people with the plague and locusts. I'm very happy to be plague-and-locust-free. Plus, I'm happy that I have things like water and air and grocery stores and a car and a house and children and computers. I mean, if we're talking about being envious of a pretty good life in general, I'm sure I'm the envy of all I survey --and I'm surveyin' some pretty cute kids right now.

But anyway, my point...what was my point? Oh, yeah: Envy. Not cool.

Sadly, I have myself some envy. Not about my general life (as I already pointed out), but in the things that I wish I didn't have or did have or wanted or needed or whatever. It's not so bad when I have envy in general (like that life I have), but when I start to envy certain individuals, that's when the ugly anger and/or moping occurs. Not good.
The part I find hilarious, of course, is that the person (or persons) I tend to envy can't help that they are so beyond wildly awesome. Plus, they can't help that life has just pretty much always gone their way. Oh, sure, there's some crap in their lives (who in this world has a completely crappy-free life? You? No? I rest my case), but it's not my crap, and so it feels like theirs is so much better. Probably smells nice, too.

For example, I envy a certain person and she rocks. She has fabulous kids, amazing talents, loads of energy, and a gazillion friends. She's gorgeous, generous, and instantly a favorite of all who meet her, family and friends alike. She lives in an fabulous place with fabulous neighbors, is doing fabulously financially, and just seems to have an all out-an-out fabulous life. She would probably admit that she does, too, because she does! Is this wrong? To have a fabulous life? No! And so she's grateful for it --as she should be. She's fun, humble, and a great friend. I love her lots.

And I'm totally jealous of her.

Yes, yes, I know I'm just as fabulous (blah, blah, blah) and yes, I know she probably has some secret demons hiding in the closet because we all have imperfect lives (blah, blah, blah), and I'm sure she would never think these things about herself. I get it. I know. I know, but getting through the envy (deadly sin! Deadly sin!) is somewhat akin to swimming through some honey. But it's not so sweet, because there are gnats and spiders and bees in it. And bears! Because bears like honey...
Ummm...moving on...

Anyway, I know it's easy to say I should just forget it, and sometimes I do. I do the grateful lists (hooray for Thanksgiving!) and I feel better. But at times, I see this person's life and I think:
"Dang it all! Why can't I have that life?" because sometimes, I just need a break from my life and my challenges. Sure, they are mine and sure I would rather have mine than someone else's, and of course it's better to have my own challenges because these are the things I need to teach me the things I need to learn and know so I can grow, but...but...but!

Sometimes I don't want mine anymore.


cornnut32 said...

i feel that envy, too....it's like that person you love to hate but don't really hate because you love her.

argh. that would be 90% of my friends.

sariqd said...

Truth be told, that's how I feel about you. You're so frank, honest and to use your word, "Fabulous!" I don't know you in real life, but I come to your blog sometimes and walk away (in my computer chair) thinking, "Wow - my blog is about the stupidest thing on earth. Why do I even bother? I'm not cool like her..."

SO - it goes full circle, right? The point is, you recognize it, you fight it and truly do care about your fabulous friend because, she's fabulous. AND because you're just fabulous in the way you can do that.

Silly comment but still.

Michelle Walker said...

Cheryl--all I have to say--is that I love you. You and your cute little family are amazing--and remember--we talked about how I normally get grossed out by other people's kids? Yeah, your kids are awesome people--I'd adopt every single one of them. You really have no idea how much other people's kids gross me out ... Anyway, I'm totally glad that I'm not the one causing these Wicked issues for you--everyone knows all about the crap I got to deal with! Oh yeah, and I CAN'T WAIT UNTIL I'M IN SLC TOMORROW AND GET TO SEE YOU ON SATURDAY!!!

P.S. It's true; your blog is totally better than everyone else's. :)

Michelle Walker said...

One more thing: I was just talking to Randy today about our new ward--and how it sucks. (I hate that word, why do I use it?) I have ALWAYS been invisible in my wards--always. I told Randy how it's so hard to be away from Utah because I FINALLY found two women I can stand to be around! Anyway, this whole comment screams "She's got issues, that's why she's invisible," and I'm aware of this. I just wanted you to know that in a solid decade, I've never found better friends than you and Liz. :)

Julie said...

I thought I had commented on your last post and went back to read it and I hadn't. What I meant to say was that you looked freaking awesome and I think all moms who dress up get a high five. And those who don't get a high five for dressing their kids up.

This was a great post, as it expresses the way I feel about so. many. people. I know and love and envy and admire and want to be like and wish I was. You are always so honest in your feelings and thoughts.
You express what all of us feel.

Love you.

Cardalls said...

Know the feeling! But aren't we as women always comparing our weaknesses/challenges with someone elses strengths/blessings? We aren't really fair to ourselves! Believe me someones life can look fabulous on the outside and not be so much, there are some things you don't even share with your dear friends. We all can put on the happy face and hide the hardest things in our lives.

Cristy said...

Yep. Guilty. I think everybody would have to plead guilty on this one.

I found that if you just embrace the envy, wallow in it, give in to it, eventually it gets boring. I spent so many years doing this with person X, Y, and Z, that now I'm so bored with it I think I'm officially over it. Well, until they get a new car or go to Mexico again.... :)

Anonymous said...

I'm just trying not to be offended that you didn't describe me as the object of your envy.

I envy the people who don't envy anyone.

Susan M said...

Don't hate me for my fabulous life.


Rain falls on the fabulous and the unfabulous.

Becky, I have two cats said...

I'm so shocked that you envy my fab-o life! Except you got a few minor details wrong. The kids, energy, house, neighborhood, finances, etc. But who's counting? Right?! You almost managed to disguise that you're even talking about me, you clever girl. But i know better. I'll stop by and bring you those cookies I owe you for the ego boost. :)

Alison Wonderland said...

Um, Lbs, she DID describe you as the object of her envy. I'm just shocked it wasn't me (because who doesn't envy my life?)

Janelle said...

Susan's comment made me laugh.

Thought provoking post, and your commenters are the very best.

Cheryl said...

Cornnut- 90% of my friends, too. Sigh.

Sariqd- I happen to know your blog is not stupid at all. Because I lurk on your blog (dang, maybe I should comment, too??). And no, not a silly comment! I loved it. :)

I LOVE YOU! I'm so excited to see you tomorrow. So excited I can hardly stand it! And your issues are my issues, baby.

Love you right back. I love that most people feel the way I do --it makes me less of a freak!

Good point! Comparing anything is not healthy, but to compare weaknesses to strengths isn't fair --to us, or them.

Embrace the envy? Now you're talkin'! :)

I also envy those who envy those who don't envy anyone. Capische?

Susan M-
Not only is your life fabulous, it's spectacular! :)

You have two cats now!? Why haven't I been paying attention!? And yes, I will take those cookies, please! Chocolate chip will be fine. :)

I do envy you. *sniff

They are the very best --and you're one of 'em. :)