- Pruning fruit trees
- Never unpacking
- Not comparing myself to you
There may be a few others.
I wanted to write this post because I’ve noticed something recently – let me ramble for a while that way I can give an update on my life without writing a zillion posts. I’ll get there eventually, I promise.
I’ve been going to the gym a lot, which I can assure you isn’t a humblebrag. A year ago my doctor told me I need to go at least 4x a week because of (in order) 1. depression, 2. kidney disease, and 3. managing stress. I started going in the mornings and that worked really well for a while, and then I fell off over the winter and barely went to the gym. I gained 15 pounds which, looking back, I desperately needed to gain. I hadn’t been eating much for months because of a medication interaction. Friends told me (kindly) that I looked like a skeleton. People who hadn’t seen me for a while were really shocked at how terrible I looked. My OBGYN told me the reason my period had stopped was because I wasn’t healthy (heavy) enough to have one. When my hair started growing back in I realized just how much of it had actually fallen out. And then my cholesterol was high….
The cascade of these events over the past few months led me to start eating more (I’ll probably write about that next) and going to the gym at night a couple months back – it was my routine a few years ago after a breakup and it really works for me. Gym time is beast mode time (I know I’m annoyed that I said that too). Point being – I don’t really pay attention to anything or anyone in the gym unless there is an attractive* dude or someone who smells good. (*as defined by the eye of the beholder). Last night a woman caught my eye, which is unusual. Usually there is a nod of respect among the women I see since we are the minority in the weight room. Otherwise, we pay no mind to one another and generally are pretty friendly. But last night there was a woman who energetically seemed to keep trying to get my attention…to show off? Honestly, it was kind of weird. She was lifting heavy weights which I was like WOOHOO go you that is awesome (truly!). But I couldn’t shake the fact that in her head she was competing with me…for the guys? I dunno. But I don’t get that feeling at all at the gym usually. It felt really icky and I tried to project good energy. Then I ended up moving to a different part of the gym.
Maybe I’m being weird.
Anyway. It’s something I’ve been thinking about long before last night’s situation. I’m not ever envious of people or their lives. I’m not in competeition with you or anyone else. I don’t care if you life heavier weights than I do!
Envy honestly doesn’t register for me unless:
- You have amazing hair – this is can legit say I am probably envious of you. LOL
- You have skinny ankles – and then my next thought is my thick ankles prevent me from rolling them *shrug*
- You are a couple in a car going somewhere – and I would classify this more as a wistfulness of something I’d like to have than an envy that you *specifically* have it
I’m not better than or cool because of my lack of envy. It comes from a place of doing a lot A LOT of work on my own life and realizing that most people’s lives aren’t what they present and you never know what happens behind closed doors. And! My life is pretty quiet. It’s drama free. I own my house and can do whatever I want with it. I have a really REALLY awesome job that I actually like. I have good friends, and while the faces have changed over the years, I feel like the cast that has evolved into what I have today is pretty rad. My cat is the GOAT. I have enough money to buy good food and plants. haha But really, I don’t want for much and I think I have a fairly self-aware understanding of the privilege I get to live with. Why would I want your life? If I want something, I know working towards it is the most rewarding feeling there is.
Over the years I’ve seen an illustration of a flamingo and a peacock that says, “Admire someone else’s beauty without questioning your own.” It resonates with me more and more. We’re all good at different things. We all look different. We’re all attracted to different things. And thank goodness! Life would be so boring if we were all the same.
If you’ve ever followed along with what I write, you know that I’m a huge proponent of doing the work. Your work is uniquely your own, and nobody can do it for you. Don’t be envious of someone else’s life – you have no idea what they’ve been through to get to where they are. (See also: time and discipline.) If you don’t like your life, change it! It just takes one decision at a time. Are those decisions hard or painful? They can be sometimes. It may mean that relationships end, you say goodbye to people or places, and your heart shatters in your chest. But the price of admission is risk, and the benefit is a different life and a resilient heart.
I’m not competing with you. I just want to be better than I was yesterday.