Monday, March 21, 2011

Searching for Fabulous Amongst the Envy

I'm not feeling very funny today.  In fact, I feel a little disappointed in me today, which is makes it tough to think you're hilarious.  We went to church yesterday, so I'm going to blame my internal guilt on that.

I've been cloaked heavy in envy lately of just about everyone around me.  It's pathetic and sad.  Spring break has brought out an unprecedented amount of pictures and status updates about every one's fantastic trips, future fabulous vacations and recent exciting excursions.  (Please email me any additional synonyms you have for trip.  Oh!  I'll have to work in "holiday.") 

The truth is, I'm just plain jealous of everyone and it's beyond lame.  Every one's getaways, particularly those without children, are making me feel trapped and frustrated that currently our life doesn't afford those types of luxuries. I know, I told you it's so lame. 

Lame or not, the feelings are here and they must come out.

I once read in a magazine that when you start to feel envious of someone else, you should start a mental list of all the things that are fabulous about your life.   I tried the mental list thing but all I thought of were past really fun vacations that I currently feel I'll never be able to go on again and a lengthy list of items I would like to purchase that are not likely to be purchased in the next, well...say, never.  That was such a stupid magazine.

Since a mental list didn't work I thought I'd put a list out here in cyber world so that I could refer back to it without getting confused about what I'm jealous of and grateful for right now .  I'm easily confused.  I have a lot of emotions.

I also decided I'm not putting any of that normal crap like how I'm grateful I have three healthy kids because, of course I'm grateful that I have three healthy kids.  I can't put that on the list because it's insulting to the list.  It's important, but it's too obvious and doesn't really hit home for me, thank God.

I also plan on including lots of superficial stuff because that is part of life and it does make me feel a little happier.  Man, maybe I should be going to church more often.  I'll put Jesus on the list.  I am really grateful for Jesus.  He's very nice to me.

Here we go.  My Life is Fabulous Because....

1. I really love my stove. (See, I told you this was going to be superficial.)  It makes me feel like a bad ass in the kitchen, though I'm pretty sure I don't cook any better here than at my last house that had a regular stove.  I actually like to clean it and basically it's in the top 3 reasons why I bought this house. 

2.  I REALLY love my husband. I know that sounds like it's in the obvious category of healthy kids, but after being married for nine years and seeing a lot of marriages, I'm really grateful for him. He makes my life rock. He also looks like this...

which makes it extra fun to be married to him. 

3.   I love that Inglenook produces a one liter bottle of merlot that I really don't mind drinking, and sells it for $6....because that's right in my price range.

4.  Don't be confused by this picture.  Stella looks cute, but I love my black purse that is in the bottom corner.

5.  I'm happy my father has taken photos like this is his life because it gives me great joy to look at it and think about what he was thinking when he put on pants like that and when was the last time he smoked one of those target cigarettes?  Too cool.

6.  I'm also happy my mom took photos like this because....well, this one just makes me smile. I don't remember a time in my life when I wasn't fascinated by this picture, wishing I would be that pretty when I grew up.

Why don't I ever wear dresses like that? I could really get behind some gratitude for a dress like that.

7.  I'm ever so grateful for teen fiction in my life.  Twilight series and The Hunger Games series...I would be nothing without you.  Nothing.

8.  I have a brother and parents that just worked to get me a new laptop.  That's pretty awesome. That's really awesome.  I plan on being a famous writer as soon as I get that computer.  That's all I need, right? 

Make friends with me now people.  Come April, I'll be in the Statesman again and more difficult to reach through all the paparazzi that will swarm my life.....that's what happens when you get an article in the Austin newspaper, back section, back page...right?

9.  I am so happy I have a child like Cole that says "scuse me" every time he toots.  Literally every time.  Silent, a rapid fire of five, whatever.  Each one gets it's own "scuse me."  No matter what is happening in my life, that is freakin awesome.

10. My Bob stroller.  It makes having three kids a little less painful in public.

11. Starbucks chai tea lattes make my world go round. 

12.  I have really easy hair.  I don't have to do anything to it.  I probably should, but I think it's ok even when I don't. That's awesome.  If it weren't mostly gray it would be perfect.

13. My kids are in preschool 2 days a week.  I am really pushing here for things to be grateful for because really I wish they were in preschool 3 or 4 days a week, but it could be worse...they could not be in school at all.

(In general though, saying that something could be worse is an insulting way to deal with someone that is upset about something.  It's dismissive and lacks compassion. Just a friendly reminder.)

14. My dog rocks (aside from an anal gland issue) he is awesome.  He's easy, sweet, and loves me more than anyone else in the family, and that is how things should work.  You're fantastic Indiana.

15. I've had some pretty fun vacations in the past.  I'm sure I'll have some of them again.  Hawaii, London, Greece, Mexico, St.Thomas, Barbados, Vegas, San Francisco, LA, San Diego, Australia, Bali, New York City, Chicago, Kiawah Island, Napa Valley, Orlando, and the list goes on an on. 

So I should really shut my pie hole and stop whining about our lack of vacations.  Besides, this really is exactly like a vacation.

Where's my Inglenook?



Anonymous said...

I wouldn't feel that bad for not being funny today. You aren't really as funny or as cute and sarcastic as you seem to think you are. It is good that you admit your superficiality in your "list" because it truly is. Really, really kind of gross. Your life could be a lot worse. I'm sure you know that. But think about the people who stay at home because they have a child that cannot be in a daycare/nursery environment. They have no escape from the day because they can't even go to the gym & put their child in daycare. They rush to the grocery store at 6:00pm b/c they can't take that child to the grocery store. Mother's day out/preschool is not in their future. Yet, somehow those mommies get through the day with a smile and a grateful heart that their child is around to play with. You say you are grateful for 3 healthy kids, but are you really??? Do you know what that means? Do you know what it's like to not think your child will live or know that they will face a life or death surgery? I have a feeling your dream vacay list and kick ass stove would go right out of the window if you were trying to figure out how to pay the NICU bill or pay for your out of pocket max for the year. I would say that some soul searching and perhaps some little talks with God about what truly matters is really in order. Just a casual suggestion from someone who tried to be a fan but just can't be.

The Mommy Therapy said...

Ouch. Ok Anonymous. Let's just say we didn't understand one another.

Clearly you don't know me or all the things you listed wouldn't need to be said. You shouldn't have to try to be a fan, there's no pressure here. Surprisingly, I'm not required reading for motherhood or....well, anything.

I will miss your comments though.

By the way, please note the friendly reminder listed in #13.

jenphen said...

Once again I truly enjoyed your fun read today! They always make me laugh! I am definitely a fan of your blog!! Too bad "anonymous" had to be so negative! Geesh!

BTW - I also love my BOB stroller and that is exactly the way my 3 kids sit on it when we are out and about! Only mine is orange and I feel like we stick out like a sore thumb when my whole crew is on it!

Keep up the great writing!!!!!

sboone said...

oh my goodness! i've never heard such negativity! i personally laugh and relate to everyone of your articles and the truth is - you are being truthful. moms who say that everything is joyful and great are the ones who are "superficial". i love your stove too, btw. thanks for always bringing a smile to my face. i always read them to my husband too and he certainly likes you too.

Anonymous said...

Thanks again for bringing laughter to my day. So many moms don't say what's truly on their minds and I appreciate that you do. I can always depend on you for a good antidote to put it all in perspective. I'm not even a stay at home mom. I work full-time, have 2 kids and am in grad school and we still relate on more levels than you know. Thanks for keeping it real - and real, funny!

Carrie Toruta said...

Wow Leslie!
I don't think I will read comments anymore. I'm too hurt after reading the "anonymous" comment, and it wasn't even about me! If she only knew you... but I guess I'm glad she doesn't!

Keep making me laugh! I love it!

Sue said...

Well, it sounds like to me that Anonymous is having a case of the Mondays. It's no doubt that Anonymous is probably going through some rough sh*t and probably needed a forum to truly vent how negative life is at the moment for her. I get it, Anonymous, for this reason you had to be mean. All your scenarios suck and I don't wish it on anyone. Yet I think it's foolish to think that these moms you refer to are doing all these things "with a smile." That's just bullshit. Have you not been to Walmart lately? I haven't seen any smiling, happy moms there lately. In fact it's just the opposite. You're just trying to make this blogger feel bad because you need to right now. That's fine. I'm sure I've been in that place too as a mom myself trying to figure out how to pay my own NICU bills (still trying to figure this out 5 yrs later) and wondering if my child was going to live another day or not. Funny I don't remember doing THAT with a smile as you say. And I was that mean, depressed, sleep deprived b*tch standing in line with WIC baby formula. And don't worry none of us are heartbroken if you can't be fan. It's really okay.

Anyway, to the Mommy Therapy, I love you. I apologize for my rant tonight, but what a buzzkill Anonymous is! Thank you for thinking out loud for me. We've all been woefully thankful for the things we have in life but who doesn't long for that lottery style vacation to the Keys. Peaks and valleys, Baby. Oh, and btw, I worked my ass off this week during break if that makes you feel any better! hahahaha! Keep rockin it girl!

mama speak said...

First of all, "hello my doppelganger" You are right, we are cut from the same cloth & I LOVED your list. (Have you tried 2 Buck Chuck? You could start a vacation fund w/the $4 per bottle you save. ;-)

Secondly, Anonymous, jeez dude, she prefaced this w/the fact that she get it. She is blessed beyond belief. You know what, that doesn't make her less of a person to want more. As long a she values what she has, it's OK to want more and strive for it. And, Mir put it very nicely today; there is NOT a Hardship Olympics. I'm allowed to feel happiness in things about my life, even while the people in Japan are suffering, et all... One person's suffering does not negate mine. Nor does it negate other feelings I have; happiness, envy, frustrations...
Perhaps, a glass of Inglenook is in order?

aggiemommy said...

Thanks again as always, Leslie. You make me laugh and you make me feel "normal", whatever that means. I am blessed but I do have those days, too where I wish my life was more like "fill in the blank's" life. We've all had them. I covet your stove, for example. I mean, I really love it. I also covet a Tahoe. I have a perfectly good Explorer that was in our budget but really, really, shouldn't every mom get a Tahoe if they want one?? ;)

Thanks for sharing yourself with us. Ignore the comments like Anon posted...they clearly have many issues of their own.

Have a great day!

BTW, that is a great purse!! LOL! :)

Anonymous said...

Oh, Anonymous. I seriously understand that you have to deal with things that many of us do not and are very grateful that we do not have to. However, could you step back and think of those who are also envious of you?

My best friend has never been able to conceive a child, and due to health problems, has not been able to adopt. She would fall to her knees with gratitude every day if she had a special needs child, and would not feel the need to attack those who are not as blessed.

And in case you think that I don't understand where you're coming from, it's true, I don't. However, my husband died in Iraq, and I don't feel any need to attack this blogger for posting about her husband. I'm happy that she is so grateful for what she has, but if someday she's a little cranky and complains about him, I'm not going to tell her that she should suck it up and be grateful for what she has. We are all human, and we all need to support each other.

I appreciate your grateful heart for your life, and I like to think I share that attitude with my kids, but isn't there any time that we can express some stress? Someone else's life is ALWAYS worse, and please remember that when you feel the need to act like having a special needs child is a hardship.

aggiemommy said...

Might I just add that, I, too have a special needs little one. It does make life stressful and finances woefully lacking. All the more reason I appreciate and understand the "envy list."

I have my own wants and needs. Just because I list them or even dare to dream of them, does NOT mean I'm a bad mother, nor does it mean that I will now run out and purchase them instead of paying for my daughter's therapy, doc visits, meds, etc. It means I'm human and it means that in the midst of chaos and crisis I can still appreciate and laugh about why I should have a new purse and a haircut, too. (the latter of which, I haven't had in more than 6
months! lol)

Hope and laughter are what get us through the hard times. Even if you don't have a "special" have kids and they can drive you mad just like husbands and friends and every day life can. So, fantasizing about how I will one day be able to afford a big fancy house, a new car, a fancy vacation, or heaven help me, clothes that I don't purchase at Target does NOT make me a bad mother. It makes me a great mom that appreciates what I have and still have a sense of humor to dream. After all, what do you have if you don't have dreams???

Now, Leslie, please pass me a giant glass of wine!! ;)

Sarah @ said...

I don't usually like to be hateful, but First Anonymous can suck it. I thought your post was honest and humorous. We're all allowed to have moments where we aren't perfect - where we feel envious or our list is superficial or what-have-you (if those are your biggest vices, by the way, you have me beat).

If it makes you feel better, my husband and I are in no-vacay zone too. Have been for three years. Will be for seemingly ever. I completely know what you mean. I'm grateful for our lives as they are, but that doesn't mean I don't feel a twinge of longing from time to time.

pezzoni1 said...

Don't feed the troll! If they are so insecure they need to make someone else feel bad to make themselves feel better then pity them, ignore them and move on. Feed the awesome mama, Leslie, we identify with, who makes us laugh, and is the reason we come to this blog everytime she has something to say!

sue said...

Hi Leslie, I am Sue a HS friend of your Mother. I had 3 children under 3, it was very interesting.
I liked very much reading just a day of your blog. When my kids were that age I used to write haiku,and it is fun to go back and read them. Hope I get to meet you sometime. You sound like much fun and hope you write more and more. It is a great way to keep memories alive, You could probably do stand up. Your Mother has always been beautiful.

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

The next time you start to feel envious, look at the calendar. I promise you. I have learned that 99.999% of the time the reason is premenstrual.

I just learned this today.

You are the first one I am sharing this wisdom with (with whom I am sharing this wisdom). But probably not the last, cuz I talk a lot.

If that makes you jealous, then...look at the calendar. I bet you feel bloated too, don't you?

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

Dude, anonymous, let me remind you: it's a BLOG.

{eye roll}

Megan said...

I missed this first time around, but saw it today thanks to your link back to it. LOVED it!! Love you. And I DO think you're funny and cute and not gross at all!!