A few weeks ago a new friend from my mom's group invited me over for a playdate.
I always kind of get the first-date jitters when I hang out with someone for the first time. Little pricks of insecurity and fear, made worse by my instinct to put unrealistic expectations on new relationships.
Will I say the wrong thing?
Will she like me?
Will our kids get along?
Will we become besties and then will our husbands become besties and then can we take family vacations together every spring break for the rest of our lives?
Yeah - there's some crazy in there.
But as I walked into her house I was overcome with a different but not unfamiliar emotion.
It was like a physical presence in my chest. An attack of the "I wants". I want that Pottery Barn lounge chair and this open floor plan and that eight person hot tub and this farmhouse dining room table. I want. I want. I really really want.
The truth is most of the time I like my life just like it is. Sure I wish we had extra in the budget for a housekeeper (please and thank you) or twice yearly trips to Hawaii. But still, I'm grateful that we do have enough for Clorox wipes - heck, I'm thankful that those exist, period - and rental fees at the KOA campground. Yet somehow, when I get in new situations, my tendency is to assess and compare and categorize the ways I find my life wanting.
I wish my husband came home from work at 5:00 like hers does.
I wish we could afford a place with a guest room so our friends could stay with us.
I wish I could find a part time job where I made enough money to pay a nanny.
Last week I saw on Facebook that a friend is pregnant with twin girls and, no joke, my first thought was "Where are my twin girls, God?" And the not-crazy part of my brain says "Really Linds? Is that what you need today while you try to get your toddler to eat anything at all without throwing it on the floor and you can't see your bedspread because the laundry volcano that is your bedroom finally erupted and you're massaging your own neck because it's all warped and tired since your infant never wants to be put down? Should we toss you some pregnancy brain and two more babies on the way?"
I'm telling you, things get ridiculous up in here.
But I've been fighting back.
The most concise treatise on how to fight jealousy that I know of comes from Romans.
Rejoice with those who rejoice. Mourn with those who mourn.
When I go over to someone's house and they have an amazing light fixture made of reclaimed barn wood over their Anthropologie bedspread, I rejoice for them. I don't mourn for me. If I do, I'm getting it all backward.
I celebrate their home-early husbands and their cool part-time jobs.
I celebrate their twin babies on the way and their freshly painted guest rooms.
I celebrate whole-heartedly. Because there's no joy in jealousy but there's great fun in celebration.
And I'd way rather have joy than Pottery Barn patio furniture.