Monday, April 30

blog envy

Today I had an attack of blog envy. I was browsing one of those beautiful blogs – you know, the ones where the writer designs her own page, and takes scrumptiously creative photos, and writes inspiring words. She is stunning too, of course. I looked at my own frumpy page, my drab posts, my lack of comments...and I thought about how I didn’t own a camera or have the faintest idea about HTML. Suddenly I didn’t feel inspired by her page anymore, I felt flat and miserable.
And then I hurried off to the gym, where I had to stand right in front of the mirror because of my late arrival. I couldn’t avoid that life size picture of me right before my eyes. I noticed my fringe which was kinky from sweat, and these two hideous pimples which decided that my arm would be a nice place to bloom, bold magenta, for all to see...and then I glanced around the room and glimpsed this girl, this perfect girl. She wasn’t shaking and red with exertion; she just looked fresh and lovely. I looked back at me, and that horrible, slimy, Envy stared me back in the face. 
The envious person grows lean with the fatness of their neighbour - Socrates
So I plodded home and felt blah. If only I had the energy so-and-so has, if only I didn’t have to stay at home all day, if only it hadn’t been me...if only I was more talented and capable...if only we could afford this...if only....if.....if......
if only I wasn’t so envious I might stand a chance at joy.
I was thinking about ways to pry Envy off me, before he strangles me. I thought, well, I could just lock myself away inside my house, never look at blogs, never look at shops or other a blind fold and super-glue it on.
 But life is meant to be lived, not avoided.
I could choose to live life appreciative and thankful for all the blessings I have – focus so fully on what I am grateful for, that I begin to be thankful for other people’s good fortune too.

picture source

So here’s a snippet from my ‘thankful for’ list:

Life itself, and fresh new days

Ben, who cherishes me

My family, who ‘get’ me and my long illness

The caring doctors, who bulkbill me and try hard to fix me

Our church, which is a place of love and God-focus

Dear friends, who lift my spirits and give me the giggles

Our sweet flat with its red door and balcony

My pure silver flute

The fast metabolism I inherited

My naughty fluffy rabbit

My ability to walk, talk, think, dance, laugh, cry!

Knowing that this life isn’t all there is

My ‘well’ hours and days

The arts – how rich they make my life

Books, beautiful books – and the ability to read

This peaceful country

The invention of chocolate (particularly 85% Lindt) and antidepressants...

Once I began writing my list, I couldn’t stop. There was far too much to record. I started feeling overwhelmed. And ashamed – for being such a selfish brat as to overlook my privileged and beautiful life. Ashamed of ignoring my blessings, and wanting to steal someone else’s.
It’s amazing how much happier I felt once I’d re-focussed; stopped comparing, stopped wanting and self-pitying. Next time Envy comes, I’ll slap the list in his face.
I am so blessed by a generous God.

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