Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Envy Day

On most days, I'm pretty happy-go-lucky girl who generally loves her life.

But every once in a while I have a day where I cannot be satisfied with my life and a wave of angry irrational emotion takes over.

I call it "Envy Day."

It's a day where a co-worker shows up to work looking all hot and trendy like this:

(Note: This lovely blouse can purchased for over $225 here)

And I feel like a geek stuck in 2005, because I can't afford to spend $500 bucks a month on clothes.


It's a day where I can't be happy for my friend who's gushing over her upcoming trip to Greece that her lawyer boyfriend is paying for.

All I can do is be ticked that my husband has a normal corporate job. (Note: Love you honey!)


It's a day where I read blogs of stay at-home-moms in Texas or Wisconsin or wherever else is massively cheaper than California, living in houses that cost a fraction of the cost of my 1,100 sq. foot condo that look like this:

(Note: not a real blogger's home)

And all I want to do is sell my stupid condo and move to some other state that doesn't have oppressive real estate prices, but I can't because we're under water on it. Which makes me mad at all the people that get bailouts when I don't. So I refocus my envy at the Texas/Wisconsin/wherever housewives glamorously blogging away from suburban Pottery Barn paradise.
(Note: I understand that being a stay-at-home is not easy and often not even enviable... like I said above, the envy is irrational).


So I try to do what the Mr. tells me to do when I feel like this, which is to make a list of 10 things I'm thankful for. So I list, "my health", "my family", "my sweet husband", "the eternal love of God", "living in America", "blah blah, this isn't helping!"


Luckily the green-eyed monster subsides within a few hours or day and I go back to my normal, happy, content self. Realizing that all the envy was overblown and absolutely ridiculous.

And I just have to write that bad day off as "Envy Day."

44 comments:

Angry Julie Monday said...

I have Texas envy big time!!!! Maybe we need to start a support group. We will wear USC clothing, drink sweet tea, have big hair and dream about 4,000 sq. foot houses for $250K...what do you think?

Kate said...

I feel you with the house envy... I have envy over my own freakin' house! We love every inch of it but to actually purchase it (we rent... and that check makes me cringe every month)would mean $650k... for a 100 year old house with no walk in closets, teeny-tiny bathrooms, and no garage! And I live in Texas!

Southern Web Girl said...

I have the envy all the time. i spend a lot of time fighting it off.

A good friend has a 3400 sq ft house in suburban Austin...and he's hoping to sell it for 300K!

the BLAH BLAH BLAHger said...

I just got back from a trip to TX...so I've got the envy, too. I spent my days pretending to be a SAHM. I drank wine in the afternoon, played tennis at the hoity toity country club, and shopped in the middle of the day, then returned to the gigantic house on the huge lot that cost LESS than my 761 sq ft condo. So hey, guess what...now I'm jealous of YOUR extra 350 ft. Ha!

Undomesticated Newlywed said...

Amen to this post! I'm having a series of envy days right now...gotta get over this hump!

Linda said...

I have those days too. I usually sit and pout til hubby makes me laugh. Then it's not so bad anymore.

Our Family of 5 said...

I have days like that too. We all do, even those who have everything we are envious of (the grass is always greener on the other side ;) ). I've never seen pictures of you looking anything less than cute and trendy though.

Legallyblondemel said...

I can so relate. Just had one of these days myself recently - I call them "the Kimberlys". I hope yours passes soon.

Seems to be one of those things that gets better with time. I tend to metaphorically throw my hands in the air, pray (probably not as much as I should, but . . .), and just wait for the envy to pass.

PS - As one whose move to TX was influenced by the very real estate frustration you mention, the grass really is greener. Sometimes I now I question whether I should have just been a lifelong renter but stayed near the beautiful beach.

Lucky in Love said...

I can totally and completely relate to this post.

I do this with clothes, houses, and lives in general. I think it's very easy to do this while reading a blog as well and not just in real life. But, funny thing, I heard a radio broadcast about it one day on the way home on a Christian station I listen to. They were talking about how if you go wishing for someone else's life...know you are wishing for the good but also the bad. And the thing is, you don't always know the bad and if it would be worth it. God gave them that situation because they can handle it...and he gave you yours because you can as well.

They talked about how God provides for each person what they need. And having more or less money than what you need is a bad thing and can get people into trouble.

After hearing this, I try, just as you do, to be thankful for what I do have and that I don't have the bad that others do. And if I can't buy a new outfit every week...or take trips around the world...or even eat out more than once a month...that's fine. Because I'm blessed. And so are you!


And by the way, I have a lawyer husband...and he doesn't pay for trips to Greece nor can we afford them. And we rent...and have no kids....and I don't spend money on clothes! So that is just nuts :)

JEssica said...

The grass is always greener..I can join you on Envy Day.

Rachel said...

Oh I can totally relate to this post! And I hate those days! The other day on facebook, one of my friends (who stays at home, has no children, admits that she does absolutely nothing during the day, lives in the south in a gorgeous house - basically a life of luxury) set her status as "I need a vacation." I so wanted to reply back "a vacation from what????" Haha! I hope your envy day passes soon!!

Sara said...

I'm a Texan and I can relate to this. Just know that a lot of us here are in the same boat. I'mo nly in a house because my husband owned it before we met. I could NEVER afford a house on my sad Texas salary here or anywhere. And, know that people here are in just as muuch debt as everywhere else, sadly.
Hang in there, these days hit us all and they do pass.

Jenelle "rella ella ella" said...

I can so totally relate to this post! I feel all of those feelings often. The cost of living in California is so high compared to other states! I love that you call it Envy day, a perfect name for it. I think I will have to start calling the days that I feel like I need to up and move to some place like Wisconsin Envy day as well.

Jenelle "rella ella ella" said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Katie said...

At least you are mature enough to recognize your envy! haha and I feel the SAME way about those huge houses in Texas or wherever!

the future mrs. smith said...

my envy is typically clothes envy. funny how my husband is pretty much only envious of people with season tickets to university of kentucky basketball. i like to keep him around for the rationality of it all. :)

Alison said...

I know what you mean about the disparity of housing costs around the country! My husband and I just bought our first home, in a Seattle suburb. For the price we paid for our tiny fixer-upper rambler, we could have purchased a large updated home in a different part of the country!

I hope your day gets better!

P.S. I'm a lurker, who finally decided to comment! :)

the Mrs Hinz said...

OMG i DEF know what you mean. my green eye def leans more towards the girls with gorgeous long hair and porcelain skin...two things that i wish i could have but DONT. we are girls we are programed to be envious. its what we DO!

Mrs. Newlywed said...

GREAT post.

I had one of these recently. It passes, but it always comes on a day when I am exhausted, upset, stressed, etc...and I seem to lack control over my emotions.

*sigh*

cMe said...

Oh honey, I totally feel you. But I'll tell you something...I think those ginormous McMansions must be in the suburbs. I live in the middle of Houston in a 1,000 sq. ft. one bathroom bungalow (it's smaller than Kate/elefantitas' house) and it cost much more than $250K! Plus, there are just no houses that are brand new and non-suburban-area for less than a really huge price tag!

Oh, and the shirt? Try the Victoria from J Crew. It's short sleeve, but similar neckline, silk, I have the exact color of the one above, for $69!

I am having body envy lately...but I know it is my own fault for not going to the gym in a month and eating like a little piglet.

Brittany said...

Please do not dwell on impossibly cheap Texas houses! You know why they are cheap? Because they are 45 minutes away from a real city. And come rush-hour, that 45 minute drive can easily be more than an hour. And every house in the neighborhood is the exact same floor plan/brick. We live in Austin but only want to live centrally, within a 10 mile radius of downtown. And that pretty much means we will get less than half for our money than what we would out in the suburbs (like a 2/1 versus a 4/3). So we're stuck renting a condo we couldn't afford to buy in the meantime. At least you have your own condo :)

But yeah, I echo previous comments that reading blogs brings this out. It's hard to not be envious when other bloggers go on and on about their Restoration Hardware homes (and point out every single thing from there) and post pictures of their enormous his and her's walk in closets and gourmet kitchens. And they're not even 30 yet. The thing I hold to is that things aren't always as they seem.

Sweet Simplicity said...

I'm so glad you posted this. I seem to go through this every once in a while. The last episode being this last weekend. I decided that I hate everything in my house and all I want is to fill it with nice things. Well, that just isn't possible when you get married straight out of college and you live off of one income while your husband acrues hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt in school. Ah one day...But I want it now! :) I need to make a list of things that I am thankful for and include the fact that I own a house (in OK) and even though I can't furnish I do own it. And don't even get me started on clothes envy!

Meant to be a mom said...

ahh envy day, we all have then don't feel bad. Mine is usually over the coworker looking hot and trendy thing. I always strive to look nice. For myself! I like to look nice, trendy and fun it makes me feel good. So when a girl comes walking in making me feel all frumpy and ugly I hate that! But like you I usually end up getting over it. Or I rush to the teeny bopper store and buy the most adorable, yet mature looking $20.00 item I can find. Thank God for forever 21. They have things that aren't for young girls in there. Although I look like the oldest person in there, WHO CARES!

Perfectly Imperfect said...

I definitely feel like most people go through this at some point. I know there are times when I look at others houses and other material things and just want what they have. But then I have to remember that I own a house in a very nice town that is mine that I've put my soul into decorating and making a home. There are so many who don't get that.

Now clothes.. I have serious envy over that. I can't even talk about it!

The Stokley Family said...

I LOVE THIS POST!! Seriously LOVE IT! I think we all feel this way and reading through everyone's comments made me feel so much better. Remember when you are reading blogs people are only going to post about the good not the bad. So it isn't always the whole story!

Justin and Jenn said...

Girl, I'm right there with you and I'm in the heart of a suburban mansion/stepford housewives area...so it's VERY difficult to not wear what they wear, eat where they eat or live where they live. I've so been where you're at...but then I just remember, there maybe some other woman out there that might be looking at my life, my clothes, my house and be thinking the exact same thing...it helps everytime!

In this wonderful life... said...

I have envy of pretty things quite often!! Though I do have a LOT to be thankful for!

loving that purple top!

Brittany Ann said...

I have these Envy days, too! But I'm lucky, too. It's such a funny place to be, isn't it!

I'm envious of that top and house, too!

Jess said...

Amen!!!

I'm glad you posted this.... we all have Envy Days. I've especially been envying skinny people who eat candy, lately, lol.

When I have my Envy Days, I try to remember something my pastor once said.... "The grass is greener where you water it."

skinnyrunner said...

man i hear ya! it makes us sick to our stomaches when we go back home to dallas or houston and see the houses and the home prices and what we could have there compared to the cardboard box we own here in socal! sunshine's expensive!

d.a.r. said...

Oh girl, you aren't alone!! We all have Envy Days! I wish I could afford all of the fabulous clothes that so many people blog about (wtf do they do for a career to afford that??!!) and their fabulous homes and expensive Restoration Hardware furniture and Pottery Barn goodness. Whine.

Then I remember the good stuff that I do have. But still...those days pop up even though I am grateful most of the time!

Blue-Eyed Bride said...

I have so so much to be thankful for, but I go through this all the time.

Especially reading blogs and Twitter. I swear, having a blog and following people on Twitter has given me more temptation to buy worthless crap (clothes that I "must have") than any other aspect of my life has tempted me.

We do own a great house and I was fortunate enough to inherit a lot of furniture, but we also have almost no yard and we're surrounded by mansions. We've got a baby crawling around on the floor with dog hair and it stresses me out. I walk by gigantic houses or look at tours from doctor's wives and start to want more space, more house, more more more.

I was so restless last night and considered getting off of Twitter all together because the clothes, shoes, and jewelry being tossed around was just making me feel SO bad about myself, and why?

But, my husband loves me, we have a beautiful son. I was able to stop working (which also meant stop spending money!) so I could stay home with him. We have a roof over our heads and a forgiving and merciful Father who loves us. I just need to focus on all of that.

Thanks for this post. I realize that none of us are alone.

Mrs Sweet Pea said...

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for posting this and for all of your bloggy friends' comments! Blue-Eyed Bride is right...you're not alone sister! I have 'envy-days' too, but I try to always realize that some if not most people have it worse than I could ever imagine. Marshall's, Ross & Home Goods can cure any of those I-wish-I-had-more-money-to-...shop, decorate, etc feelings... and it's awesome that your hubby encourages you to focus on positive thinking (so does my Mr. :]). Sometimes those days are just inevitable. I have found a cure though...Ben & Jerry's Creme Brulee ice cream always makes me feel better about pretty much anything :)

Meagan said...

Oh man..I understand your pain. I have these days too!! I want to move all of the time and live the "simple life" in a big brick house on a tree lined street. LOL.

Ashley said...

I have those days too! It's tough, but thankfully they don't last.

Meghan said...

If it's any consolation, I've been reading your blog for a few weeks now, and I have total envy over your cool city condo, the SoCal weather, and the fact that you have a job where you can wear cool, pretty clothes, and you don't get puked on! (Ahh, the joys of being an ER nurse)

Stephanie said...

This is exactly what I needed to hear this morning as I am in the middle of my own envy funk! I'm indulging in Ben & Jerrys and praying that it passes quickly!

Kassie said...

Thank you for posting this! I feel like I could have written it. I think everyone has these envy days, and it's even harder when you read blogs. You can be happy 99.9% of the time, and then that one bad day read about someone's "perfect" life. It seems hard sometimes! But then I think about how I pretty much never write about anything truly wrong in my life, and I'm sure many bloggers are the same way. Luckily envy passes quickly! :)

Good Gals Inc said...

Girl! Move to Texas!!!!!!!

Megan said...

Oh man, you are not alone on this, but a long shot! I go through this often, and it seems like everybody else does too! It's so hard not to compare ourselves to others, or to want the 'stuff' that they have. Whenver I got through this I have to step back and realize all that I have to be thankful.
Thanks for posting this. Its nice when you feel that others can relate to how you feel!

Lil' Woman said...

I hear ya...sometimes when I'm reading blogs I catch myself getting bothered by girls that buy lilly pulitzer and coach bags every other day..I wish I had that money and a nice big house.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but then you'd have to live in Texas, K10 ;)

Danica said...

Ahhhh how many conversations have we had about this :) Hope your having a fabulous day my friend, and that today is not envy day. xoxo

Cindell Loo said...

hmmm...i never had a name for those kind of days...very good way of putting it :)

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