Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Jealousy is Alluring, but Altogether Misinformed

I've struggle less with jealousy in the last year.  It's not because I'm less envious of other people's situations or even because I don't want the things I used to want.  These days I just think I'm more appreciative of the sacrifice.

I forget that a lot--that sacrifice is a huge part of any equation that ends in something fantastic.  Truthfully, don't we all?  I saw a pin on pinterest about how we should avoid comparing our entire lives with someone else's highlight reel.  But I know a lot of us--women in particular--have difficulty remembering that most things come at a cost.

Like marriage, for example.  When I write about Favorite, or when people see me with him, they may erroneously believe the sun shines out of his every orifice.  There are a lot of missing pieces of that puzzle, though.  Like the years of learning to be together.  The sacrifices of friendships to spend time together.  The struggles and deep hurts that were really only ours.  The promises to avoid airing our issues with anyone but each other.

We haven't always been good at those things, and a lot of times, commitment to those issues led to a lot of frustration.  But soldiering through has been rewarding.  And if people are jealous of that, then they are also jealous of the sleepless nights, the endless amounts of crying and the unseen frustration that has made us what we are.  To disregard those things is to completely ignore anything we have together.

I can promise you that I don't find myself envious of the people eating the cupcake anymore, either.  Want to know why?

Because I can have the cupcake.

I can have four of them if I want.  But I know that some things are permissible and not beneficial.  And I also know my commitment to running will suffer tangible damage from a session with four pastries.

This mentality, and I promise it is a mindset, applies to a hundred different scenarios:

  • Sure, I have a nice house.  But I also lived in a slowly decomposing trailer for 7 years before I moved into that nice house.  And we sacrificed a lot of personal purchases to save money to build that nice house.

  • We have very little debt; however, we have committed to working on a cash budget.  We are also avoiding buying things that require loans or credit.  Are we perfect?  No.  But our dedication to the Dave Ramsey mentality has really changed the way we feel about spending.  It doesn't mean I never buy things I want.  I do.  Frequently, actually.  But it does mean working within the cash restraints I have for that pay period.

  • I'm starting to lose weight and see a difference in my body.  But I am running four to six days a week and staying within a particular calorie count every.single.day.  And I've been doing it for 8 weeks now.  Does it mean I never screw up or that I haven't gained a pound since I've started?  Hardly.  But I'm staying the course for an overall change.
 So I'm a less jealous person and a few pounds lighter.  God's request for obedience may be the thing that undoes me and finally changes the things I really couldn't overcome.

Grace really is greater.


Ms. Mathemagician said...

I'm going to say it again: I'm so proud of you Crystal! I am jealous of your running! :)

Mindee@ourfrontdoor said...

The gains in character are even more beneficial than the loss of weight. Good job!

Sheena said...

I'm digging out my pom-poms...GOOOOOOOO Crystal! :-) You're inspiring people everywhere.

Real Food Runner said...

Wow. This is really inspiring!