Envy, our Frienemy 

Thank God it no longer happens often.  I feel a subtle stirring in my gut, a slight discomfort, a secret emotion that fights it’s way to the surface: envy.

Envy?! Where did you come from and who told you you were allowed to resurface in my consciousness?!

Oh but there it was – embarrassed by my longing for something someone else had.

So disturbed was I – that I was quiet and contemplative for several days as I mulled over this bitter enemy of mine’s rude resurfacing.

Is jealousy something I still feel? Ugh! I was utterly despondent – as I self righteously battled with my own inner voice.  Jeanette how could you be envious?! Have you not come so far? Have you not risen above? Are you not *gasp* content…or grateful for all that you have?!

I questioned and fretted over all of the above as I felt the bittersweet taste of self control – not buying anything I want anymore because I have a child and a husband and an ambitious goal to pay down student loans.

Envy…towards those who do not know the burden of student loans, envy towards those that have no other responsibilities but themselves and can spend their paychecks as they please.

But wait – I was there – and quite envious of those who had the husband and child and house as I now do.  And wait – I did used to spend all my money on myself, on the best that money could buy in clothes and trips and pampering – and was I then – happier? No.  Happy to divulge when I wanted on what I wanted – yes.  But it was short lived happiness.

Would I love to go buy designer bags and boots and coats and book a few trips and mani-pedis – Yes!

But, what is it that matters more?

My character?  Growing in selflessness as I buy my 11 month old son clothes instead of myself.  Prudence?  As I withhold spending knowing I’ll have formula to buy and diapers to purchase.  Self control – denying my impulsivity.  True contentment as I learn to be grateful for the things that money cannot buy such as love and family.  An attitude of gratitude as I realize how truly blessed I am to have clothes on my back and a roof over my head – even if they aren’t the brands I used to buy or as new as I used to wear.

I think I’ll choose the latter.

Oh, but my pride!  My ego!  The compliments I would get!  The looks of adoration as I donned the newest and most fashion forward outfits…The artist in me!  I loved to piece together clothing and shoes and coats and hats and…oh but..

What pride could I truly have from putting myself and my desires before my family?  What pride could I truly have to buy THINGS over buying my peace of mind as I become debt free and grow in wisdom and maturity as I save for our future…

There is no pride in that.

Goodbye selfish pride.  Goodbye superego.

Envy, you truly are a frienemy.  An enemy of contentment but a friend for bringing me closer to it in the end.

So thank you envy, now get out!

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