It’s been a heckuva week, interwebs. After the loveliness and traveling for the baby shower, I felt like I needed a vaycay to sleep for 26 hours straight. I don’t have that luxury, due to mini Gwinn (and I don’t really want to miss anything he does), and since Captain Laser Pants was kind enough to watch our little duderino so I could party it up in peace, I needed to be present to take care of our baby, because, frankly, husband needed a vaycay after manning the baby for a whole weekend solo.
While I was away, I felt twinges of envy at my dear girlfriend’s success in her home. Her house is beautiful, with amazing decoration (she could be an interior designer), she has flowers all over the outside of her home, and she has matching china. Gratefully, we were too busy over the weekend for me to take much notice of my feelings. But once I was in the comfort of my own crowded bed (three dogs + two adults = bedtime chaos), the envious side of me started whispering in my head. Truly, I am 90% happy for all that she has in her life, but that tiny portion of me wants the same things.
Two weeks ago some trees decided to commit suicide in our backyard during a barrage of heavy storms and a tornado. They’re hanging perilously close to our roof, but our landlord has yet to send anyone out for a tree removal. I’ve been fervently praying for calm weather until they’re removed. Thank God the biggest tree wouldn’t kill us (it’s not that heavy), but it would put a hole in the roof for sure. We would like to move, but we don’t know where work will take CLP in the next few years, so buying a home seems even further out than we originally thought.
This week we received news that my beloved Jeep (yes, the car whose engine my husband replaced) needed a new transmission, which would put us out just under $2k. Around us people were having babies, getting promotions, buying new homes, eating off beautiful china, and we were living under a dead tree and I can’t leave the house. While others around us seemed like they were having success after success, we were faced with uncertainty. Monday night I cried until my eyes were nearly swollen shut. The burden of so much going wrong around us broke my spirit. I prayed, asked why those who were so much more shallow/ cruel/ undeserving around us were given so much, and we were working to make the right decisions and life was crumbling. I didn’t get an answer that night. I cried until CLP came to bed, and he wrapped around me as I blubbered. He paraphrased Frederick Douglass, “Every man does not deserve all he has, but he must certainly work for what he has” (the actual quote: People might not work for all they get in this world, but they must certainly work for all they get.”). He then reminded me of our strong marriage, our beautiful baby, and the strength of character we’re building together as we suffer through our current problems. I fell asleep against his strong arms and muscled through Tuesday morning with a smile, even though my eyes were still good and swollen from the previous night.
Tuesday afternoon I saw a series of amazing quotes from Louis CK (mom, don’t look him up. You’ll be disappointed and offended, most certainly). To give you context, he is talking to his daughter about “fairness” in a sitcom. His younger daughter asks why her sister gets something and she doesn’t, then proclaims it to be unfair. His response, “Listen, the only time you should look in your neighbor’s bowl to see if they have enough. You don’t look in your neighbor’s bowl to see if you have […] as much as them.”
I was humbled by this quote. It’s not my place to decide whose karma is better or worse than mine, who deserves what, or to even give a crap about what someone else has. Instead of feeling bitter because someone wasn’t building us a mansion on the side of a mountain, I should feel grateful that our roof doesn’t have a hole in it, our son is healthy, our marriage is healthy, and our car will be fixed. Would everyday dinnerware and a dining room table be nice? Yeah. But that’s not really in the cards for us right now. And when it is, I know we’ll appreciate what we have so much more because we had time without matching dishes or nice clothes. I say that facetiously, mostly, because even now I’m reminded that the kind of stuff we have doesn’t matter to the people that do, and the people that do care about what kind of stuff we have don’t matter to me.
The point I’m trying to haphazardly make is that I had a change of heart this week. A year ago I saw something that said (paraphrased) : What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you gave thanks [to God] for today? I needed that refresher this week. And I’m thanking God for the hot, humid, but not stormy weather we’re having today, among many other people and things in my life.
Hop you all have an awesome 4th of July!