Bittersweet Perspective

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!

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About mombieconfessions

I am a sarcastic mom, tried and true INTJ, my DISC profile has a high D and C with low I and S, and I'm a quirky geek (love me some Star Wars, BSG, Firefly, Dr, Who and comic books!). When I grow up I want to be an Amazon warrior with super powers and an awesome costume. Music and literature are passions, cooking and baking are hobbies, and writing a blog (such as this one) is both a cathartic release and documentation of the growth of my family and myself. View all posts by mombieconfessions

13 responses to “Bittersweet Perspective

  • Sesame

    I’m right there with you. Everything is crumbling for us lately — we want desperately to move but can’t sell atm, had a leak that means we need new floors that we can’t afford, have an awful HOA to deal with, my company laid off a bunch of people… Plus Pinterest and design blogs make me sad that we don’t have nice things. But I’m trying to focus on the positives: our current location is amazing and might kind of offset the cost, and at least we are both still gainfully employed. It’s rough, but keep your head up, and remember that though it may not seem like it, you’re never the only person/couple struggling. Hope things turn around for you soon! And thank you for the post — I could use this as a reminder, too.

  • Ruth Warren

    Dear Daughter,
    I just read your blog to your Pops. He is the most unselfish man I ever met. We were just talking about our early years when he was in school and we had babies, bills and not much of any material pretties at all. But we had loads of love for and from each other and for and from our Savior. HE never let us go hungry… He always provided a way for bills to be paid. HE still is faithful after all these years. Life is hard but God is good! Someday you will be able to look back and thank Him for these trying times. I know you already are! Check out the past few days of “Jesus Calling.” There is some wonderful encouragement there from the One who gave His all for us! When we go thru the refiners’ fire we come through as pure gold!

  • Mary Sue

    I feel you too. I constantly battle with being content with what I have and the envy of a few friends who seem to have the resources, time and money to do everything ever that looks cool (thanks Facebook).

    I’m still working on it.

  • Anka

    Glad to hear you bounced back quickly. When the lights go out at night, it doesn’t matter whether you’re living in a 1500 sq ft home or a 3500 sq ft. It’s all the same if you’re with the ones you love. And, you’ve got plenty of love under your roof.

    Ok, gotta stop for now. I’m supposed to be on a blogging break. Happy 4th lovely lady. Catch up soon!

  • st sahm

    Hey, neat! Someone was telling me about Louis C.K. not long ago. Fuuuuunny stuff.

    I’ve had pangs of feeling sub par when it comes to material things! Won’t there always be some Betty Crocker with a better, newer, shinier everything?

    Hoping you stay in your peaceful and grateful frame of mind during so many tests.

    • mombieconfessions

      The Betty Crockers can sometimes make us feel inferior because of what we don’t have, but you and I both know our lives are rich with the love we have in our families.

      It’s encouraging to know that even in these trying times, we aren’t alone and that there are friends (even far away!) that know the same feelings and support us.

      I’ve missed you, bff!

  • beautifuldaymama

    I can totally relate, mombie. Its nice to read such a frank and honest account. When I blog, I always try to focus on the good experiences, but I wonder sometimes if I’m doing myself and others a disservice when I leave out all the doubts and unfulfilled desires. What you write is very brave and I admire it, so way to go.

    And Louis CK is hilarious. Can be crass, but his jokes crack me up.

    Cheers!

    • mombieconfessions

      Thank you for your kind words! It’s hard to live in a society that expects and encourages dishonesty (just take a look at the magazines in the racks at the grocery store…), so I try to roll with frank honesty, even if it isn’t airbrushed.

      I love that you have a fish named after 2Pac! And your bunnies and babies are beautiful. Thanks for following!

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