Sunday, August 02, 2015

Oh Jealousy!

I suppose it's not cool to admit this, but if I'm being frank and honest, I've got a lot of jealousy these days.

I know, I know. I've got more than so many. And I am extremely grateful for all of that - I promise I am.

But still. I'm jealous.

For some reason, this has been the year of fabulous vacations for so many (many of them to Europe!). It's also been the year of kitchen remodels.  And the year of new cars.

And. I'm genuinely happy for my friends. Cruise in Spain - awesome! Trip to Germany - fabulous! Third time to Disney this year - that's wonderful! New kitchen - bet that's fun to cook in now! Blue car - nice choice!

But mixed in with that excitement for them and happiness for them, is some jealousy.

Oh, you just redid your kitchen and got all new appliances? Awesome. Now excuse me while I go cook in my kitchen with the original cabinets and counter-tops from 1950, and a 20 year old fridge and dishwasher.

Wow! Packing for vacation again? That's cool. Oh, no we didn't plan a vacation this year. And it looks like one won't happen next year. And since in three years our oldest will be 18, I'm not sure we'll get a family vacation with the 5 of us again.

Whoa, you're new car is really nice! Lots of features! Where's the button to close the doors on my minivan? Yeah, it's too old for that, you have to actually use the handle and pull it shut!

So, I know what you're thinking now. Um, Brandie, you have a kitchen. And a dishwasher - it may be old but you've got one. And last I checked, that fridge was not empty or at risk of being empty. Neither is the pantry empty or the freezer. Running water in that kitchen? Doing better than too many parts of this world as well.

Oh, you didn't get a vacation this year? Boo-hoo. Some people almost never take vacations. Some people are working two jobs for minimum wage and vacations aren't even an option, assuming of course, we don't count those time periods when the boss suddenly decides to leave them off the schedule for three weeks and let's be honest: that's not a vacation, it means time to panic and maybe look for a third temporary job to help make ends meet.

Tell me again about how your car is old? The car. That works every time you put the key in the ignition? The car you fill up with gas without wondering if you've got enough money in your wallet to pay for it.

The thing is, I know all of this. I know I'm lucky. I want for no necessities in life. What I want for are the extras. The bigger. The better. The newer. These are not things I need. These are not things my children need.

But it's hard to reign in that green-eyed monster at times, and I'm definitely having a hard time with it right now.

And if we're speaking honestly, I'm jealous of people's health. There I said it. I jealous of the people who are healthy and haven't had to deal with health issues. Boy, am I ever jealous.

Which is silly! It's not like someone woke up and was like "Whoa. Totally healthy today. Better go rub that in Brandie's face!"

And of course, there are people out there much more sick than I am, who deal with many more issues than I do, who wish they had what I have. I know this because every so often they just flat out tell me.

It makes me feel all sorts of confused feelings inside. Wait, someone wants what I have? Because, um, I'd gladly give it away if I could. But no, not in return for what you'd trade away.

I'm hesitant to share this. I'm afraid you'll all think I'm sitting over here, stewing in what I don't have, ungrateful for what I do have, and completely shallow.

Sometimes, I might be all of that, but I don't think I am all the time, or even most of the time.

I even tell myself things like "oh, cry me a river Brandie. Or you know, suck it up and move on."

But there it is. I get jealous. I wish I had bigger, better, newer, and more things. I wish life was easy and uncomplicated and nothing wrong ever happened.

I also wish that I'm not alone in this. That you understand where I'm coming from and that at least one of you will nod along and say, yeah, I feel this way too sometimes. I get it. And it's okay to feel this way as long as you don't let take it over.

I hope that's not too big of a wish.


  1. I absolutely feel this way sometimes...some days more than others. I don't think it is possible to avoid feelings of jealousy or resentment -- it is what we do with those feelings that determine how we will come out of it. I will be honest and say that I am finding it hard to shake off the feelings of resentment and jealousy -- when my friends are getting engaged (my boyfriend left me after diagnosis) or meeting new SO, they are going on fabulous vacations, their houses have AC whereas my rundown apartment does not, job promotions, even my friends whose SO break up with them, they worked it out. So, I feel like I am the only person that is going through chemo, alone, in a house with no AC. I have no one to make weekend plans with or to have around to help care for me...and so resentment and jealousy soon raise their ugly heads. All I can do, and likely all any of us can do is to recognize where those feelings are coming from and to not let them interfere with personal relationships. So, Brandie, you are not alone.

  2. Firstly, I'm really glad I found your blog. Thanks for flying this. Christy summed up about perfectly my thoughts on the subject, but I really wanted to underscore that I believe few honest people don't struggle with jealousy from time to time. Maybe the Dali Lama? Though, he'd probably go and surprise me and say that's his biggest struggle. Out of treatment, I'm finding jealousy less in my face, rather being wiley and cropping up at odd times; or not so odd. Here I am after a major 10 hour surgery, trying to recuperate. I do so envy my friends and family who never got sick in the first place though I'd be first in line to help in any way, should they be sick or need help. I envy them their breezy way of thinking this will be my last surgery or how they will not have my luck and ever have to hear those three vicious words, "You have cancer." I envy them that they can't imagine pain level 10. I envy them their ease of jumping in a car, whenever, where as I always have to do a calculation and usually hold my pain meds. I envy them their yoga, Pilates, zumba, and belly dance. Heh. At least, while house/bed bound I'm too busy to really tally the vacations I have and will miss. Same with shows, work, happy hours.

    And, yes, I want them to have wonderful things. I want strangers to have enough food and clean water. I find that I'm able to do both-feel jealousy and generosity. I don't think they are mutually exclusive. You are not alone in this. I hate the isolation of feeling like I have detention, while every one else is at recess.

    Wow! That was a bit longer than I expected! On a last note, that you are feeling things is good. You're still alive and kicking. I also think, Americans, at least are uncomfortable with emotions outside of the happy. I think the fact that you're willing to acknowledge your feelings is a good sign you'll not be consumed by that.


Seeing your comments makes me smile! Thank you so much =)