Sometimes I am confronted with the person that I would like to be and the person that I am. I’m pretty sure we all have areas that we struggle with in this regard. For me, nice homes are a trigger.
My husband works for a retail lumber company. He works with people who build beautiful homes and/or are remodeling. We like to tour homes just for fun, and secretly, if I had the money I would love to flip houses. I actually got my real estate license a few years ago and worked as a broker for about two years. It was a great time and I would still be doing it if I felt safe driving other people around on a consistent basis, and if I could read the fine print in those all-important contracts.
For fourteen years I have had a clawfoot tub which a friend of our refinished for us as a housewarming gift. For most of those years it sat in my garage covered in a tarp. For the last four it has lived in the alcove of a gutted bathroom that has the sheetrock up, but that is about it.
It’s not finished. I don’t know when it will be finished. I get embarrassed when people see it because it’s the main bathroom of the house. But, I have another bathroom in my bedroom that is mostly finished…yes, I said mostly.
Priorities are what it’s about really. We try not to be in debt and pay as we go. Between medical bills, a kid in college, and choosing whether to finish the bathroom or take a trip to Yellowstone with parents who are getting older, it’s just at the bottom of the rung and I don’t know when it will climb toward the top.
This is where jealousy comes in. When I see other people who don’t have anything wrong with them, and everything seems to come to them without much effort, it bugs me. It really does. It’s hard not to think about how our lives would be different if this stupid disease hadn’t showed up. It’s hard not to be jealous, to wonder why they deserve a good life and I don’t.
Wait…what was that I said? They deserve a good life and I don’t? That’s just absurd. I have a good life.
This is one of things that has always puzzled me about being human, about being me. Looking at others and assuming that their life is better than mine based on what I see. It’s what you don’t see that makes life good. It’s not the beautiful furniture, or the stunning setting that makes a home…or a good life. It’s who you share that life with. It’s the people. A beautiful home does not make a beautiful life.
And having an eye disease does not make a bad life. In fact, if I could get past the being jealous sometimes silliness, it’s actually been kind of a blessing. It’s drawn me closer to the people that I love.
Really, what I really, really want is to get to the place where it comes naturally to just be happy for people who have more stuff than I do, more beautiful things. It’s something I’m working on. It’s who I want to be.