It’s so easy to look at the lives and situations of others and think it’s better. It’s so easy to let yourself feel jealous or envious of what other’s have. When I’m stressed or over tired, that’s when I find it the most difficult not to do this, I naively start to assume that everyone else’s situation is better than mine and if I’m not careful this can easily send me into a downward spiral.
The thing is though, we only ever see what people want us to see about their lives. Especially now we have social media. People ensure that they paint a picture of what they want you to see, you don’t always really know what’s going ob for them and do you really have to? Should you need to know anything at all? No because it’s not actually anyone’s business but theirs. However we are all nosey by nature to a certain extent and it’s only natural as you interact with people on a daily basis to see and hear insights into their lives.
This also makes it easy to assume. To assume that the people around you are happier or have it easier. It’s easy to assume a lot of things. Truth is though, everyone is fighting some sort of battle. Everyone is having to face and overcome something.
I find it hard being a single mum sometimes, I find it lonely, I find it tiring and I find it busy and stressful. However, there was a time when I looked on at single mums with envy, they may have been on their own and I was married but I was even lonelier, I was even more stressed, tired and on top of it, frightened, anxious and treading on egg shells. Did it always look that way though? Hell no, I worked hard to lead people to believe all was ok, I wasn’t going to air my dirty laundry all over Instagram, I wasn’t going chat at mum and baby group about the abusive relationship I was. I just carried on. We all do, we only ever really share the hard stuff with our nearest and dearest which in someways is as it should be.
It’s because of this though that we forget that no one’s life is perfect and that just because their situation is different to ours, it doesn’t make it any better or worse. I have friends who aren’t single parents but they maybe have more than one child and no local family to support with childcare and school drop offs or pick ups. Friend’s might seem to have high flying careers or big wages, great that’s nice for them but that also comes with a higher level of responsibility, longer hours, higher stress levels. The nice gorgeous big house takes more cleaning and up keep. The expensive car is expensive to fix. The mum that doesn’t work, has hours in the day to fill and may have lonely moments while the rest of the gang are at work, or maybe has to very carefully manage a tight financial budget to enable her to be a stay at home mum with the kids. She may also at times long for the mental stimulation of work and adult conversation. Every situation and positive on someone’s life comes at a price or may be a great wonderful thing but there’s usually also a downside, a difficulty or something they have to battle.
Sounds depressing doesn’t it? Well it needn’t be. It’s all part of life and it’s about taking the rough with the smooth and not focusing on what everyone else has around you and assuming it’s better.
It’s ok to feel a little envious, it’s health to look at different people and situations and idolise about them. That little bit of health envy helps us all strive to do and be better, kinder people, it gets messy when you let it become jealousy. When you let impact on your own happiness. When it makes you bitter and convinced that the grass is greener in everyone else’s life. The fact is, it isn’t, it’s just different and what be right for one person may not be right for you, what you are able to cope with they may not be able to and vice versa. It’s important to remember that not everyone else is as better off as you think, their life a situation is different.
Be happy with what you’ve got, strive for better that suitable for you. Remember, the grass isn’t always greener in someone else’s garden and if you want a better situation, water and feed your own garden first.