We’ve all heard the saying “The grass is always greener on the other side.” Well, it’s Friday night and you have nothing on the agenda. You sit down, turn on some reruns, and start scrolling through Facebook. One friend just had the most gorgeous wedding; another friend welcomed a precious baby girl into the world; another friend is on vacation with her hubby in Turks and Caicos, and it’s show-stopping. You’re sitting home on a Friday night in your sweats and you just missed your mouth with that kernel of popcorn. Now, some greasy, buttery kernel is lost in the black hole between the couch cushions. Everyone’s life is better than yours.
This is no way to live, my friends. Why do we love to play the comparison game? It’s a strange game where the odds are abysmal. We’re, literally, never going to come out the victor. I’m not even talking about ugly jealousy here. I’m talking about an ability to be genuinely happy for a friend and all their success, and still turn to yourself and wonder, “What about me?”
Does singledom get you down from time to time? Well, think about your best friend who just called in hysterics from her coat closet because her kids were driving her off the deep end. Do the responsibilities of married life sometimes weigh you down? Well, think about your friend who just received a new job offer, but had no one to go home and share it with. The grass is always greener, until we learn to celebrate our own garden party.
It’s a fair bet that psychologists all over the world agree that the main problem with the ‘grass is always greener’ syndrome is that it’s usually rooted in fear. That’s got to be a list-topper for ways not to live. So, what can we do to be happy right where we’re at? Well, when wanting to make a serious life change, it’s best to dip your toes in the wading pool, as opposed to jumping off the high dive. With that, will you allow me to share two small tips that helped me turn my life around? I hope they’ll help you, too.
Social media freezeout
Oh, how we love you (and secretly don’t like you), Facebook. Instead of scrolling through your feed at ten o’clock on a Friday night, pop in a movie, munch on your favorite snack, and be happy that you have a quiet, peaceful home that some of your friends would trade anything for – just for one night. Light those lovely scented candles, sip on a glass of wine, and be grateful. Be grateful for your surroundings. Be grateful for this quiet moment to decompress. Heck, be grateful you could pick up a silky-smooth bottle of Cabernet. Pick one thing and just choose to be grateful. Happiness is so often a choice, isn’t it?
This is the cream cheese frosting on the red velvet cupcake. It’s time for us to do a little bit of self-correcting. Make a vow to yourself that, anytime you start to think or speak about how so and so has such and such, and you only have diddly squat, remember what you do have. Are you healthy? Are you one of the lucky ones who can avoid bi-weekly trips to the doctor to battle some type of serious illness? Are you one of the lucky ones who can wake up and walk to the ends of the earth without any assistance, if you so choose?
I’m not saying the occasional pity party isn’t warranted. That’s just life. Sometimes it knocks us on our butts and sends shooting pain all the way up to the tops of our heads. It’s only natural to stop and hang our heads from time to time. But, on a good ‘ol day, please, stop and give yourself a loving reminder to be grateful. Yes, someone else has this, but you have that.
Make a pact to change your thoughts
I made a pact with a dear friend. Anytime we send an, “Ugh, I’m so fat,” type of text, we self-correct one another. This isn’t all across the board. Sometimes you just need to get the sadness out. But, when it’s a flippant comment, we correct each other and love each other more for it.
Maybe we can all do something like this for each other and ourselves? The only thing that’s going to happen is that, as we change our thoughts, we’ll change our lives. We’ll literally stop to smell the roses sitting atop our kitchen counter. We’ll stargaze one night instead of sitting behind drawn curtains. What d’ya say? Let’s forget about our neighbor’s grass and tend to ourselves instead. Here’s to you, wherever you are. Because, whoever you are, you’re good enough.
Feature photo: Wes Hicks / Unsplash