Celebrating Success [Even When It’s Not Yours]

The Encounter:
Has Anyone Seen the Green Eyed Monster?

I felt bad for cutting her off mid-sentence like that. But if I hadn’t, she’d have just kept going on and on about how unfair this was, and how unfair that was. I can accept such a level of thinking from a child, but when you’re an adult who cries ‘why me’ every other second, my automatic ‘in one ear and out the other’ security feature kicks in.

The conversation had started easily enough. A co-worker had purchased a boat, and posted pictures of himself and his family enjoying his new toy over the weekend. His single joyous occasion sparked a rampage of insults, and inquiry from her. It made for an uncomfortable scene.

She paused and looked at me puzzled and exclaimed, “Why… doesn’t it bother you?” She then went on about how she pondered just how he was able to afford such a luxury. Was he stealing from the company? Were his parents rich? Did he recently win a lawsuit? She rattled off several scenarios, each more increasingly outrageous.

As I poured my second cup of dark roast (she was killing my morning buzz), I asked her, “did you ask him?”

Her eyes lit up. For someone who was only a short moment ago, animated and loquacious, she now stood almost solemn in front of me.

Hmmmm… had I hit a nerve?

“That would be rude,” was her retort.

Really?! Because I guess comparing our co-worker to a mob boss, who shakes down people for money isn’t. Then she mouthed, almost inaudibly, “aren’t you even the least bit jealous?” Truthfully… no. No, I’m not.

I’m not that person.

For me, jealousy denotes that I’m angry that you have something, that I want but fear can never attain. Not so fast grasshopper. Finally, at 44 years of age, I’m quite secure with myself.

Sure my passport doesn’t have all the stamps that I’d like… yet.

Sure, I’d like to one-day trade in my GMC for a Mercedes C-Class.

And no, I wouldn’t mind one bit if my big size 10 foot, happened across a pair of shoes with red bottoms.

But, trust me, I’m perfectly content with my life. I rest at night comfortably, because I am truly blessed. I live vicariously through my friend’s travels. Right now I’m simultaneously visiting Thailand, London and Quebec thanks to a cousin, a former co-worker and my neighbor.

I applaud and celebrate family member’s new luxury purchases. Knowing someone with a boat can be much more fun than owning one yourself. No maintenance, gas, dock fees, yet heck-a-fun parties.

Here’s the gist of it, if I truly am interested in what someone has, I simply ask them how they did it. You come to learn that no one has it easy.

That boat that he just purchased, he was able to do because after working ten hours a day, five days a week in this joint, he’d leave to go straight to the part-time job that he’s had for the past three years.

You find out how that the woman who drives the beat up Buick, and wears the same outfit at least twice a week, was able to vacation in Dubai. You know, the one who hasn’t taken a vacation in ten years, because she and her husband had been saving every dime they have for this trip of a lifetime.

Truth be told… I’m not interested in competing with anyone. It’s damn hard out there. I hope that we ALL make it.


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