A couple weeks ago at church, the minister started to do a sermon about being happy with what you have. She then realized that she wanted to talk more about identifying the things you want to bring into your life and making a plan for how to get them.
She asked us to make a "jealousy map" by writing the names of the people we were jealous of, the specific qualities/things we were jealous of, and what it might look like for us to bring that quality/thing into our lives.
I immediately thought back to my twenties when I harbored lots of jealousy for the people around me. I was jealous of friends who were prettier than I was, more creative, more fashionable, came from wealthier families--the list goes on!
But I was hard-pressed to think of anything that I'm jealous of now. I realized that two things were at play:
- Getting married and being in a long-term, nurturing relationship has helped me shed the insecurities I used to feel about not being pretty enough or cool enough. It's hard to know whether these have gone away because of the strength and security I get from marriage or from the maturity that comes from getting older--but either way, I'm glad they're gone!
- I've spent the last 15 years creating the kind of life I want to have. I've found my way toward meaningful work, I found my life partner, we were fortunate enough to bring two healthy children into the world, and we have a home filled with figurative and literal light.
And I'm settling into this life more and more with each passing day. My job is becoming less overwhelming as the weeks go by, and the boys are getting more and more fun (I've confessed before that I am not an infant/toddler kind of person!).
I just want to be sure to savor this time in our lives because I know it's going to go by quickly. I watch my friends' children growing up on Facebook, and I can't believe how fast it happens. There are children I taught as 3rd graders (which feels like just yesterday!) and they are suddenly going into high school.
The other night I asked Matt what we should do to make sure we fully appreciate and embrace the time we have with our young children. He said we should keep on doing what we're doing--dinners together, playing together on the weekends--but we should also prioritize vacations and travel together to create those fun memories and experiences together. We're trying to decide if we want to spend six months abroad when the boys are a little older or if we just want to go on smaller vacations throughout the year. Or maybe both! The trip we took to San Francisco during Fall Break was an amazing time to experience the city through the eyes of our children and spend a ton of fully-engaged, quality time together.
Image from the S. Carey living room concert Matt signed us up to host