I've done some processing since Valentine's Day when I was so painfully cognizant of all the middle-aged couples around me. At that time I would have labeled my feelings as being jealous of those couples being in love. But I wasn't really jealous that those fortunate folks had love in their lives. Rather, I was envious of them because of the stability and security they have within their marriages.
The number one thing I miss most about being married was that stability and security. To be in a long-term relationship that withstood the test of time. As my husband lay unconscious and dying, I was able to speak to the hospital staff and make known his wishes. Because I knew my husband so intimately and deeply I knew without a shadow of a doubt that what I was conveying was what he would have wanted. So that is what I see when I look at couples together. The stability and strength they have in their marriages, their commitment to one another and that they have a person to lean on in good times and bad.
I wish everyone love. We all deserve it and we all should have it in our lives. We deserve to be told that we are loved and to be nurtured and accepted by others as we nurture and accept those we love.
The definition of envy is: 1: painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage 2.: an object of envious notice or feeling
The definition of jealousy is: 1.: demanding complete devotion 2.: fearful or suspicious of a rival or competitor : feeling a spiteful envy toward someone more successful than oneself 3.: suspicious that a person one loves is not faithful 4.: Watchful, Careful
As I read these definitions I see my longings for a life joined with someone as envious, not jealousy. I am not spiteful or really angry at others who have this. And I certainly do not wish ill will or harm toward others. Rather, the softened way to view this is that I do have a painful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another and I sure do want that in my life too!
Some weeks ago I came across in one of my self-help books, the notion that envy is not the bad devil we are always led to believe. All of us have been told since we were kids not to be jealous. But this author said we should pay attention to those times when we are envious and they used the word envy instead of jealous. By tuning into ourselves when we have these feelings, we become aware of what we are really seeking and want for our lives. This concept has softened the way I was feeling around Valentine's Day. I was not bitter or mean spirited; rather I was tuned into what I really want for my life and what is now absent.
It is interesting because often when I am reading a newspaper, magazine, catalogs or even junk mail, I tear out or keep pictures of middle-aged couples together. I keep reading and hearing about creating collages of what we want to bring into our lives. So I want to start putting those pictures of happy couples walking hand-in-hand onto a poster board - all these pictures aren't doing any good sitting in piles of paperwork. These photos don't make me sad - rather they inspire me. And they raise the hope inside me that makes me aspire to having that type of committed and long-term relationship I had with my husband again, sometime in my future (hopefully sooner than later).
I will also put photos of places I want to visit because my love for travel has been solely lacking in my life these past years. And some photos of antiques because I want to get back to collecting my glassware that made me so happy just looking at it and touching it (the ex-husband got the entire collection that we built up together) and I've been collecting it again in little dribs and drabs, here and there. And I might put some pictures of libraries on there to nurture my baby dream of going to work at a library in the future. I plan on starting my poster tonight and putting it up in front of the sink where I'll see it often everyday since I can't escape those dishes or making meals for the boys and I.
Also, I am going to start stopping by the local yarn shops I love more frequently. And the bookstores. Just for some browsing and conversation with the sales clerks that know me. I'm going to hone in on trying to do more of what brings me little bits of pleasure during this tough time of transition for me, where I'm slowly but surely starting to make a little progress out of this hole I've landed in after falling so far and so hard. All small steps with the first being my poster which I'm becoming excited about starting. Who knows what other pictures may end up on it?
I am grateful:
1. That spring is definitely in the air.
2. That my oldest made the Varsity Volleyball team.
3. That I hit the motherload yesterday in the store and got some ground turkey, milk and cottage cheese all at half price. Yes, I am that woman who runs into the store every day to scout out the discounted specials - some days I go out emptyhanded but last night was worth the wait. 4. That I have the opportunity to relax tonight and watch a little t.v. while working on my dream poster.
5. That there is food in the pantry and freezer.