Miss Envy and the Jealous Wanna-Bees (Take Two)

Miss Envy

On Friday I wrote an exceptionally witty & hysterically funny post called Miss Envy and the Jealous Wanna-Bees.  I read it to a beloved family member who wrinkled his/her nose and shook his/her head and said, “What ARE you trying to say, Kathy?”

So much for wit and humor.

He/she didn’t even chuckle.

I told you about this fizzling post on Saturday, and at least two of you responded that you would like to read about Miss Envy.  (You were so sweet, you two!)

However, the story just wasn’t write.  I mean–right.  Yesterday I figured out why.  It wasn’t written from the heart.  It was written from the head. 

Therefore, I asked the Universe this morning, “Hey, do you want to write about Miss Envy again from the heart this time?”

Here is how the Universe replied:

One of the Wanna-Bees

I opened my email and the first commenter, a blogger named Danielle, said (about Don’t sign your blogging contract when you’re sleeping which had a few minutes of fame last Wednesday when it was published on the front page of WordPress),  “What a great post! But I can’t say that I can relate… only feel a bit of envy. I wish the blogging Gods would call upon me to serve as a daily-posting prophet. But it seems they must not be interested in such an arrangement, because I can only muster the focus to write sporadically and sparingly! I guess the grass is always greener (and on your side, it is apparently filled with grazing chicks!)”

OK, Universe, you still want to talk about Envy.  Your prophet is ready to type.

(Before we begin typing–may we talk again about the blog title?  Don’t you love it?  Doesn’t it sound like a great name for a rock band?  Miss Envy and the Jealous Wanna-Bees…  I’ve been giggling about this thought for days.)

I used to be so envious of kids who could do THIS.

Here’s the scoop.  We all feel envy at times.  We’re all humans.  Sometimes we repeatedly compare ourselves to other humans and come up wanting.

We want.  What.  That.  Other.  Person.  Has.

We want beauty.  We want wit.  We want His super photography skills.  We want Her sharp and discerning intelligence.  We want a big house in the city with annual vacations in Hawaii.  We want to live in the woods.  We want a six figure income.  We want ANY income.  We want this.  We want that.  We want a little more of this, please.  We want  a little less of that, please.

Want, want, want!

No wonder Miss Envy and the Jealous Wanna-Bees won the Grammy for Background Music!

Baby robin singin' the envy blues. "But my brothers and sisters can fly!"

What do we do about Miss Envy when she visits our one wild & precious life, making us feel inferior, less, not-as-much? 

I don’t have the answers.  I still get visits from Miss Envy.  She swoops down unexpectedly sometimes and starts her Comparison crooning:  “Just Wanna Bee Like You” or “What’s Wrong with Me Anyway?” or “Why Does that Blogger have 792 Subscribers, Sniff, Sniff?”

Yet, as I grow older, and actually know less than I did at age 22, I have sometimes learned to make Miss Envy comfortable without 100% believing her heart-rendering blues.

When Miss Envy shows up:  make her a cup of tea.  Listen to her. 

But don’t believe her. Try to quit humming her best-selling song.

We are all scarves of Many Colors.

We are all so unique.

The Universe wants us to shine with our own gusto, our own pizzazz, our own quiet goodness.  The Universe has a place for us all.  (I can see some of you raising your eyebrows at this philosophy. That’s OK, too.  The Universe wants you to raise your eyebrows.  The Universe LOVES that much diversity!)

When we compare, when we whimper in envy, we’re moving away from our own precious gifts.

I remind myself of this while Miss Envy and I chat. 

(Can you believe Miss Envy showed up at the house during my temporary fame on Freshly Pressed last week?  While other folks were envying this blog…I happened to glance at another Freshly Pressed post.  OH NO!  This blogger had 934 “likes” and zillions of comments AND a mention under “Top Posts” on WordPress.  Miss Envy had something to sing.  I politely listened to her song and put her CD on the shelf.)

It all starts with baby steps.

It’s hard for us humans when challenging feelings come to visit.  All of us experience difficult moments.  Sometimes we want more than what the Universe offers–please, please, please

Sometimes our desires are justified.  At other times, they are a move away from our already “enough” life.  The trick is perhaps in listening deeply whether envy is gesturing in a direction where we can steer and reveal more of our gifts, or if it’s keeping us grumping and feeling less-than-adequate. 

Let’s just continue to take baby steps in following our own unique individual paths, attempting to honor our heart’s deepest promptings. We can welcome Miss Envy for tea and listen to any helpful suggestions she might offer, but she can’t stay for dinner.  Let’s acknowledge her with patient humor without singing her songs 24/7…

Do you have any tried-and-true methods that prevent Miss Envy and the Jealous Wanna-Bees from serenading endlessly beneath your tender heart’s window?

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45 responses to “Miss Envy and the Jealous Wanna-Bees (Take Two)

  1. LOL THIS IS HILARIOUS IMAGE OF MISS ENVY!!
    Poor snow type person! Beautiful hair turned into screeching bansheeism…floating and bloating through the long night, woody claws and tendrils snagging the imagination in terror….

    (i’m sick, maybe delirious)
    going to read the blog now…

    • Ok, I have read and I’m still laughing. It feels good! TY!
      Sometimes when I am doing the envy thing, which by the way can often look a LOT like the not enough thing, I like to notice. I get flashes of me appearing HUGE and a LOT like that snowman/woman, pardon. And then, if I listen, I sound like that nasty evil witch in the move Willow, whipping the object of my hate, i mean my envy I SWEAR, round and round the ceiling and smashing off of the rock walls!

      And then….I remember not to take joy in destruction, but to be glad of being able to see it. And I grow the grass and flowers at my feet up and over my body and I send out fresh leaves in regular patterns on my arms. And I call the birds to come to visit, which makes me notice the sun and the breeze…which feels good on the limbs and so I sway and then croak a bit, until I know I am singing! And my roots drink up the water of my envy, so that I do not forget nor regret, but I remember and I grow.

  2. Excellent post. Logically drawn from an analytical “Superior” brain!

    I, for one, was happy for you but in no way was envious. I like to interact with the readers who choose my blog; that is “enough” and as the great story, whether true are not, I always wish everyone “enough” in their lives.

    Cheers….already have the sheets hanging and blowing on the clothesline.

  3. Excellent post, Kathy! I’m learning (via the wisdom of Kabbalah) that in the beginning the Creator created the desire to receive (us, this world). So, it’s no wonder that we have a strong propulsion toward wanting, wanting and wanting; it’s our inherent nature. This in itself settles any anxiety I have toward feelings of envy or jealousy that arise. For me, in the end, the only thing that really matters is in learning the true meaning of Love. Thanks for sharing this post, Kathy. It’s great advice!

  4. Kathy,

    This is awesome!! Using humor to address one of the largest blocks of creativity. As you say though the awareness, welcoming Miss envy and jealous for tea or even meditation allows us to move beyond that place.

    Your response to the freshly press activity was perfect, during and after, your comments and blogs kept in perspective, mapped the process for those who come along later.

    Thank you thank you!

  5. Tried and true method? I remind myself to ask myself (!) if I like my life and what I’m doing. And I do. My blogs are life assignments I have given myself, and I enjoy looking back over them, as I would re-read a diary and page through photo albums. Did the tortoise envy the hare? I don’t think so. He just kept putting one foot in another in his own way.

    I like your title, too. I also love that baby robin!

  6. Oh envy and want! They are difficult emotions, none of us immune. I can honestly say I don’t have envy about blog stats, because I started my blog for me, and the fact that I’ve found my way into a nice little community of bloggers is enough. When I start to feel envy or want about other things in life, about what others have or do, I try to remind myself of the different paths we’ve all chosen. My life is not difficult, although it can seem boring or tedious or uneventful at times, but I’ve never really struggled either. I don’t have a lot, but I don’t exert a lot either. I try to remember to find the moments to appreciate so that it will feel like enough. (oh boy, now I’m writing novellas!)
    Love your crazy-haired snowperson, and the photos you’ve chosen to illustrate this thought-provoking blog post.

  7. No wrinkling of the nose here. I certainly get what you’re trying to say. I agree, it’s good to acknowledge Miss Envy’s presence, otherwise she might turn into the big green-eyed monster of jealousy. I might add a little something … perhaps after listening to Miss Envy, we can remind her of the things there are to be grateful for as well.

    Thanks for the thought provoking post. :-)

  8. “We can welcome Miss Envy for tea and listen to any helpful suggestions she might offer, but she can’t stay for dinner.”

    I love the way you put this, Kathy. My usual strategy to prevent envy from getting a foot in my door is to reflect on Max Ehrmann’s words in *Desiderata:*

    “If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.”

    • I loved it, too, and had copied it to reply. I’ll piggy-back on your comment, Barbara :)
      I think not extending dinner invitations works for lots of emotions. We can experience, honor, and learn from our feelings without letting them takeover.
      Whenever I’m dealing with difficult emotions, I like to remind myself that I am where I am as a result of my own choices, and if I want something different, it’s time to reevaluate the path I’m on.
      As always, thanks for sharing your words!

      • “I am where I am as a result of my own choices.” A wise thought to be considered – thanks, Heather! :) Sometimes I have invited self-pity for tea, but meditating on how my choices got me where I am will help me to withhold that dinner invitation!

  9. Kathy – You’re oh-so-right…”Miss Envy and the Jealous Wanna-Bees” would be a GREAT name for a rock band!

    Tried and True Method?

    [Frank Sinatra singing, "I'll do it MY way" in the background] Check. Check. Self-Check. Yep! I’m beyond satisfied – I’m content with me. And that satisfaction/contentment is fed from the inside out.

  10. Envy can spur us on to work a bit harder for what we want or it can eat away at our contentment with where we are and what we have. In the end, it’s a waste of energy I think – we would best be served by being happy for those who receive honors or gifts we do not have and continuing to work to enhance our own lives as best we can.

  11. Oh my gosh … your snow person is great, it has had me smiling through your entire post. (and the smile returns every time I look at it) I bet the other neighborhood snow people are envious of her wild hair.

    Envy tends to be a quick reaction for me and swiftly goes away if I think a little bit about it. The “things” we want/envy automatically come with other things some of which are very heavy baggage … if you think about the things that come with it, it is usually pretty easy to get over it. Getting the things we envy can throw our lives out of balance pretty quickly.

    I also try to remember that others probably envy something about me and what I have, too. We are all unique, we all have enviable traits and things … and we have the ability to add new items to our unique individual “things about me to envy” list throughout our lives.

    Thanks for a great post and fun pictures.

  12. Thank you. Miss Envy made me smile. So did the idea of you being envious while you were being freshly pressed. It’s easy to forget that Miss Envy is a busy-body and she visits EVERYONE. Sometimes I catch myself asking her to carry a message to the next house because I want them to envy me. Nasty piece of work she is. But you are right to be neighborly because she’s not going away. She can borrow an egg, but no she’s not welcome to stay. (hen and chicks in baby tennis shoes! What a sweet idea for recycling.)

  13. Another brilliantly written and photographically illustrated post, Kathy, which deserves to be Freshly Pressed too. ;-)

    I wonder sometimes how they select posts for the FP page, because it sure as nuts doesn’t make sense to me… I mean, you’ve written DOZENS of posts, if not HUNDREDS, where I thought, ‘Whoa, this is deep stuff… insightful… heart-string-tugging… profound…. naughtily playful …. uplifting to beyond the clouds…. How come this isn’t FP’d?! Are they sleeping?!”

    (Mind you, I confess that – blush – I sometimes, very-very-rarely, think that of my own posts too… eh-heh… ;-P)

    Yes, I admit, Miss Envy has visited me too on occasion, though she has never presented herself as such a dashingly good-looking snow(wo)man before!

  14. Loved seeing “Miss Envy!” Have you thought about writing a blog for children to read with that name?

  15. Lovely post that is so full of truth, I envy you. (tee hee hee).

  16. Gee, I like Patty’s suggestion up there … great idea! Your title had me thinking the same thing about the rock band name. Perfect! Just love what you wrote as well as all the accompanying photos that speak to us …

    Underneath the levity, I see my own finger pointing at me re: the envy. Timely topic. I seem to be in an Envy Phase, and she’s managed to stay for 3 meals a day plus sleepovers. Hmmm. Using the experience to show me what I need, and what is possible, and admitting – finally – that I AM competitive and I like to win. The big part that wants to deny that is recoiling in shame. Yep, lots of work left to do.

    Can’t thank you enough for ALL of this, and congratulations again on your accomplishments, my friend. Well-deserved, and there will be lots more to come :)

  17. I do I let her sing for a minute and look to see how blessed my life is…It puts everything in perspective :)

  18. I read a quote recently that can also apply to life in general, “The only photographer you should compare yourself to, is the one you used to be.”

    …. just change the word “photographer” to “person”. I thought this was perfect – and I’m going to try to make this my personal motto.

  19. Envy… in the end is nothing but loss… you will gain nothing… you could even lose more than you had to begin with reaction. Souls need to learn that there is a big difference between want, want, wanting and giving… once you learn that there is nothing you could want or need that ‘is’ another’s’. Do you know what a wanting and the envious individual looks like… Kathy captured her perfectly! I bet she is very cold blooded to boot! Nothing is worth becoming cold hearted! A compassionless and unforgiving soul screaming out verse after verse of………….
    Have a ‘happy day!’

  20. Love this post, Kathy. Well, I love all of your posts, but today I love this one. The title is wonderfully witty and yes, I do think it would be a great name for a rock band. :D

    I move in and out of phases of envy. Mostly I’m happy with my lot in life, but every now and then Miss Envy comes to visit. We talk, or she talks and I listen. I’ve come to realize that sometimes Miss Envy visits to let me know that if I really want something, I have to learn to work for it and not expect fame and fortune to be showered on me just for sitting here. In other words, she gives me a good swift kick in the backside as reminder that laziness is fine if that’s what I want, but work is needed if I want more than that so her visits can be quite motivating. :)

  21. I loved this post. I am sure I fall for Miss Envy too often, but I know that the Wanna-Bees get me the most. This was really a good post for me to read today. I realized that I haven’t worked on my prayer journal for several days. (Something I started doing after reading The Help). I hope to be more diligent and stop letting work get in the way of just being. Thanks again for the great words.

  22. I love this post, Kathy, as I have issues with envy. It’s not something I like about myself–and rarely know what to do about it. I suppose it can be productive if it compells one to act on their own behalf–as in work harder–model yourself after someone else’s success. But then I’m not sure that is even envy.

    By the way–brilliant title, my friend!

    Hugs,
    Kathy

  23. Kathy, I am closer friends with Miss Envy than I would care to be. (She’s like the smothering extrovert-type that takes a mile for every inch she is offered.) Luckily, most times I find myself being captivated by her intoxicating/toxic perfume, it doesn’t take long for me to snap out of it. More and more, I am learning how we are all facets of the same, gorgeous gem. Sometimes our particular facet is dull and in the shadows, but given the chance– all of us can sparkle!

    This post was wonderful. Thank you for giving your heart the opportunity to edit what your head had written earlier! :)

  24. Perhaps I’m so mundane that Miss Envy doesn’t want to visit me much – I really can’t say she’s spoken to me in quite some time. If she does come, I’ll tell her you serve great tea and have a listening ear.

  25. Kathy, was this post also Freshly Pressed? No? Why not? It should be!

    Miss Envy does serve a purpose at times, in showing us a target to strive for, to achieve a goal which will make us feel good about ourselves, but no, do not invite her to stay for dinner! She may have us aiming for targets that when we reach them will leave us wondering why we did what Miss Envy pushed us into doing, as our only motive (at the time) was to out-do someone else! There’s no satisfaction, and we are left with a feeling of hollow victory.

    As for the Wanna-Bees, have they ever introduced you to their cousins, the Don’t-Wanna-Bees? I bump into the Don’t’s quite often as well. Both sides of the family can be rather productive at times (again, so long as you don’t invite them to dinner!) The Wanna-Bees have some great ideas that we can improve on, moulding the idea into our own and running with it. The Don’t-Wanna-Bees can blatently point out to us everything that we Don’t Wanna Bee, and send us off into the opposite direction!

    The photos today are so appropriate for the story. You are so “Kathy” when you write from your heart. :)

  26. Once as a young woman with two small children, a limited income with my hardworking husband and often times limited options I remember envying a beautiful mother of two teenage boys who had a nice home, husband and income and thought to myself “its easy for her!”. Then one day…I heard her speak of her very difficult childhood with an alcoholic father and all the fear and chaos in her life as well as severe medical issues with members of her family re. kidneys and it put me in my place immediately and I felt and believe that we look on the outside and judge but we don’t know all that people face or endure. She made a wonderful lemonade of her life out of a broken lemon of a childhood and reaped the benefits. When I envy I think….how can I live my own life to my fullest potential. It is so easy to compare ourselves to others but it is usually totally misguided! I love the variety of the universe as well and all that we as individuals have to offer. I love your creativity, and “voice” and pictures. They make me smile and they remind me how beautiful the world can be. And yes…I’d like a little to be like you! ;-) But in a good way….

  27. and LOL I wasn’t sure I wanted you to see my blog because it is a bit reflective of me (duh) and maybe you would think it was whiney.
    Miss Envy…hahaha….

  28. “Do you have any tried-and-true methods that prevent Miss Envy and the Jealous Wanna-Bees from serenading endlessly beneath your tender heart’s window?”

    I wish I did, Miss Envy lives at our house, but the grass always looks greener on the other side of the road. But Miss Envy tells me it would be nice to try the other side of the road just the same. hahaha

  29. Hahaha, Miss Envy is the funniest snow man….snow woman!… I’ve ever seen! :-)
    Envy and want isn’t necessarily ALL bad…at least where photography is concerned, it makes me work harder to achieve better skills, whether it’s photographic, or editing ;-)

  30. Oh, and that Like button? Don’t even get me started on that darn Like button!! Personally I wish there was a way to completely get rid of it.

  31. I find the success of others inspiring. I’m in awe of the hard work that’s gone before the results they’re reaping now and if luck had something to do with it in any way, then there’s hope for me too :)

  32. I’ve nominated you for a blog award! You can check out my post here: http://theliterarymom.wordpress.com/

  33. I have a friend who calls this the shiny object syndrome or chasing the next shiny thing, and sees these as sacred/soul prompts (her words) that invite us to explore the restlessness and/or longing that sits behind this. Wise words, I think. And very much in tune with the wisdom of Ms. Envy and Ms. Kathy, I’m thinking :)

    Patty has such a wonderful thought. I know our grand kids would ADORE these two characters and their message!!

  34. I love your image of Miss Envy. Makes me smile.

  35. Thank you all for your kind, sensitive, thoughtful, humorous, serious, empathetic responses. I loved reading all your comments. (In fact I read some of them out loud to Barry.) I wish I could respond to all of you individually, but I am Comment Dead. I feel incapable of writing anything intelligent. Until perhaps tomorrow–lol!

    Glad to know that some of you have learned the secret of dealing with Miss Envy and her Wanna-Bee crooners.

    Thank you again. Much appreciation for all of you–always. Love, Kathy

  36. Kathy,

    I enjoyed your newest post, and as you may already have suspected, this one I actually *can* relate to! Even if I can’t tap into my own inspiration, I’m glad to be able to spark a little for another fellow writer, and I’m honored to have made a cameo in your post. I have to say, while at times, Miss Envy can be a bit overbearing when she drops by uninvited, I don’t think she’s all that bad. Sometimes a brief visit with her prompts me to step up my own game. Keep up the posts, I’m enjoying them!

  37. I wish I’d made such a lovely snow person as “Miss Envy” … ;-)

  38. Once again the great rock band “Miss Envy and the Jealous Wanna-Bees” take a bow as the audience claps and demands an encore. (No. Wait a minute. We don’t want Miss Envy to perform an encore. What was the crowd thinking?) **grin** We can only hope we don’t hear their music too many times today… Thanks again, everyone.

  39. Kathy…wow….this is such a clever way to think about envy and want. I agree with Patty…you could make this a children’s book and what a worthwhile message for them to learn early in life!
    As far as Miss Envy and the Wannabees…they used to be my roommates…and honestly they took over my life and my soul. It was horrible. Thankfully, I learned (after a long time of hard work) that my life has value all on its own. And today when Miss Envy and the Wannabees bang on my door…I politely send them on their way. I’ve spent enough time wallowing in their presence. Now I use gratitude to keep myself happy. I choose to look for and appreciate the blessings all around me. And there are more than I can count! Sure there are times when I slip up and actually “Invite” envy and want but as soon as I realize what I’ve done, it’s out the door they go! It is still hard work but definitely worth the work. Life is so much happier without envy and want weighing me down.
    Thanks Kathy…you are so inspiring! ♥

    • Oh my goodness, they were your roommates? What a group to be roommates! I am glad you politely sent them on their way. Very glad that Ms. Gratitude and the Flying Thanks are your friends, now. I am glad you were inspired. This was a fun post to write. Thank you.

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