“Wherever you are, do the best thing you know how to do right now, right there.” – Anna Kunnecke
The internet is a wonderous thing. Social media gives us the ability to keep up with those we love with minimal effort, for better or worse. It allows us to see the highlights of others’ lives while simultaneously being fully aware of our own lowlights, and then comparing the two as if they were equal.
This comparison allows us to wish for what others have, to be where they are, to do what they’re doing, with minimal effort. It allows us to wish for what they have with way less effort than it took them to come by such things.
I see that you’re on vacation with friends (mutual or otherwise), and I’m envious of the relationship with those friends (though I rarely reach out to my friends beyond social media) and of the trip (I could book one myself if I tried).
Oh, you also have adorable family photos. I want that, and I’m jealous of that, but I’m not willing to contact a photographer to make that happen for myself.
Sometimes we legitimately *can’t* have what others have. That’s life, life is unfair, we all move in different directions at different paces and we don’t all have the same opportunities. Other times, though, we *could* have our own versions of what others have, if we put forth some effort.
I can sit here and wish for my kid to know his great grandparents, or I can put together a trip to New Jersey and take time off work and GO. I have a car and a welcoming family, and an infant who will make us stop every hour or so. It’s doable.
I can feel twinges of jealousy every time I open Instagram and see a beautiful family photo shoot, or I can put one together myself with my own beautiful family (and then maybe or maybe not share it on social media). I only need to get out there and put forth the effort.
The point is, as Anna says, to do your best, right now, right there where you are. If you’re envious of someone else’s relationship, reach out and bolster your own. Call or text your friend instead of checking their Facebook account to see what they’re doing. If you’re jealous of someone’s trip, plan your own. If you want to have real pictures of your family, reach out to a photographer.
Don’t spend time wallowing. No matter what you can or can’t do to better your situation, wallowing is just basically torture.