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It's funny how envy works. Listening to the good news of a friend makes me envious sometimes. Not in the sense that I wish it were MY news, but just in the sense that I wish I had news, too.

Even when you have things just fine, excellent in fact, it's a weird feeling to find yourself envious of someone else. Not because you want whatever it is they have going on, but because they're so excited about it and that feeling of excitement is such a rush that you are reminded of how fun it is.

It's much easier to be envious of THINGS, I think. It's quite easy to see a new purchase that a friend has, or the beautiful home of an acquaintance or a colleague's new car and be envious of it. Even when I covet things, though, I've always been pretty good at admiring instead. I don't let thing-envy eat me alive and it's actually pretty rare that I feel any need to go right out and get one for myself. I like window shopping for that very reason. I can totally fall in love with something and find that having seen it, having its beauty or cleverness or whatever imprinted on my mind, is enough. Then I can walk away and still have a feeling of satisfaction, somehow.

I've discovered, though, that it's different with NEWS. My girlfriends and I, the ones I call the First Friends, and the ones that I am closest to here in Sweden (though one of them is far away now in Texas) have been having dinners together now every few months for a year or so. I'm really glad about this, because we were in danger, for a long while, of drifting completely apart and out of each other's lives, simply due to our own personal lives taking precedence over everything else. Some of us live farther apart and don't have the opportunity to see each other as often as we used to; work and families and kids slowly warping and pulling at the weft of friendship until it was in danger of coming completely unraveled.

These dinners have changed that, tightening and tethering us back together. And even though I still don't see most of them as often as I'd like, there is a stronger connection there now in many ways than there ever was. We've been through so much together: moves, pregnancies, births, cancer scares, husband trouble, illnesses, job changes. It's always fun to hear what is going on in each woman's life when we get together for our dinners and there's always something.

For quite awhile now, however, that something never belonged to me. I haven't really had any real NEWS to impart. In a way, that's a GOOD thing: I'm healthy, my family is healthy, I have a great job, we're not moving, nothing major has happened in our lives that is momentous, bad or life-changing. But it leaves me feeling a little flat sometimes and weirdly envious when my girlfriends are full of the news of things happening in THEIR lives. I'm thrilled for them, but I sometimes wish I had something to tell, too. Does that seem strange to you?

I feel as if I've DONE all the big stuff now, in my life. I've graduated from high school, gone to college, moved away from home. I've met my lifemate, married him, moved overseas (!), bought a home, built another, gotten a job which I thrive in, and had 2 lovely children to boot. Frankly, I don't want to think about what's left...and I don't WANT to change a why does hearing about someone else's great new job raise a tiny yearning in me? Where does this little frisson of envy come from?

Maybe being envious of other people's news (when it's good) is a way of jolting us out of our complacency. Even someone else's bad news can remind us not to take things for granted. And any news from someone we care about can at least have the function of making us reflect over our own lives and the way they are progressing, giving us a chance to decide whether or not it's time to shake things up again or whether things really are pretty damn good, allowing us to give a little shrug and flick that envy off our shoulder and simply be happy for someone else.

Bippity Boppity Beautiful Birthday wishes to: girlinthemoon


Also, Anders informs me that he never said last week that they were going to put him back on the same (burning) plane...I either misheard or misunderstood. Ah well, it did make for a more mindboggling story, though, didn't it? Anyway, look! This was his (burning!) plane!
mood: thoughtful
music: Marshall Crenshaw—Whenever You're On My Mind


Well, as you indicate in you post, news equal change, and change is development, whether it's good change or bad change, and somewhere deep inside I think most people want some form of development or thrills in the form of new tidings.

I think you're right. Even when people moan about change, it's always INTERESTNG when it happens.

I know what you mean. I don't even have to hear news from people sometimes to get that itch for something grand and exciting and newsworthy... though, admittedly, that hasn't happened lately in our hectic lives. Right now, I'm jealous for a bit of peace and solidarity. Wanna trade? :)

LOL! How 'bout you come for a family-free visit sometime?? :D

Oh, could I? You have no idea how lovely that sounds! (Though rather improbable right now...)

Heh. I know :) But you (AND your family, should you choose to bring them) would be very welcome! We don't have a real guest room, but there's still lots of possiblities for sofabedding and cotbedding, etc :)

Well, we definitely want to come up that way sometime. When we do, we'll let you know! Thanks for the invite; I'd love to meet you and your family. :)

It's so fun meeting internet psychos! :D

I think when something good happens to someone, we tend to be envious because we want that good feeling, and those good benefits, even if we already have them. Who said feelings were logical? :P

Very true! No one said it! So why do we still insist on thinking it's so?

I don't want to think about what's left

don't you have left falling in love with a woman, discovering you're really a lesbian, and leaving your husband for her? ;-) that would be SOME NEWS to bring your friends!!!

ok, maybe not. anyway...

i'm glad you heard wrong about A being put back on that plane. uhmm... looks like the whole thing was very poorly handled though, my god! why the disarray, people jumping out of the plane instead of using emergency equipment, then milling about at unsafe distances to the fire, no flight attendants telling people where to go??! hope the airline got a reality check there!

that was actually what was the worst, Anders said the information they were given was really bad, late and non-existent.

And you crack me up, you do :)


What a wonderful post. It really hit the nail on the head.

Thank you :)

Can I be envious, too!?

I'm envious you have many friendly friends to share things to be envious of in Sweden! And it goes around and around....the grass always seems to be greener...but really it's wonderful to be happy for others and appreciate what you have now. Or at least that's what I always tell myself!

Carol in Sweden

Re: Can I be envious, too!?

You have many friendly friends, too :) And you're one of mine!

Edited at 2008-09-01 05:28 pm (UTC)

Re: Can I be envious, too!?

But it's just that YOUR friends only sound MORE exciting when ya'll get together than when I get together with mine (excluding being with you, of course!) So maybe I"m in need of a change! Actually though...I like things the way they are! :-) yep

And I like your GREEN EYES Monster...but not the single eye one.

Carol in Sweden

Oh, I know what you mean. Since having my grown children out of the nest and not wanting to seek a relationship, the good news is always simple day to day stuff or visits to others. But it is good. Very very good. It just doesn't always seem to stand up in a conversation in some sort of way though ("I flew to Cambodia to meet with the women in my non-profit,blah,blah,blah..How about you?"... "Well the pear tomatoes were really SWEET and prolific this year"), and that segues into a vague feeling for me, not quite envy.
I think I will make up stories of another life, like the characters in a Dianna Wynne Jones book, and quietly enjoy my simple pleasures on the side. It is a real trick on some of my inner board members, to remain satisfied with slow and simple and good.
They want drama!

Oh, BTW, I hate your new icon. *teehee*

Hate it? (it's not actually new, I just don't use it very often) ...why? It's the perfect green-eyed MONSTER! ba ha!

"Hate" is a rather strong word. How about, ewwww & yuuuuk

Your entry reminds me of the TV series "Svensson, Svensson" with the exception that Gustav Svensson rather does not want any changes in his life, good or bad. In one episode someone comments that nothing seems to change at their place, to which the youngest son quickly replies that "this year we had the hammock on the front porch instead of the back". Maybe you should try that too, to have some news to tell your friends. :-D

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