Monday, June 23, 2014

motivate me

Jealousy is both reasonable and belongs to reasonable men, while envy is base and belongs to the base, for the one makes himself get good things by jealousy, while the other does not allow his neighbor to have them through envy.

This is a hard post to write but it has been running through my head for days now and whenever that happens, I simply must write.

For the past few months I've been struggling with the emotion of jealousy, fueled no doubt, by all the decorating magazines and blogs I've been reading lately. It's hard to look at picture after picture of beautiful rooms perfectly accessorized and not be tempted to turn a more critical eye on my own humble abode.

Just the other day I spent some time "touring" a fellow blogger's beautiful home. Huge rooms, beautifully furnished, with perfectly landscaped grounds that would rival many resorts. For just a moment I questioned my own life choices.

Luckily those moments don't last long. I truly love my little cottage and don't long for a big house. It's a wonderful choice for other people but I prefer cozy, quirky and vintage which is good because that's exactly what I've got. Once I'm secure in that, I can channel my jealous moments into inspiration for making the most of what I've been blessed with.

I'm having a lot of fun defining and refining my decorating style so the motivation seems to be working. I spent the last 4 years in a bit of a fog, not really caring about my surroundings so it's a nice change to want to turn my home into a place of own definition of beauty.

More troubling, recently I've watched people around me accomplish goals that are similar to mine but that I am not even close to obtaining. And for a moment, I feel extremely jealous. Why do they have a successful blog, why are they considered the expert in my favorite subject, why are they getting published and not me too?

It would be so easy to stop right there and wallow in my self-righteous indignation and never hold myself responsible for accomplishing something.

But I've watched envy and discontent ruin lives and I don't want to go down that road.

I'm also truthful enough to admit that I have nothing to be envious of.  If I don't reach my goals it's my own fault because I never get very far beyond the idea stage. I certainly haven't put the work into it that others have. I've got a lot of interests and all sorts of ideas for projects, articles, research and books but just having ideas isn't going to get me to the finish line. So I'm hoping to turn the whole jealousy thing on its head and use it as motivation to meet my own goals. A little judiciously applied jealousy has worked quite well with the decorating, no reason it shouldn't work with my life goals, right?

So for all you bloggers out there posting pictures of your beautiful houses, keep on doing what you're doing because you inspire me everyday with your creativity.

And for all my colleagues, fellow board members and relatives who are reaching new heights and fulfilling your creative goals, I am so proud of you (and yeah, teeny bit jealous) and will personally thank each one of you for inspiring me in the forward to my first published book.


  1. It's very brave and commendable to be able to recognize this in yourself. A green eyed monster is obviously not the type of person you are, otherwise it wouldn't bother you...which goes to show what a good core you have:)

    I just turned 46 and have never owned a home. I raised my 3 boys for 7 years in a 2 bed/1 bath apartment and loved it! Kyran and I now rent a 2 bed/2 bath apartment so it seems huge to me lol. Like you, I choose to be appreciative of what I do have and how blessed I am! Would I love hardwood floors and a spacious, all white kitchen over looking a cottage garden? Heck yes I would! But I have other things and I feel lucky for those!

    Anyway, I'm glad you're having fun decorating your nest and as long as it's making you happy then it's all good:) Hugs!

  2. You know, I can sometimes have the same feeling about blogging. I've been blogging since 2006, and I've never had a "big" blog. I have sometimes lamented that, but then I realize that I'm actually more of a small and cozy person anyhow. I don't aspire to be a big blog, for I want to know and interact with my readers, and that is just not possible when one has several hundred followers.

    So, small though your blog may be, it enables you to build friendships with your readers...and isn't that the best thing about blogging.

    Thanks for such an honest piece of writing.


  3. Jonni, I wanted to let you now that I have featured your blog in a blog tour. I hope you can participate.

  4. Love your honesty and wonderful writing - It's so important to examine what makes you happy! And I love your header quote. -Vickie

  5. Hi Jonni, Help what does LMM stand for? (I'm quite new at blogging!)

    Also, did you know I'm offering a free copy of my memoir to one lucky winner this coming Friday? Since you are "following" my blog, all you need to do is tell me to count you in. (See my post: "Win a hard cover version of my memoir!") My drawing ends Thursday, midnight. Warmly, Vickie


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