The other day in Panera Bread, I saw a woman walking to her seat with 3 catalogs, her lunch tray, and nothing else. No friends, no kids, no "stuff." And for a moment, I was blinded with envy at her ability to casually glance through catalogs, while clean, enjoying a leisurely, people free lunch.
I haven't looked at a catalog for months, maybe a year. I throw them away the moment they come (in the recycling, don't call the Green Police), just so I don't feel the failure of having no time to look.
Later, I thought of three ways to shift my envy -
1 - I could think, "Who needs most of that stuff anyway?" It's just stuff to covet and make me feel like I'm supposed to keep up with the Joneses.
2 - My catalog time is coming. All I need to do is look at my mother, who scrutinizes catalogs on my behalf (for the children, of course). Then gives me the high points over the phone in her quest "for their next present." It might be 20 years away, but my time is coming.
3- Maybe this woman looked at me with my harried, un-showered (same outfit three days in a row - think I'm making that up? I am Missy the Unfashionable), no make-up, kids following me, dropping things, spilling their RED drink on the floor, crying over it, etc, etc, etc and said, "if only I could have those days back." Or "I am so sad I never had days like that."
Because you never know what someone is longing for, right? Which is a good reason not to take your own blessings (spilled red drink and all) for granted.