We all want to make improvements in our lives. We look at what we have and wonder what could make it better. We buy the newest TV, the newest phone, the latest fashion trends, the nicest car; even if we can barely afford them. I’ll admit it, I’m just as guilty as everyone else in looking around at the excesses I own and wanting more. I have the iPhone (and I’m waiting for the opportunity to upgrade). I have four flat screen televisions in my home as well as an XBox, Apple TV, a MacBook Air, a Nook, a Kindle, an iPad, and of course I had to go buy the new Fiat when they were released here in the US. So, why do we do this to ourselves? We run up credit card bills, we drain our bank accounts, we maintain low to non-existent savings accounts all to make ourselves feel comfortable in our already comfortable lives.
As I’ve honed in on this idea I think back to other ways I’ve worried about the grass I see growing just beyond my fence. I have bounced back and forth, over the years, between teaching and retail jobs. When I would think about how little teachers get paid (of course forgetting how rewarding the job can be – not to mentions three months off a year), or how they are treated by their students and those students’ parents, my frustrations would turn to anger and I would find a retail position that paid slightly more. I then found I was working 12-14 hour days for bosses who were demanding and had unattainable expectations. When the realities would set in about my new and “better” career I would gaze back over my fence to see the plush green grass of teaching that I’d left behind. Neither job is perfect; each has their pros and cons. I am a good teacher and I am a good retail manager, but I will never be stellar at either if I continue jumping back and forth. I will also never find peace until I can fine the contentment in the job I currently hold.
Oh and then there are the relationships. I’ve dated some real jerks, let me tell you. The grass on the singlehood side of the fence was definitely, without a doubt, greener. On the other hand I have dated some great guys as well. Even though I knew how great they were my eyes would still wander to the other side of my relationship fence. I would often ask myself, “what if someone better comes along?” “What if this isn’t the person I’m meant to be with?” “What if I’m making a terrible mistake?” I would chat with random people, troll websites that someone in a relationship shouldn’t troll. I would find excuses why intimacy wasn’t plausible. I would place barriers between me and my partner. I didn’t work to tear them down, rather I fortified them and built them higher and more impenetrable. Instead of working to make and hold onto a great relationship I would find things wrong with my partners; turn them into bad guys to justify the breakdown of a perfectly good relationship. I want nothing more to break this pattern.
I have grown weary of staring at the other side of the fence. The time has come to water and fertilize the grass I’m standing on now. Teaching is rewarding, relationships are meaningful. I have to find my niche in each of these fertile fields and let the beauty of where I am standing permeate my very soul until I can find the peace and joy on my side of the fence.
Take a look around you. Be present on your side of the fence. Live in the now moment, don’t reach beyond. If you’re meant to be on the opposite side of the fence; if the grass is truly greener there, believe me life, the universe, God, the Goddess, who or whatever force you believe in will gently guide you there.