I have several bad habits, some of them worse than others. One of the worst is a tendency to look around at the lives of my friends and allow my little green-eyed monster free reign to chip away at my own sense of well-being. When Katie was here last week she mentioned a few times how lucky we are. I immediately thought of something another friend once said to me: that she thought her life looked better from the outside. And then I thought, maybe Katie's right and I'm just not appreciating all the good things I have. Or not enough. I think sometimes our lives can look better from the outside and equally, sometimes we don't see the value of what we've got. What we, or I, need to do rather than looking across at other people's grass is to go and lie down on their grass, take my shoes and socks off, make myself a daisy chain and admire my own grass.
It was reassuring to hear someone else praise my life. It made me feel better about myself. As if Fanf and I had actually built something rather than just stumbling around in the dark, having mini-beasts thrust in our direction. Then I thought, I should make a list of some of the things I admire about my friends' lives. And be proud of them, rather than envy them.
Katie: the amazing range of activities and skills which you have tried/are trying and have mastered/are mastering and your wonderfully full social life.
Jen: your security, your job satisfaction, your ability to be happy.
Nao: your success in all things theatre, I know you don't necessarily see it that way, but I do, and I know it will only continue with your PhD.
Alex: your ability to be happy, your all-round general loveliness.
MiK: your total engagement with life, and the way you always explore all your thoughts and impulses.
Ju: your engagement in your local community, your guts and determination in setting up your own business.
Obviously this is not an exhaustive list. And to balance it out, here is a list of some things that I appreciate about my life:
1. I live in an area of great and varied natural beauty, with vineyards as far as the eye can see...
2. I am surrounded by my extended family.
3. I live in a quartier where I know a lot of my neighbours.
4. I have lively, spirited children and a calm, accepting fella.
5. I have inspiring friends (see above).