Reading our blog back to myself now and again, I think sometimes it can come across like we’re some kind of Home & Country magazine yuppies with a perfect life. Oh, we don’t fight, oh we’re equal, isn’t Mr YFG a wonderful house husband (aren’t they bucking trends by having a female breadwinner). Sometimes I feel the urge to slap myself through the screen.
I just don’t want everyone to think our life is perfect and that we’re happy all the time. Life simply isn’t that way – it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.
Controlling my jealousy is difficult for me
I am not going to lie, there are days where I get pissed off with Mr YFG. I wake early and leave while he is still blissfully asleep. Mr YFG gets to wake up half-way through my morning meetings and then go about his self-determined day. He gets to wear pyjamas or lounge clothes all day. He can eat what he wants when he wants and he can have a nap if he needs to. There are times where I get home after he’s in bed, and then have to do it all again the next morning.
I am often insanely jealous of him being able to do this, and this borders on resentful. I have to remind myself to rein the resent in otherwise it sits there festering.
The one thing that keeps me from tipping over into resentment is the fact that I couldn’t trade places with him – I wouldn’t last a week. I would get bored really quickly.
The last time I was left with a week of free time I rearranged our book collection in colour order and took apart the kitchen to deep clean it. I was cleaning out the spout of our taps with a toothbrush (annoyingly, everything else was already spotless as Mr YFG keeps the house very clean). After two days I got really grumpy as there was little else ‘to do’.
Wanting to arrive at the finish line is hard
Sometimes I find it really hard sometimes to know that I have to work (for now) and I haven’t saved enough. I feel angry at my past self for spending and not saving. I see Mr YFG and others who are FI looking back on their journeys and can’t help but get frustrated that I have four or five years to go – it feels like such a long time.
Gratitude has been very helpful in getting me back on a healthy mental path. I am grateful that I have the opportunity and good fortune to save as much as I have. One day I may not need to work. Many people will never be able to save or retire early. I have to put that in perspective.
Despite having a job with long hours and high expectations, I am well-paid and treated fairly. The Firm is very good at looking after its employees, even if it’s a bit of a trap. I have a certain degree of autonomy which is really important to me. I don’t have to work strict hours (if I come in early I can get back those hours in the evening and if I come in late I just stay a bit later). My salary is very good with great health and other benefits. I am very grateful that my hard work has paid off in my career.
It’s not all sunshine and rainbows
There’s probably a reason there are so many ways to say this. There are ups and downs. Taking the rough with the smooth. And so on. I think we all tend to overstate the negatives and underappreciate the positives. In some ways, this isn’t a bad thing. Those down days help to reinforce my drive on the FI journey.
Likewise, jealousy isn’t always a bad thing. There’s a great quote from Susan Cain on jealousy:
Pay attention to what you envy. Jealousy is an ugly emotion, but it tells the truth. You mostly envy those who have what you desire.
I get envious of Mr YFG sauntering about. Perhaps that’s a good thing.
How about you?
I often wonder about what drives other people in their lives. Looking at some people I know, I’m bewildered by how little they think about money and my lifestyle is just completely confusing to them. In the same vein, I do not understand their motivations for not living as frugally as I do. It’s two different worlds.
I’d like to know: what things cause you to feel jealous of other people? Are there negative things in your life you want to remove?
(p.s. thankfully, even though he might seem like it over the internet, Mr YFG isn’t too much of a smug tw*t)