What do these bloggers have in common? Kevin & Layla. Shelley & Cason. John & Sherry.
You know them, right? And I’m sure I could list more if I thought about it for more than three seconds.
Yep, they’re couples who DIY together. And I will admit to falling into the evil trap of jealousy and comparison in recent months.
Jealousy and comparison are indeed two very evil things. They can rob you of your joy, immobilize you, make you wallow in self-pity, make you resentful and bitter, make you feel unmotivated, etc. Evil, I tell you. Pure evil.
Now I know some of you might be confused at this point. Let me explain.
When Matt and I got married almost ten years ago, Matt was a healthy, able-bodied 28-year-old.
I thought we were off to a very “normal” life. But life threw us a curve ball. About two years after we got married, Matt was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, and about three years ago, it really started to take its toll on his health.
While our new diet and lifestyle change have resulted in great improvements in his health this year, he’s still confined to a wheelchair, and deals with bouts of exhaustion. Helping me with any DIY projects around the condo is simply out of the question.
So the projects are left up to me. If the kitchen is going to get finished, it’s on me. If the bathroom is ever going to get updated, I have to do it. When the flooring still hasn’t been grouted after 18 months, that’s my fault. When the bedroom door won’t stay closed because I tried to put a new door into an old door frame that’s 1/4″ too wide for the door, and really the whole things needs to be replaced, I’m the only one who can do it.
When I installed my butcherblock countertops in my kitchen, I did it by myself. When I installed new cabinets in the kitchen, living room, and utility closet, I did those by myself. Yep, even the upper cabinets. By myself.
I was actually okay with this for so long. But lately, I’ve really been struggling with it. Is it because I suddenly want to move away from this condo and into a house? Is it because I look around and still see so much that has to be done, and know that it’s all on my shoulders to finish it? I think that’s probably it. And I absolutely hate that I’ve allowed these feelings of jealousy and comparison to rear their ugly heads in my heart and my mind. Because the results aren’t good.
I’m not motivated to finish. Those feelings don’t energize me to get up and work on projects. They make me want to sit and wallow and feel sorry for myself.
Definitely not the mindset I need to be in if I truly want to get out of this condo.
So I thought that something like Make It Happen Monday would help. Perhaps that would be the motivation I needed.
No, the problem is in my heart…and my head. Those things can’t be fixed with blog posts.
And now here’s the ironic thing about this ridiculous struggle I’ve had these last few months.
Matt and I don’t work well on projects together. We never have. At all.
We have an absolutely wonderful marriage, and an almost perfect relationship. Seriously. That’s not an exaggeration. We almost never fight, we seldom even argue, and we agree on almost everything. When we disagree, we talk things out. And on the very rare occasions that we fight, we almost always fight fairly and we get things resolved. We never even had that difficult first year of marriage. Other than his heath, things have been smooth sailing…
UNTIL we try to work on a project together. Oh my gosh, things get ugly, and they get ugly very quickly. And I’ll admit, it’s about 90% my fault.
I’m incredibly independent, and I don’t like people telling me how to do my projects. I want people to stand back and let me do them myself, my own way. When it comes to working on projects, the words “team player” have absolutely no place in my vocabulary or in my mind.
So basically, this all just boils down to a matter of things always looking greener on the other side of the fence. I’ve somehow convinced myself that I want what I can’t have, even though I know full well that when I did have that very thing (an able-bodied Matt who could help me with projects), I didn’t want that. But jealousy and comparison aren’t rational emotions. And because I’ve allowed those feelings of jealousy and comparison to grab hold and root themselves in my heart, I’ve been feeling the horrible effects of them.
I’m unmotivated and overwhelmed. I look around at all of the projects that need to be finished around here, and I feel immobilized. I’d rather turn off my brain and lose myself in Pinterest than actually face what needs to be done. I’ve allowed myself to become a little bit bitter at my circumstances. I’ve wallowed in self-pity. I’ve thrown temper tantrums like a three-year-old. I’ve just allowed myself to feel defeated.
After coming to this realization about two days ago, and doing some major soul-searching, I kind of feel like I’ve turned a corner. I finally feel like I’m regaining that independence that I’ve had since I was a child. I finally feel like getting off of my butt and getting things done. It’s perhaps a bit slower in coming that I would like, but it’s coming. I’m feeling a bit like myself again.
Thanks for letting me share my heart today! And thanks for bearing with me over the last few months as I’ve set goals I didn’t meet, talked about projects that I never finished, made promises I didn’t keep, etc. I’m finding my independent self again. I’m getting up from the pit where I’ve been wallowing, dusting myself off, and setting my eye on the goal. Good things are in store.