Let's talk about jealousy. It is such a tricky emotion to deal with in this age of Facebook and Instagram, where every online life looks so productive and cheerful, fulfilled and sanitized. Do you remember the movie The Stepford Wives? Facebook is like that. Hell, the internet is like that. How often do you read a blog and think, that's the life I want to have. See those people frolicking in the hay field behind their two hundred year old home? Their dogs are romping, the children are beaming, the parents look relaxed and cheerful as they sit at their al fresco dinner and gaze upon all they have built? Yeah, no. I know about old houses and pastures and farm animals. There is always work to do. Always. You do not get to sit around beatifically, congratulating each other on your perfect life. Unless you make a zillion dollars, and then you're always at work, so those idyllic moments are scheduled for 2 weeks in the summer, and you still have morning conference calls.
Context. That is what is missing in the online world.
Back to jealousy, because it's such a powerful emotion, and such a common one. In the After the Jump podcast that I mentioned yesterday, the host asked the two guests what business they couldn't get enough of at the moment. They both said, almost simultaneously, "Coral and Tusk." I immediately went online to see what this was all about, and, OH MY GOD, they had done these amazing embroidered pillow and bags and pins. Something I had wanted to do and never got around to pursuing for the MiMBY line. And I was so jealous. Sick to my stomach jealous, because not only had they done what I had envisioned, they had done it so much better.
Deep breaths are required in these moments.
I feel like After the Jump is talking directly to me these days because host Grace Bonney did a short episode on jealousy and how to make it work for you. Here are her 5 steps to harnessing jealousy:
1) Acknowledge the feeling - say you're jealous out loud. Get it out there.
2) Investigate what you're jealous of - what is their context or reality?
3) Investigate your own reality. List your accomplishments and what you're proud of in your life.
4) Make an action plan, five actionable steps to pursue, to attain what you envy. No spouses though.
5) Turn your jealousy into collaboration or friendship. Find out what this person brings to his/her vision.
The reality is that I'm not really interested in making that embroidered line of home goods, so I didn't have to go past #2. But, it did make me think, what is it that I want to do and how do I get there? And since I've known since the inception of MiMBY what I really want to do, it wasn't so hard to come up with a plan of action. Keep checking in because I'll be more public about it as it develops.