Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Jealous Pity Party

Someone made a comment a while back asking if there's jealousy between me and my siblings. Initially I thought the answer was no. We're all different. We all love each other deeply. We're happy for each other when things go well. We're always praying for each other and thinking of each other. I wrote this big blog post about my sisters, our history together, and how much I love them.

But that question stuck with me as questions you're not quite sure about usually do. And tonight I realized that yes, sometimes I'm jealous.

I just read my sister Saydi's blog. It's not just that she's living her dream (and mine) of spending a chunk of time in London with her family (we both grew up there for several years). It's that she's such a good writer and photographer. Her posts make me FEEL. I wish I were better at photography and that I could express things in writing the way she does.

Then I read my mom's blog. She and my dad are in Hawaii having great adventures with my brother Jonah and his family. Jonah and Aja are gypsies who live life on their own terms and never seem to care what anyone else thinks or what anyone else has. I love that about them. I want to be more like that. I'm feeling so encumbered and fettered lately.

Then I read my sister Shawni's blog, glanced at a photo of her and wished, for the umpteen millionth time, that I were as beautiful and thin as my dear sister. When we were growing up, she was the beauty in the family and I was the writer. Now she gets to be both. Then I felt bad for being jealous of Shawni when she's got plenty of hard stuff to deal with and I shouldn't let dumb thoughts like this sneak in. But sometimes I do.

Then I started to think about Noah, Tal and Eli's recent trip together to Puerto Rico and the cool jobs they have, about Charity's freedom and great life in Palo Alto, about Josh's amazing teaching abilities. Then I thought about how hard I work on so many things that don't seem to amount to as much as they seem like they should... I thought about how some things seem to come so much more easily to other people...

But I snapped out of it and started counting my blessings and had the words to a random song come into my mind "I'm one of a kind. I'm as unique as can be. I'm alright I'm OK and I'm glad I'm me." Sort of a dumb song. But it made me feel better somehow. And it made me picture my sisters and I singing that song in the group we sang in as kids. And then I felt tons of love for my siblings and gratitude that we all have different strengths and different challenges.

Then I decided to write this little post because I think we all deal with these sorts of feelings sometimes as we read other people's blogs or look at other people's lives (not sure if it's better or worse if the blogs are family members' blogs...).

My life has it's great parts. My life has it's hard parts. Pretty much everyone's dealing with hard stuff - most of which they don't blog about or flaunt around at church on Sundays. We generally see the happy stuff, the pretty pictures, not the heartaches or the messes. We can catch glimpses here and there of other people's hard stuff if we look below the surface a bit - and sometimes, people do put their hard stuff out there for all to see but sometimes we still stay fixated on what we admire and covet about them and don't figure in the hard stuff we'd have to take on if we were to trade places with them...

I admire and even feel a little jealous of many things about many people. I yearn for so many things I really can't have. But ultimately, when I can get over myself enough to see what's true, I recognize my blessings in all their abundance. I realize that there are plenty of people who read this blog and wish for things that I have - and that if I read their blogs, I'd wish for some things they have. That's just how it is. We can't have it all. But we can love and make the most of what we've got. And we can learn to admire and appreciate rather than envy and covet.

Enough. Pity Party over. Time for bed.


SupaFlowaPowa said...

I love pity parties... I throw them all the time and then I get over it just like you did. I think it's natural and yes, it sucks and we know we're better than that - but you have a great attitude about it which is why I love you and this post!! And I found your blog through Shawni's blog and that's how I learned about the Power of Moms... so yay for that! Sometimes when I feel like you just blogged about, I have to stop and think.. wait a minute, why am I blogging... for them or for me? Who cares if nobody's reading... blog like no one's reading... (yes, shamelessly stolen from dance like nobody's watching!).

Cristina said...

Dear Saren, I also found your blog through Shawni but I want to let you know that I try to read it often and I admire you a lot. You are an amazing mother and I have learned a lot from your posts, I would love to go to a Power of Moms retreat someday and learn more strategies I need in this amazing career of motherhood. Thanks for your hard work, wonderful example and for inspiring me to be a better mom. You are awesome :)

Anonymous said...

Wow! I would have expected that it would be hard (and wonderful) to be your younger sister. You are gorgeous, smart, intelligent, thoughtful, terrific mother and wife. Seems hard to live up to. Thanks for sharing.

JLH said...

You are definitely correct about you having things that others wish they had! I read your blog and your sisters' blogs and I am continuously awed by how much you each build one another up. You all seem so unique but are all such strong and dedicated women who contribute positively to their own families, the family you grew up in and to society. It amazes me! Coming from a fairly dysfunctional family I am so grateful for bloggers like you and your sisters who are willing to put your strengths and weaknesses out there for others to grow from. Thanks for being 'real' and for working so hard to create a program that helps other moms have a support system to change the generational patterns for their own families. Perhaps I will get to attend a power of moms retreat one day to see it all in action, but for now my little family is growing, learning and stumbling daily as we navigate life together in Germany.

Anonymous said...

You are amazing and I can only hope to be half as good of a mother when my time comes! Don't let anything get you down - it's not worth it. You have a beautiful family, but I know how hard jealousy can be be. I guess we just have to keep on working to manage or subdue it! Lots of love, C

Susie said...

There is a reason one of the commandments is, 'thou shalt not covet' - jealousy is part of being a natural man. It is the commandment I struggle with the most - the others are a walk in the park! I have found it difficult sometimes to read blogs and see the "perfect" lives that are out there. But I remind myself of the quote by Sister Hinckley, "BE KIND , everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle". It's also human nature to put out the good - who would want to read about the bad all the time - plus we do need to see the glass have full - we are all extremely blessed, just to have the Gospel. If each of us were to come to a table and set out our trials - we would quickly gather our own back up and run home.
I started following your family because I loved teaching joy school - back in the 80's. It is interesting to see the diverse families within the Eyre family - but that is in any family. I enjoy reading your blog - because you do keep it real, but I rarely comment - and I rarely get comments on my semi-private blog - but I laughed when I made it completely private - friends emailed me - asking what happened. PLUS - I do love the beautiful photos and admire that talent - but I actually READ when there aren't just photos to look at. Thank you for your wonderful honest post today.

kms said...

Their lives are unusual. I don't think necessarily admired. All that travelling isn't what the majority of the country does. It may backfire. At least one of the kids are going to want to plant roots and stay in one place while their kids are young cause they never stayed in one place too long growing up. Like you see with kids with military parents moving from base to base.

You have set your kids on many adventures as well. Moving from California to St. George to Ogden. You went from sunny and green to hot and red to snow. Most live forever in the place they were born and don't leave the state even in adulthood. Boston has rain and snow and so does London. Those things are exciting of course. Everyone's adventure is interesting. Most people in the US never spent any time in Bulgaria.

As for the construction adventures I can't imagine the permit people letting me live in a home with those conditions, let alone with a baby or children. Inspectors would be in for various stages of those marvelous remodels but the certificate of occupancy doesn't seem realistic with holes in the floor and no toilet.

charity said...

sar, you're the best. your blog is so so brutally honest and I think it is really brave. I've been getting some major pangs of family jealousy lately if that helps. mostly though it's towards our sisterinlaws that got to marry our brothers! they are living my dream life! sigh. it's tough sometimes to let come what may and love it. you have a great perspective coming out of your pity party. I guess I can never tell you enough how beautiful, thin, young looking, amazing, powerful, smart, engaging, successful and wonderful I think you are.

Sheila said...


This is this best post ever!

I was venting to a friend about my teenage son not wanting to "do hard things" and she expressed her surprise and said that she thought we were all so perfect. Whoops! I don't want people to think that because it couldn't be farther from the truth!

I LOVE how you are so honest in your feelings here. You do have amazing siblings, and your family is a great example to others. I thank you for that. You are so real and you do a beautiful job of shining your light. Thank You!

Jill said...

Saren, thank you for being so honest and saying what many of us really feel. I come from a family of 5 girls and I know what you mean. There are also too many fabulous blogs out there, but I can follow your example and count my blessings.
I had the pleasure of meeting you at a Power of Moms Retreat in Dana Point. It was an honor to soak in all of your goodness and wisdom while taking copious notes. I sat at your table for breakfast on the last day and was so impressed by your warmth and sincere interest in us individually. It felt like like a shower of love and lasted all day.
When I read your blog I think, wow, she really has it all together and always shares with us how we can become better. I love that you parent with so much love and firmness. (I think you are French!) I have learned so much from you. We loved the flax seed in the cookies too, so yummy!
I should have commented much sooner, but thank you for being YOU Saren.
Lots of love!

Stephanie said...

This is my favorite post of yours. So raw and honest, it's refreshing (for the general blogging world!). I'm tired of everyone acting like everything they touch is sunshine and roses, when we all know that life is hard, fun, exhausting, boring, amazing and messy for everyone. I admire so much about you and you're great attitude and determination to become your best. Thanks!f

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your honesty. I was only just envying how you get to go to Australia to be part of this successful organisation that you have created. It's a shame that we can't always see each other's trials and I do think blogs are lethal for giving us skewed views. You're clearly a very kind and compassionate person and that far outweighs any talents in anything else x

Cheryl said...

Dearest Saren~we are cousins with the same cousin, Elisha (and her brothers of course) (: and we have met a few times, but it was long, long ago. I just wanted to thank you for this post. You were very inspired to write it, if only for me, but I think for many mothers and women out there. I asked your mother a question about the "Saren and Shawni" daughters in my life who are teenagers now and just 15 months apart, and look nothing alike, but are equally beautiful, and you just answered it perfectly. I thank you. Thank you for sharing and for being you!

Mindy said...

Saren you are an AMAZING woman! I listened to the Growing Up Global podcast and just had to blog about it. I LOVE your idea of the "Children for Children" concert and included some of your pictures/video too - hope that's okay.

ps. your friend Janelle did a great job at the last powerofmoms workshop. Hope you have a wonderful Sabbath and know that you make such a difference in your family and in the lives of so many women.

lesli said...

my dear brave and bold saren. you are a wonder. i love your open heart and honesty. you are willing to fess up to what many of us have felt or feel. good on ya, girl! now know that i admire you to no end and pretty much always have. you were a wonder to me at 19 and you still are. you take on the world of motherhood in full force. enjoy the little things because the little things turn out to be big things in the end! loves, lesli


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