I live in one of those tall apartment buildings in SOMA. I think it's technically called "affordable luxury" because it has a pretty good view and a guard who sits at the front, but it doesn't have its own private park or olympic-sized pool or Korean sauna or heated roof cabanas or fancy gyms that require your fingerprint for entry. Personally, I like to think about it as "makeshift luxury," partially because the concept of "making do" has always appealed to me (thank you, Hatchet!). But the other thing is that I can look out my window and look into the windows of hundreds of other brand-name apartments and fancy hotels.
Truth be told, I'm crazy thankful for an apartment like ours. But it was the exercise of constant looking that bothered me. Living in SOMA is a seemingly continuous meditation in what you have and what you don't. It's partially what happens when folks of such extreme economic diversity live in such close quarters. You can find some of the fanciest hotels in the city. And you can find homeless people sleeping on their sparkly sidewalks.
That's I started to think about that the Biblical concept of not coveting.
I will analyze anything. And when I notice someone I admire or like, that's what I do. What exactly do they do? How did they get there? What is the difference between them and me? How can I do what they do?
But now that I think about it, it doesn't seem particularly healthy. You can still be good at your job without constantly comparing. You can still reach your goals. You might even execute more confidently. And you might be a better, more generous person.
My proposal to myself is, for one week, not to wish I had anything anyone else does. Friends getting engaged? Nicer apartments? Cushy jobs? I will make a mental note and not waste time on it.
The clincher to everything is that there is so much to be thankful for. An amazing city. A job that I love. A fantastic boss who, until now, I didn't believe existed outside the annals of HBR. Very kind friends. And a very caring best friend.
Note: I already know that I will be editing this more tomorrow. But so it goes. I think Anne Lamott calls these "shitty drafts." Also known as my blogposts. :-)
The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want.