Over the last twelve months I was only sort of successful at meeting my 2017 resolutions.
- Read a book every month – check.
- Trim down my wardrobe to capsule size – some progress but still way too many sweaters.
- Do a pull up at the gym – not even close.
Thankfully, 2017 is over, and it is time for a fresh start and fresh resolutions. This year I am resolving to give some things up, mainly impulse buying at Target, the Facebook app on my phone, and my relationship with famous attractive men.
That last one might surprise you, especially if you know me in all of my Midwestern-soccer-mom glory, but it’s true. You see, as much as I love my partner and appreciate him, he does occasionally do things that irritate me. Recently I have noticed that when he does those things my brain compares him to some of Hollywood’s leading men, and tries to convince me that they would never act this way. These thoughts just creep right into my head.
My brain says, “You know who would never take it for granted that he can go get a haircut whenever he wants with no kids tagging along and forget to tell me about the haircut so that dinner dries out in the oven? Chris Pratt, that’s who. Chris would never treat me like that.”
And other times my brain screams things like, “SHEMAR MOORE WOULD NEVER TURN UP HIS NOSE AT MY HOMEMADE DINNER AND MAKE HIMSELF TOAST INSTEAD!”
Or the thought comes to me, “Hmm, if I were married to Ryan Gosling I’m pretty sure I’d be getting a shoulder rub right now, instead of cleaning tile grout.”
This is ridiculous because I have no idea what these people are like in real life. When I was not paying attention, my brain cobbled together this idea that they would be so wonderful because I have seen them act that way in movies and smile on magazine covers. My impression of them is not reality.
Also, have you met people? Honestly, most of them are just ok. I have yet to meet a perfect person, or someone who is selfless all of the time. The idea that anyone, even those who seem perfect on the big screen, would appreciate me all of the time or behave exactly as I want them to is laughable.
Actually, it is more than laughable: it is dangerous. My favorite author, C.S. Lewis, said, “Envy is insatiable. The more you concede to it the more it will demand.”
Giving in to the desire to glance longingly at someone else’s life robs me of the ability to see the wonderful qualities of my own relationship. If I want to maintain a fulfilling relationship, I need to direct the bulk of my positive and appreciative feelings towards my partner, not pretend fantasy people.
So, next time I am in line at the grocery store and perusing the perfectly placed celebrity magazines, I need to not see the picture of a beardless Chris Evans and think, “I bet he would oil the squeaky hinges on the door to the garage without being reminded.”
Instead, I will do whatever it takes to starve this desire to compare what I have with other people, even if it means only reading Diabetes Prevention while standing in line at the grocery story instead of People!
Last night, the hubs was talking in his sleep and it was the perfect reminder of the hubs’ sweetness, and why I should stop fantasizing once and for all in 2018. I was lying in bed wondering if it would be socially acceptable to beg people to not send me thank-you notes for gifts I gave them this Christmas so that I could neglect writing any of my own. All of the sudden the hubs sat up and turned to face me.
Hubs: Hey! What’s going on?
Me: Nothing. Are you ok?
Hubs: Yeah. Just checking in.
Me: Ok. Love you.
Hubs: Yep. Love you.
Then he rolled over and did not say anything else. He had seemed pretty out of it, so I figured he was asleep. This morning I confirmed that he did not remember our conversation and was talking in his sleep. Either one, awake or asleep, would not have surprised me, though, because he is very good about checking to see how I am doing.
Does Justin Timberlake check on his wife even when he is sleeping? I don’t know. And in 2018, I am determined not to care.