Is envy always a bad thing?

Do you ever have one of those days when for a split second or two you really ENVY another person? You envy their job or an experience they're having or a trip they're taking or where they live.

And then you think, "Oh wow. Am I a bad person for feeling this way?"
It's one of the seven deadly sins.
It's bad to envy.

Yeah, it's bad.
But I think maybe it's also necessary at times.

Take for example what happened to set this blog post in motion.

I clicked on a Twitter profile and ended up at a blog and thought "Damn. How lucky is so-and-so? They are doing EXACTLY what I wish I was doing. They have a dream job."

And boom! I was hit with the envy bug.
For a moment I was actually ENVIOUS of this person.
And then I stopped and thought "what in the world is wrong with you?!?"
I stepped back and thought about why I went down that road.
It was during the "reflection" portion of my brief fit of envy where this blog post was born.

I thought to myself "Hey self, you have a great life...so what gives?"
Why oh why was I slightly green with envy, even it was just for a brief amount of time?
Why did I let myself want what someone else has?
And I really don't know the answer to that.

Because in all honesty, I have a blessed life.

I have a loving, wonderful husband who puts up with my mood swings, occasional ranting, and obsessiveness about clean counter tops. He loves me even though I'm not as thin as I used to be and I have gray hair and the start of crow's feet. I have two beautiful, amazing, brilliant daughters who are the center of my universe. We live in a beautiful house. We have our health. We make it to Disney World at least once a year. I'm close with my parents and my sister and her family. I don't have much to complain about. I really do have a great life.

And yet, every now and then I feel pangs of envy directed at other people.
I'm not mean or callous about it.
I don't think spiteful things about others.
I don't judge other people or deny them their happiness or question "why them?"

Sometimes envy just rears her ugly green head and there's nothing I can do about it.
And it really is part of human nature.
And maybe it's not all bad.

I think perhaps we need to allow ourselves to feel envy ... just a little bit ... every now and then so we can challenge ourselves to work harder. To be better. If I see someone doing something amazing I might think (as I did the other day) "wow...I could be doing that!" And then I set a plan in motion so that maybe, just maybe, I might actually be doing it someday.

I know in my current work situation I am dealing with a lot of raw emotions on a daily basis and I believe this pang of envy is connected to that.

I know what I don't want to be doing, and I also know what my "ideal" work/blogging/social media experience is - but I need to work on getting there.

So while seeing others who are already "there" might make me a bit envious, it is also giving me the push I need make my dreams a reality.

And for that, I am a grateful.


  1. It may seem like someone else has what you want but they probably have something that you don't want to, so it is better to just be you. That sounds way to philisophical for a comment. :)

  2. well the grass always does seem greener, right? :)

    i'm happy being me. sometimes i just think i need to be a better version of me.

  3. I think this is 110% normal! It's good that you know what you want, I'd say just keep on in the direction that you're in and remember, even though you might feel pangs of jealousy every now and then, there are probably quite a few people out there who feel jealous of you and all that you're doing!