Carolyn Hax: Consider reality of others' milestones

The Washington PostMay 3, 2014 

Carolyn: I'm the last of my friends and family to be married and have kids - I'm currently single. While I'm very happy for the people around me (and hope to have the same things one day), I can't help but feel so out of sync with everyone else. Every wedding, baby shower, engagement announcement, new house, etc., just makes me feel bad about my own life, even though I'm living in a city I love, taking new/fun classes, playing in sports leagues and getting to enjoy some travel.

I've noticed I'm starting to pull back emotionally from these big life events and I've even removed my Facebook profile since signing on ends up just making me sad, mad and, yes, jealous. How do you effectively deal with these feelings?

JEALOUSY

It sounds as if you're already dealing with your feelings in many productive ways, and they just haven't delivered results. Yet.

It can take time for the dividends of your choices to become clear to you. For one, I think they're being obscured by the newness of this phase of life for your peers - and the fact that each is traditionally launched with a party. When you're in the flurry of weddings, showers, housewarmings, etc., you're seeing many people who are at the height of their joy with these milestones.

I don't mean to sound cynical, just realistic - some of these marriages will unravel; some of these houses will be money pits; some of these kids will wear out their parents. The highs and comforts inherent in marriage/house/kiddos are real, but so are the lows.

To: Jealousy: I'm you. Except I am married, have a house, and a baby. But I want another baby so I'm jealous of my friends who are now pregnant with No. 2. My point is that no matter where you are in life, it's hard not to covet things. All you can do is live your life to the fullest and find a way to make peace with what you do have.

ANONYMOUS

Amen.

Email tellme@washpost.com. Chat online at 10 a.m. Fridays at www.washingtonpost.com.

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