Jealousy is both reasonable and belongs to reasonable men, while envy is base and belongs to the base, for the one makes himself get good things by jealousy, while the other does not allow his neighbour to have them through envy. —Aristotle
It’s 10 am. Cup of coffee in hand, I sit down at my desk to backup my blog and finish this week’s post.
I slept late since I was up late writing—oh, the joys of working at home—but no matter. I don’t have anything urgent to do today other than polish the blog post and get it up.
But I’m hungry. I haven’t eaten yet.
Not usually a problem, but the only thing I feel like eating is a bowl of bran cereal with some ice cold almond milk poured over it. And I ate the last of it yesterday.
Alternatives are carrots, lettuce, spaghetti, or garbanzo beans in olive oil with garlic and hot pepper. I don’t think so.
I open a cabinet. A box of oatmeal stares at me. The kind that’s hearty and soul-warming, laced with cinnamon and raisins on a cold winter morning. The kind you cook.
It’s been 100 degrees in the shade and super-sticky humid for the past three days, and the last thing I feel like eating is hot oatmeal. I want cold cereal, dammit.
Peanut butter toast wouldn’t be bad, but there’s no bread other than the frozen loaf squished in the back of the freezer for a couple of years (a full freezer uses less electricity, right?).
So oatmeal it is. I crank down the AC and fire up the stove. I dump some oatmeal in a pot of boiling water, stir for awhile, and pour it in a bowl. I hope the almond milk is cold enough to cool it off, but it’s not. I pop the steaming bowl in the freezer and go back upstairs to browse through email and blogs.
Whenever I read stuff like Leo Babauta’s The Simplest Diet for Lean Fitness, I get annoyed. I roll my eyes. I might make noises like pfft and mutter things like Right. Good for you, Leo.
It’s called jealousy. But it’s not what you might think.
Sure, he says he cooks his own “steel-cut oats” in the morning, but what about lunch? Dinner? What about “a tofu-stir fry or veggie chili with beans?” What about the beans cooked “Indian style or Mexican style,” eh? Does he cook that, too?
Who does the grocery shopping in the Zen Habits household? I’ll bet his wife does. Maybe she does, maybe she doesn’t—maybe it’s a big ol’ family affair—but if he’s doing all his food prep (not to mention laundry), when does Leo Babauta have time to write and handle other business matters?
I hop over to Problogger. Same question.
Where the heck does Darren Rowse find the time to do all the stuff he does and go grocery shopping?
Yesterday I browsed through his book ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income and read some interesting stuff about how he got started. Sounds like he has an awesome relationship with his wife—the poster couple for a Peaceful Planet marriage.
I’ll bet she cooks, too. He’s got a fabulous business going, and maybe they eat out or order in a lot, but what about the early days? He held multiple jobs when he first got started in blogging, and somewhere in there had classes. Sounds like things were really tight and he worked just about non-stop.
How and what did he eat? That’s what I really want to know about Darren Rowse.
Where’s the book on that? How does he keep his house or apartment clean? What about laundry?
On to Copyblogger’s Brian Clark. I have no idea if he’s married or what (and I really don’t care). But look at all this stuff he does on the blog’s About page. I don’t see grocery shopping or meal preparation in there. Does he live in some messy little apartment and live on take-out? Or what?
How about Jonathan Fields? Another busy guy. Dude, what do you do for food? Does your wife cook for you? Get the groceries in? Do you eat out or order in?
Maybe it helps that he lives in NYC where you can pop out anywhere, anytime and find something to eat.
A bagel would have been nice this morning, but I’d have to walk or drive a half mile each way to get one, and when I’m starved and have work to do, that’s not a good idea.
Somehow I didn’t get the domestic gene that it seems most women have. Oh, I know how to cook, don’t get me wrong. Give me the guest list and I’ll rock out a dinner for 20 that’ll have Emeril Lagasse patting me on the back
It’s the day-to-day thing that I don’t get.
Never have. I don’t know how that’s done. I just want to work and somehow have healthy food in the kitchen, waiting for me.
“Honey, is dinner ready yet?”
“Almost, honey buns!”
Yeah, right. Why don’t I ask women for help?
Women will laugh at me. I know they will. They don’t get it because they got the domestic gene.
They laugh and tell me to set up a schedule and just do it because they do and they have kids. And they smirk. They don’t believe me when I say there’s nothing in my refrigerator to eat.
But do they mow their lawns? Shovel snow? Fix leaky faucets?
What would they do if they had rats in the garden like I did last year?
They’d get their husbands, dads, or brothers to take care of it, that’s what they’d do. Because that’s men’s work. Not here it ain’t.
Ah-ha! Here’s Chris Brogan. A Day in the Life with a whole paragraph devoted to lunch.
He says, “I go to Subway downstairs and get the salad. When I have a little extra time, I hit up a restaurant…”
OK that’s the trick. Live or work some place with a restaurant downstairs and eat out.
Chris Guillebeau…I know he’s on the road a lot. And I know he doesn’t eat meat either, so I’m sure he has his challenges.
I wonder whether I missed a tip or two, in his Empire Building Kit (read more on my affiliate page) about finding time for grocery shopping or cooking or at least slapping a sandwich together. After all, somehow he finds food without meat in it wherever he goes. And I know that isn’t always easy, having eaten way more Kartoffeln and Spätzle in Germany than I care to remember.
And on that note, my jealousy fades away.
Jealousy is just a pissy little pity-party, after all. It’s just emotions that aren’t based on any facts. Irritation and frustration about something we don’t have that we imagine—rightly or not—that someone else does.
I have no idea how these guys do what they do and get fed—and I don’t really care. It doesn’t matter because this is my life, and if my biggest problem is figuring out how to plan my workday and eat the way I want to, that’s a pretty good life, don’t you think?
It’s all about problem-solving, not worrying about how other people do things.
I’ll bet Charlie Gilkey has some tips for me. He says, “I keep things relatively clean and ordered because I get overwhelmed by big messes to clean up.” I think he gets it. He keeps things clean and ordered for a reason, not because he got the domestic gene to do that or because he thinks it’s his role in life. Or whatever.
Something like me and cooking or meal preparation and grocery shopping or laundry. It doesn’t come naturally to me. I don’t know how to do it on a regular basis. And I don’t really want to, either. But I need to learn. And I will.
Unless I want to eat hot oatmeal on a hot day again, I’m going to have to figure something out.
Meanwhile, I’m off to the home supply store for some air conditioning filters with a stop at a garage for an oil change. Maybe I’ll have dinner out.
Comments are always welcome! And if you like what you read, please share.
PS Have any tips? I’ll gladly accept them even if you tell me to get a schedule and stick to it. That’s gotta be it
Be sure to read the follow-up post: Don’t ignore anger: Embrace it, learn from it, resolve it