Last week wasn’t good. First, two of my favorite bloggers, Steve and Courtney of Think $ave Retire were featured in Forbes. Early retirement for them will mean selling their two homes, buying an RV, and traveling the country. Forbes found this very intriguing, and so do I. “Damn it,” I said to myself. “I want to do that.”
Okay, I’m jealous of Steve and Courtney. Not the end of the world. Life is still good. Or is it? Doubts over just how groovy my life is continued when I stopped by Go Curry Cracker! to see how Jeremy and Winnie were doing. And wouldn’t you know it, Jeremy and Winnie were doing fine. Jeremy, in fact, just recently spent a few weeks in Ecuador hobnobbing with the likes of Jim Collins, the Mad Fientist, and the legendary Mr. Money Mustache. Oh, sh*t, I found myself thinking. My life really does suck. Jeremy’s hanging out with MMM! In Ecuador, no less! That should be me!
Okay, I’m jealous of Steve and Courtney and Jeremy and Winnie. But c’mon. My life certainly has some redeeming value. I know it! So to get my mind off the “Fab Four,” I decided to visit Paula Pant over at Afford Anything. I’ve heard her a number of times on Stacking Benjamins and she seemed like a really groovy chick. Surely, she’ll get me out of my funk, I thought.
Not a freakin’ chance. The first thing I did was go to her About page. And what did I see there? Paula riding a freakin’ elephant.*
That was it. I couldn’t take it anymore. I logged off the computer, rushed downstairs to Mrs. Groovy and exclaimed, “We’re going to South Africa. I want to pet a great white shark!”
Mrs. Groovy was of course flabbergasted. Why did I want to go to South Africa to pet a great white shark? Well, as soon as I told her about the adventures of Steve, Courtney, Jeremy, Winnie, and Paula, she diagnosed my problem immediately. I was suffering from experience envy. She then prescribed a couple of shots of my favorite medicine (chocolate moonshine) and a few episodes of the Trailer Park Boys on Netflix to calm me down.
Mrs. Groovy was absolutely right. Prior to last week, I had no desire to go to South Africa and pet a great white shark. A great experience for me was taking Mrs. Groovy to the Dairy Queen for a Blizzard. Heck, I was looking forward to early retirement because it would afford me the opportunity to pick up litter.
What I had succumbed to was the keeping-up-with-the-joneses syndrome—the experience version. And it’s something I’ll have to guard against in the future. Just like I taught myself not to covet a neighbor’s BMW, I have to teach myself not to covet a blogger’s elephant-riding experience. Tailgating, card night with friends, and holding Mrs. Groovy’s hand may not compare to a trek along the Ganges river atop an elephant. But it’s still the makings of a fabulous life.
So what about you? You may have conquered stuff envy, but have you conquered experience envy?
* None of the children in this picture is Paula. I didn’t have permission to use the actual picture of Paula on an elephant, so I found a legal substitute. You should nonetheless go to Paula’s About page and check out her bonding with a water-happy pachyderm. It’s hysterically funny.
* Soon after this post went live, Paula was very gracious and gave us permission to use her elephant photo. Thank you Paula!