Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Katie Tallo of Momentum Gathering.
They live next door. They both drive new cars with leather interiors. Their daughter’s pre-med and she’s only five. They just did a $100,000 kitchen reno complete with an indoor pig spit where they entertain their wads of friends. Their big screen TV lights up your entire house at night. Their grass is always neon green, at least once the lawn care professionals have sprayed and coifed it into a perfect patch of heaven.
They have it all. They’re living the dream. You hate them.
Holding your son’s hand, you walk past their sixteen over-flowing garbage cans on your way to the corner. He announces that he wants to be a freeloader like daddy. He tells you that’s what the neighbour calls someone who fiddles around all day making art. You hand him his vegetarian lunch in its reusable sack. The lunch you made him in your sparse kitchen where you share tea and homemade banana bread with your friends. Your son is debating which movie to choose from the library tonight. Ever since you got rid of cable, it’s movie night on Fridays. He’s bubbling with excitement. As he waits for the school bus, he asks why your lawn has gone brown. You tell him its been hot lately and you don’t want to waste water. He hugs you and gets on the bus. At the last minute, he turns back, waves and says, “Everyone should have brown grass. Love you mommy.” Your heart melts.
As you walk back home to begin the day, a day of working at home at a job that fulfills you, the neighbours zoom by to begin their two hour commute across town, already talking on their speaker phones. They distractedly wave, each from their own luxury car, and you wave back. You don’t hate them.
You hate that you ever envied them or their need for stuff, for status, for decadence, for more, for bigger, for neon green.
You pass their chemical turf, sit down on your brown lawn and touch the grass. It’s not dead. It’s just a little thirsty, but that’s okay. It’s perfect. Perfect because it’s not perfect. Perfect because a little boy admires who his parents are. Perfect because you’re setting a different kind of example for him to aspire to. Perfect because you know that less is really more.
You are grateful for the healthy lunch you made from scratch for your son. You are grateful for the little hand that he likes to rest comfortably in yours. You are grateful that you are doing work you love, raising a conscious child and living your dream – a new dream.
This is a dream that is sustainable for you, for your son and for the planet.
Today, when you find yourself thinking that the grass is always greener over there, rake up some gratitude and bask in love, simplicity, down-sizing, saving, slowing, caring, teaching, setting an example, doing what you love, walking, busing, biking or just allowing yourself, for a moment, to see that there’s a whole lot more in embracing less.
Katie Tallo seeks to inspire simple, joyful life change at Momentum Gathering. Her new book is The 7-Week Life Cleanse: A Simple Guide to Infusing Your Life With Momentum.