(Side Note: Our family just got back from Disneyland and I'm "in between computers." I'll get it up as soon as the computer issue is resolved. Thanks!)
Declaration to the "Jones'".
Dear The Jones'
I hear by declare that I will no longer be keeping up with you. Nor will I try to even compete with you. You cause me too much grief, too much stress. I will never have as nice a house/car/wardrobe/hobby/talent/etc as you and I am going to learn to accept that. Instead of "why me?" I am going to learn to celebrate the diversity of those around me. Instead of feeding the green monster that is perched just in the corner of my brain, I am going to celebrate my friends and family's successes. And perhaps instead of wondering why my house isn't decorated as nicely - I will ask those whose places I now admire how they did it. Perhaps they have a certain style and are just constantly on the look-out for things to make their house nice. Perhaps they just have style. Perhaps I will start there.
I will not wonder in envious amazement at how you, Jones', manage to dress yourself and children much nicer then me. Maybe, we already dress alright and I'm just too busy looking at you, comparing.
I have nice things, Jones'. I am going to appreciate them more, compliment those around me more sincerely and realize that everything has a season -- mine's just going to be a little later. No longer will I worry about my situation in life - it's actually pretty good.
I am going to follow my shopping list a little closer. Saving is cool. Or better yet, debt is not cool. I am going to learn to tackle the house I have, because it's forcing me to do a couple of things: Get rid of junk; Be more aware of what I purchase before I bring home more junk; Organize and furnish our house. And while there are things that really should only be purchased as name brand (waffles, jello, you have a list I am sure), I can buy no-name or second hand a little more.
I am going to get to be better friends (you've been warned) with those who are DIYs. There is merit in learning to build, make and re-purpose other things. Everything doesn't have to be new, Jones'. Really. I am going to finish projects I've started and ask for help (you've been warned). I realize that this is going to be a slow process and I will not always do well. But I will try.
So "The Jones'", let's just be friends. I'm not breaking up with you. It's not you, it's me. Something like that.