Hello Everyone and welcome!
I wanted to do a blog about what my life can be like sometimes because I want to be real and not give people misconceptions.
Today I really want to address the assumptions people make about me, my life, and ‘how easy’ I have it when in reality that’s simply not always the case. A lot of the time I feel like I am constantly defending myself to jealous people which is beginning to get really old and tiring!
At times the jealousy card from other people will come into play with the assumption I have ‘the perfect life’ because I ‘don’t work’ I just ‘travel and live around the world’ therefore I have it so easy compared to them. I have designer items which add fuel to the fire plus, the other assumption is I have ‘no stress’ in my life because what could I possibly have ‘stress’ about….
To be clear there is a certain amount of ‘stress’ in my life too which some people don’t realise, only my stress might be different to others. Just because I write the 'Big 3’ Stress Solutions Puzzle blog doesn’t mean there’s no ‘stress’ in my world. However, I have the advantage of knowing what ‘The Big 3’ stress ‘trigger factors’ are therefore I try to avoid them but that’s not always possible.
Yes, I admit I quit my office job years ago and haven’t ‘officially worked’ or ‘had a paying job’ since then, therefore it’s very easy for people to point fingers. All some people see is the globetrotting adventures we are always on. It seems in today’s society if you are not ‘working full time’ or ‘busy having a family’ you are ‘living on easy street’?
Renovating properties isn’t classed as ‘working’ even though I did that for a few years (p.s. that is really hard work that can cause ‘The Big 3’ stresses to rear their ugly heads!). Then there’s supporting my husband in his career which means being an expat and living overseas. Again some people don’t see that as anything other than ‘living on easy street’.
And because my husband and I have made our choices and choose the life we lead it either brings out the jealous side in people or the positive in happy people.
For years I’ve been at the receiving end of other people’s jealousy towards me or the perception I ‘live on easy street’ therefore I get snide remarks and at other times I just get out right attacked verbally?!?
When people would say the following comments below I used to feel upset, angry and find their words hurtful and trust me I have plenty of comeback answers to their attacks which I hold back and don’t say.
What I have come to realise of the last few years is it’s not about me, it’s just the way they perceive my life to be.
Here are some of the comments I am referring to
- It’s ok for you, you don’t have kids
- Must be really hard having your life
- What do you do? You don’t work!
- You have it so easy, you have no idea how lucky you are!
- You don’t understand reality and what it’s like to ‘live’ in the real world
- Must be a really hard life you have with all the travelling you do
- It’s ok for you, you don’t struggle every week to pay bills and put food on the table
- Singapore it’s expat land for beginners, you don’t understand what it’s like to be a real expat (this coming from people who have never lived abroad?!? And trust me SG is not expat land for beginners!)
What these people don’t realise is although I do love my life and I’m truly grateful for what I have, the life my husband and I have built for ourselves does not come without sacrifices! And a lot of sacrifices at that!
My husband’s out the door by 8am and home between 6.30-7.30pm and that’s when the conference calls start with can go till midnight some nights. He’s in constant ‘work mode’ most of the time which means during the week he’s basically ‘checked out’ mentally when it comes to our relationship. I accept this as it’s all part of the journey we are on together and because I love him so much I do my best to support him by making sure he’s eating well and trying to make his life less ‘stressful’. I don’t complain about his constant phone calls that mean we can’t even have dinner together most nights. I can’t share my day with him, nor him with me. Therefore, at times it can be lonely which is only exacerbated by his constant travel.
Plus, with my husband’s job I can get a moment’s notice and have to pack up our house, put everything in storage and move/live/travel in and out of serviced apartments/hotels anywhere in the world all of which we have organised (his company leaves it up to us to find our own accommodation). Trust me that can be stressful entering the unknown and living the life of a nomad. For example, I’m living in the Netherlands at the moment, everything is in Dutch, I don’t know the ‘lay of the land’ at the supermarkets, I get in the wrong lines (no cash/only cash etc), I’m holding up people and I can’t read what written on the packets/items because it’s in Dutch! It’s more stressful than having your ‘home base’ working 9 to 5!
I generally don’t go on rants on social media complaining about the difficulties that come with our life. Constant travel can equal lengthy delays and layovers where I’m tired, hungry and in desperate need of a shower and I still have another 12 hours of economy travel ahead of me (and no food in sight). Nor do rant and rave about being 3 days away of not knowing where we are living next because we had to move so quickly and didn’t get time to plan! Or try finding a washing machine when you're living out of hotels for months on end because you're tired of hand washing your clothes in the bath. None of this ‘sexy’ in ‘social media land’ therefore people/and or I generally don’t post the kind of stuff.
So that’s why I have decided I don’t just blog the ‘good stuff’ I also blog ‘the real life’ which isn’t all bells and whistles. And what people don’t realise is it's different when it’s not a holiday it’s your life!
The versatility my husband and I have become accustomed to is not normal and I don’t know many people who could deal with the ‘stress’ we face. People who really know us and what our lives can be like comment and tell us they don’t know how we do it, the constant travel, living out of suitcases for months on end and/or uprooting our lives at the drop of a hat.
But people are jealous of what they think is our reality instead of understanding or knowing what our normal life is.
We have both chosen this life and made it happen for ourselves. We have both worked hard to get where we are because nothing in this world comes for free.
YES, I work hard, I don’t sit around on my behind watching tv all day! Whilst living here in Singapore my way of life has changed.
No car means I walk a lot in the hot humidity or pouring rain getting our groceries every few days because food here goes off so quickly. I’m constantly cooking/cleaning because I don’t eat out often (hello we live in the land of MSG, meat and wheat!!). Washing clothes is a daily thing because once you have worn something once it needs to be washed otherwise it ends up mouldy. Some days I turn to my husband and say ‘you are lucky your maid loves you so much’ ha ha ha.
My working life started at the age of 12 years old. I worked and studied 7 days a week when I left high school at 16. I hung up my ‘corporate working’ life when I entered the renovation world which is harder work than you might realise. Just because I make my life ‘look easy’ doesn’t mean that’s always the case!
I’ve taken a new direction in life with my blogging which is hard work, long hours and can be very lonely. Writing posts, doing graphics, uploading/posting and social media is time consuming. I do this for free to try and help people and it’s the most thankless job I have ever had. Traffic to my site is good, people are reading the content but I don’t get many ‘likes’ on FB or ‘shares’ or ‘comments’ (and ‘friends’ who 'like' then 'unlike' my page) which is ok I just keep plugging away hoping I am helping someone along the way and ‘paying it forward’. Some weeks I can work up to 60hrs on Character 32 but people don’t see that, some think it’s silly and a waste of time. But I do it because friends ask for advice all the time on multiple subject matters therefore I’ve decided to blog my life experiences so I can help others.
So when people say I have nothing to do, I don’t understand the ‘real world’ and I don’t work, I now just say nothing. It’s not my problem that their assumptions are not a true reflection of my life and what my husband and I have worked really hard to create.
So what does the 'Big 3’ Stress Solutions Puzzle look like when it comes to How I Go About Dealing with Jealousy so it Doesn’t Stress Me Out?
I’m not ‘emotionally stressing myself’ out anymore over what people might think about me. I have learned that sometimes life isn’t fair but that doesn’t mean I have to take other people’s negative attitude towards my life. If you are doing anything in your life where people are jealous you are going to get people who are resentful and negative, that’s just the way it is.
My husband puts his body under a lot of environmental stress with the amount of time he’s on his mobile phone and/or flying somewhere for meetings, which ups his physical stress and don’t get me started on the lack of sleep that also comes with the job. Then there is his emotional stress when it comes to meeting deadlines and overall work performance which can be mentally draining. He’s also missing his friends and family but that’s just the way it is.
We chose this life and we don’t complain and we have different ‘stresses’ to most people through our choices in life. That doesn’t mean we don’t have just as much ‘stress’ as anyone else it’s just ours is different!
Getting ahead in life, making the most of every minute, enjoying the flexibility to come and go and live where ever we want comes with sacrifices as well. We don’t have children that was the trade-off we made and if that changes in the future then I am sure our lives will change. We have expat friends with children living all around the world because they didn’t let that stop them from leaving their home country to pursue their dreams. They themselves make those sacrifices too it’s just not everyone sees it like that.
We left family and friends behind which is ‘leaving our comfort zone’ and we miss them all the time but that’s just one of the scarifies we had to make. That was our choice and I we don’t complain to people about it nor do we throw that in people’s faces when they say nasty things to us. I mean I could very easily say ‘Well you shouldn’t have had children and settled for your suburban life if you wanted the life my husband and I live” but I don’t!
We’re really happy with the choices we have made, and the sacrifices that come with that are just part of life. There is no such thing as ‘an easy life’ because that’s not the way the world works.
I don’t think it’s nice to judge people because every person’s life is different and you don’t know what they are going though unless you have walked a mile in their shoes.
My new motto in life ‘Your life your choices so choose wisely’. If people what to harbour resentment or jealousy towards me, my husband or our lives that’s their business it has nothing to do with me. I can’t change their thought process, therefore, I just get on with my life. If I spent all my time worrying about it I would make myself emotionally stressed and for what? What would be the point in that?
My journey in life is about living, loving and learning. Then I can share what I have learned and hopefully help people along the way.
And if you really want to know who your real friends are, then let me tell you, they are the ones that support you, accept your life choices and are happy for you, they don’t get jealous of you….It’s just that simple!
Until next time be thoughtful, be mindful, be present. This is Character 32 doing her best to help you!