Recently I was forced to take a sick day (doctor's orders), and I found myself flipping through the television using the ever-convenient â��On Demandâ�� feature. The young coed in me immediately gravitated towards reruns of Sex and the City on HBO. I selected an episode at random, having watched the whole series at least three times over, and found myself lost in their story line illustrating the contrasting lifestyles of â��Single in the Cityâ�� and â��Pregnant in the 'Burbs.â�� The majority of the 30-minute episode was spent jumping between scenes that point out the pros and cons of each role, but the concluding punch line is really what I found to be the most entertaining because each woman envied the otherâ��s lifestyle.
Terrified of the monotony of the suburbs, Pregnant in the 'Burbs longed to put on her pair of Jimmy Choos that had been collecting dust in the back of her closet (behind her more sensible and comfortable Cole Haan flats) and, in contrast, Single in the City was burnt out on the ever-exhausting dating adventures and ready to trade in the stilettos along with the small talk for stability. The episode hit home as I lingered on the couch and looked inward at my own life of Single in the City. I thought about the many moments when I had flashed my wax smile at the latest baby shower and squeezed out a less-than-genuine (and way too high-pitched), "Congratulations!" when often I was envious of the new chapter that my girlfriend was embarking upon. I often found myself wishing I could hit the fast forward button on life to just get past this whole dating gig.
I was describing this thought process to a girlfriend over a glass of wine the following evening and her response, after laughing and telling me, "You really are able to view all matters in life through Sex and the City colored lenses while the rest of us settle for rose-tinted,â�� was that the whole concept was powerful in its simplicity. We long to look ahead, but perhaps at the price of appreciating the present moment.
Being Single in the City provides the freedom of deciding in the middle of a tough work day that all you want to do later that night is grab martinis with a girlfriend as a stress reliever and not have to apologize or ask permission to anyone for such a thing. On the flip side, being Settled in Suburbia can mean declining the office happy hour invitation because you are looking forward to spending the evening with your spouse watching the latest episode of Dancing with the Stars. Will martini nights get boring night after night? Perhaps. Will the weekly routine of your favorite show feel repetitive? It's a definite possibility.
Whatever stage in life currently defines your existence, there is a pretty good chance that someone else is looking at the plot of grass you are standing on and thinking it might be a bit greener under your shoes.
So, I dare you to defy the odds, and our social tendency, by not focusing your gaze across the pond at someone else's grass. Instead, look down at exactly where you are standing and appreciate the blades of grass for all that they have to offer. There’s a good chance you won't be standing in this exact spot for long, and wouldn't it be a shame if it were overlooked or underestimated?
I will be the first to admit "lawn envy,” but today I vow to look at the ground below me with gratitude as well as excitement for the freedom and adventure that being Single in the City can bring everyday.
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