Envy vs. Admiration

Yesterday, a dear friend said that she wanted to be just like me when she grows up. I, on the other hand, find myself striving to be more like her in a lot of ways.

Her sweet compliment was prompted by a batch of bagels. I had never made bagels before and thought I would try my hand at it. They aren't as pretty as the ones in the bakery, but they aren't half bad. My friend seems to really like my cooking and admires it often. To me, it's no big deal.

This is the same friend I wrote about previously, the one who knows how to give. I admire her sweet demeanor--I tend to be a little too salty sometimes. Most of the time. She is patient and understanding where I get in a hurry and far too opinionated. Now how does a bagel compare to that?

It's interesting to me how we admire in others those traits they aren't even aware of. And how the things we take for granted in ourselves can be a wonder to our loved ones. I guess it isn't all that different from how all the curly-haired girls wish their hair were straight and all the straight-haired girls wish for curls.

I don't think that admiring special qualities in others means I don't like myself. When I go shopping with my husband I might point out a great dress or a cute pair of shoes. That doesn't mean I hate the clothes I have... And if he turns his head at a pretty woman, it doesn't mean he's ready to kick me to the curb. One of the reasons I feel so strongly about my friends is that they DO have qualities I admire and respect. Part of the reason I love my husband, aside from him being so dang lovable, is that he has some wonderful traits I appreciate in him.

My dear ones have some amazing assets and I wish I could absorb all those assets for myself. Intelligence, a sweet disposition, high energy, organization, beautiful long hair, patience, diplomacy, great penmanship, charm, artistic talent, a fine singing voice, great skin, social grace, perfect teeth, an aptitude for math.......it's a long list.

Maybe, just maybe, being close to such wonderful people will improve me by osmosis?