pumpkin facePlease welcome back Dee DeTarsio, an award-winning indie author living in southern California. A graduate of The Ohio State University, she only goes back to visit Ohio for two days in early October because she is equally scared of tornadoes and getting trapped in a snowstorm. Dee is the author of All My Restless Life to Live. Literary, etc., says it’s a “fun and quirky read . . . DeTarsio’s writing is engaging and she is hilarious.”

Dee’s post today is about jealousy, and she wrote it “to try to conquer my own green-eyed monster!”

Find Dee on her website, her blog, on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter @DeeDeTarsio.

Happy Please Giving!

I am pretty sure that if I had been around in prehistoric times, I would have found a way to be jealous of Ooga’s bigger rock. And of Mooga’s cave wall art, that you would recognize was a bison, instead of my cave art, which would look more like a scorch-mark from a first-day-with-the-fire cooking accident. And of Throat-Clearing Name—whom all the men lust after—and her lush, hair-covered body.

No one is immune from the curse of jealousy and it’s my life’s work to try to defy it. Someone always has a better job, better body, better spouse, better book, better bank account, better kids . . . somebody better stop me! But it is only my definition of better that inspires the whole facade. When did I forget to appreciate things? Oh. I guess today is a reminder.

What if Ooga’s mate died getting her that big rock? What if Mooga envied me my singing voice? (Trust me, she wouldn’t.) And what if Throat-Clearing Name yearned for my ability to see pictures in clouds, and was jealous of me and my super-sized thighs?

The definition of jealous, the adjective, “feeling mean resentment toward a rival or competitor” develops into a slow-burn destructive force when used as the noun, jealousy. But what if I call Jealousy “Admiration” and introduce her to her second-cousin, “Inspiration”? By slathering that peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich with a soupçon of honesty, it can become a creative force. (For the record, Jealousy and Truth hate each other’s guts, and can’t be seated next to each other at holiday dinners.)

As we swoop in on the winter solstice of stress, I need to confess that I am so gifted, I can even be jealous of how grateful someone else is. We’ll be gathered around that big table, heads bowed to share our blessings, and I always miss the heartfelt good ones because I am desperately trying to formulate my own. But this year is going to be different. I’m prepared. With my cheesecake pumpkin roll recipe in one hand, I will raise my wine glass high. My contribution may be a corny cornucopia of clichés, but here’s to Please, which always comes before Thank You.

Please is the yin to the Thank You of yang’s offerings from the universe. Please is inherent to gratitude. Yes, Please! to more pumpkin recipes than you can shake a gourd at on Pinterest, (implied thank you to beta carotene). Yes, Please! even and especially to Jealousy, where I will treat her with the respect she deserves. Yes, Please! to Ooga and Mooga and Throat-Clearing name, so I can forgive my trespasses, while

Just

Enjoying

Although

Lamenting

Obviously

Unhealthy

Secret

Little

Yearnings

applauding their talents. Did you catch that acronym? (If you thought anagram, that would be me, Dee DeTarsio: A Dieter Does. I’ll tell you what A Dieter Doesn’t, a dieter doesn’t eat a whole Costco pumpkin pie by herself.)

While I hate the way jealousy clogs my throat, maybe that’s why I like to write. I take that PBJ choking-sized bite, twist it, torture it, and throw it under the bus. Some of it is based on real-life events, but no one will ever know, because I’m not that good of a writer!

I may deal with jealousy by a little sh*t-talking now and then, and end up mining my own pit of unmet needs. But by taking that wad of jealousy and celebrating everything and attaching to nothing, I can remind myself for at least thirty seconds to shine with benevolence toward my fellow jerk-face who has seemingly done nothing to deserve her good fortune. GAH! Dang it. There I go again. Let me rephrase that. By celebrating everything and attaching to nothing, I can take a moment to send up smoke signal thought-bubbles of Yes, Please! to the universe.

So, thank you, Jealousy. Thank you for being a trend. Traveled down the road and back again. Your heart is green, you’re a pal and a confidant. When I take my seat at that big table this holiday, I’m changing it up to Happy Please Giving. I will dress Jealousy in a fancy big bow, and remember she is really Admiration and Inspiration—allowing me to be receptive to all the universe has on offer. Yes, Please!

I will share my pie with Ooga and Mooga and Throat-Clearing Name, to celebrate how much they inspire me.

Happy Please Giving! You’re welcome.

Do you ever feel jealous? What do you do when you do? Any ideas you can share? How do you turn it around to be inspirational–or can you?