My husband and I share our home with 3 rescued Labrador Retrievers: 11-year-old black lab Sunny and 2 yellow labs, Storm and Sky, 4-year-old brothers. When we give the dogs treats, we always give the exact same thing to all three dogs at the same time. They take their goodies and go off and lie down to enjoy whatever bounty they have just scored.
However, Storm just can't stand the fact that his brothers have something he doesn't — even though they have the exact same thing that he was just given. He needs theirs. You would not believe how ingenious this dog can be at luring his brothers' attention away from their treats so that he can swoop in and steal them. All three dogs will be curled up on the floor, happily munching away, when Storm suddenly raises his head, looks toward the front door, and gives a "something big is outside and we need to investigate it NOW" bark. Of course, his brothers dutifully run to see what they need to save us from. And Storm pounces, quickly rounding up all the treats and hiding them under his body while he continues to work on his own treat. I have seen him leave a perfectly new, untouched chew bone right in front of him while he stares at his brother's — and he will persist at this for a long time, sometimes up to an hour. Finally, as Sky gets sleepy and nods off, Storm swoops in for the steal.
A funny thing, though. Once Storm has rounded up all his brothers' things, he loses interest in them. It is truly a case of "the grass is always greener." He thinks he needs the other dogs' things to be happy, but once he gets them, he realizes they're no big deal.
As I watched this scene unfold yet again one recent night, I realized that we humans play out the same scenario sometimes. We think we need or want something someone else has, only to find that once we have it, it isn't as special as we thought it was going to be. We are left with a hollow feeling when we thought we would be delighted. I think what is happening is that we aren't appreciating the things that we have been blessed with. We look outside ourselves, our lives, and our families, searching for what seems to make others happy and content. But so often, I think, we get it wrong. I hope as you go about your spring that you will take time to look at your own life and see, maybe for the first time, all the wonderful blessings that you have been given. The very things you need to feel content and happy are probably right in front of you. Who knows — there is probably someone out there right now wishing they had exactly what you have!