Most mornings, at 5:15, one or both of our dogs starts to whimper from the kitchen. If the whimpering doesn’t stir us, the Yorkie goes out the dog door and announces to the world in plaintive howls that he is hungry and would like his breakfast. Mind you, they aren’t starving, they eat twice a day- but they are on a strict schedule which doesn’t allow for humans to sleep in occasionally.
I will go downstairs to prepare a coffee for me, and get their meals ready as well. Ony
the Pug is diabetic, and has a special formula from the vet to keep her blood sugar in check. Mojo, the Yorkie, has lost many of his teeth, and now enjoys a shredded, refrigerated dog food that’s easy on his gums.
Neither dog food is inexpensive. Both dogs love their respective meals.
I separate them so that Ony doesn’t get in to Mojo’s dish- they eat in separate rooms. With Ony’s diabetes, we have to be very careful about what she can eat. They greedily chomp thru their meals, faster than I can even get the bowls filled.
And every morning, without fail, they clean their own bowl- then race, each to the other’s dish, to lick what crumbs may be left. It’s as if they fear they have missed an even better meal, one superior to the high-end food they each currently receive. Some days, they nearly knock each other over on the way to the other dish- convinced they didn’t get as much or as good a treat as the other has.
Fear of Missing Out. Jealousy. I recognize the behavior because I see it in myself every time I scroll thru Facebook, or read an article on Pinterest. Constant reminders that I don’t have enough, or I don’t measure up. Powerful emotions that can drive us to spend more money on things we may not need; or at the least, make us ‘green with envy’.
Even with Minimalism- there’s the fear of not being “Minimal” enough. I should ‘only’ own 2 pairs of shoes. 10 items of clothing. Live in yurt with no running water. But each person has to find their own way in life. On this journey, the end product will look different for each person. Maybe its ok to still have a book case with books on it; perhaps still owning a home and a car is not a disqualifier to be labeled “Minimal”. The constant comparing to each other that tears at our souls and twists our emotions- There’s a fine line between being able to compare oneself to others to improve yourself- or to compare and let yourself sink into bitterness.
Every morning, when I feed the dogs, I thank them for their behavior. I have a reminder that when I compare myself to others not to let jealousy rule my thoughts. Not to think what others have is better than what I have been dealt; and not to feel that I am less than what I should be. These pups have taught me a valuable lesson, simply by filling their dishes with food.