There was a Nancy comic strip – who remembers comic strips, much less Nancy?? – in which Nancy eloquently explained that wherever she was and whatever she was doing, she wanted to be somewhere else doing something else. She said something along the lines of, “If I’m at the playground, I wish I were home reading a good book, and if I’m in school, I wish I were at the playground, and if I’m reading a good book, I wish I were making cookies with Aunt Fritzie….” You get the idea. I feel like this all the time. There are so many things I want to do and not enough time to do all of them. I love my work but man it takes up SOOOO much of my time. Occasionally I will say to the husband, “What if I quit my job and became a jewelry maker?” He always says, “Sure, go ahead,” knowing I never will, but why can’t I? Why DON’T I?
It’s a shock to face the fact that I am not going to be all of the things I imagined I would be. I’m never going to be a veterinarian. I’m never going to be a scenery and costume designer. I’m probably never going to go to Australia, Africa and a few other continents. My perceived lack of time, money, motivation, energy – they all conspire to keep me inert.
It’s not that I am discontent with my present life. On the contrary, I like it so much I don’t ever want to leave my house. I’m perfectly content sitting in my living room with my dogs and the rotating cast of family members. I like playing in my garden and I like taking naps on weekend afternoons. But if I didn’t choose to do THOSE things, I could, in theory, do a lot of other things.
I have friends who go kayaking, sky dive, write books, play music, weave, paint, throw pots, and so on. I’ve done some of those things but I don’t seem to be motivated to do them any more, at least not enough to fight the inertia that keeps me doing the same old things day after day.
So why can’t I just be content with the choices I am making? Is it just human nature or is it Randi nature? I used to do this when my kids were little – couldn’t wait until the NEXT stage of their development. “Oh, if only he could climb into the car seat by himself!” “Oh, if only he could take a bath on his own!” Is wishing one’s life away a habit? A neurosis? The human condition?
There is a lot of talk these days about living in the moment and experiencing it in all its glory. I need to find a place that gives lessons on how to do this. But I don’t know how I would find the time to go to the lessons. Perhaps a sharp blow to the head would help me stop perseverating. I guess I’m voting with my feet when I spend an hour in the bathroom playing Ruzzle or Griddlers on my phone. These are obviously conscious choices, but are they really? I don’t feel as though I should be doing the things I do, and I know there are better things I could be doing. Do I have free will or am I stuck in a rut? Seriously, fellow moms, I seek your guidance and advice on how to untorture my soul.