Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Life (not wife) swap

Does anyone want to swap lives with me, ha ha? I was driving by the Quarry movie theater this afternoon around 6 pm, and there were people coming out of the movies. Not employees, just average people. Which could mean only one thing ... that they had been in the movie theater, watching a movie, while I was at work. I had a visceral reaction where I briefly became them. I smelled the popcorn, heard the surround-sound, imagined the leisure time and the feeling of relaxation, then the imagined conversation -- "What should we do now?" "I don't know, dear, you decide" -- as the loving couple strolled together to the car for the next merry outing. It was a moment of intense longing.

This stream of thought was quickly followed by wondering why these people would have time to go see a movie on a weekday afternoon. Perhaps they were simply retired or had a day off -- on a random Tuesday. Or maybe they had to work weekends, or they had the night shift somewhere (both of which, I think, would be worse than a regular full-time job). There are also plenty of sinister reasons to have leisure time, which mostly involve things like poor health, unemployment, and impending death (yours or a loved one's). So that thought was like the cooler of Gatorade dumped on the head of the Superbowl-winning coach, in that it sort of woke me up from my fantasy, momentarily.

It could be that people who have too much leisure time have as many problems, or more, as people who are overscheduled.

What I think would solve the problem of wishing and longing would be to do a "life swap." You find someone who has a life that is totally opposite yours. If you have kids and spend 24/7 dealing with them, find someone with no or grown kids who spends their time doing something different, for example. I guess I'd find someone with lots of leisure time, no kids or pets.

Then you swap lives with them. I suppose this would need to be very short-term. Say, a week. I bet at the end of it, in most cases both people would be begging to have their old lives, and people big or little, back again. (Unless they had the aforementioned terminal illness or some *real* problem going on.)

There are plenty of people out there who I wouldn't want to do a life swap with. For example, my dear friend Carol with her four kids, or is it five? I honestly have to think about it. Yeah, five! (Sorry, Joel/Jules.) Almost too many to count, much less to raise!

Or, the CPA at work (one of many people out there) who puts in endless hours and often works all weekend.

Anyhow, I just got back from a lovely weekend retreat with my friend Karen. Being hosted by her and her husband Bill at their house in the evenings was so enjoyable, like staying at a hotel but with social interactions, Australian sheepdogs, and homemade breakfast -- the best of everything! It was truly a retreat from my life and all its baggage. Amazingly, my kids survived the weekend though I spent not one minute worrying about them! (I'll have to try that more often.)

1 comment:

  1. I would love to hear about your weekend! Lunch??

    I actually walked out of a movie theatre on Monday at about 5:45 with Kez. But it was McCreless, not Quarry. We saw Tangled and had fun together. Anyway, I agree with you, I think after a few days - I wouldn't even give it a week - we would probably want to return to our own lives if there were a life swap.

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