Level with me, people. You have a daydream about that other PATH in life. You know: that cliché-ish, magical, mystical place called
THE PATH NOT TAKEN
It's weird that I've been pondering this a lot lately, and my friend B. at Say Yes or else!! has coincidentally posted The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost. Hm...maybe there's something to these later days of summer which makes a person feel nostalgic, and makes us think of the turn to harder seasons. Hm...who knows?
Even if you appreciate your life, and love the people in it. Even if you like your house, and your pets. You still think about other realities sometimes, don't you? Don't you have fantasies about other things you might have done with your life? Regrets? Yearnings? Career paths you wish you'd taken?
This can be a tricky subject, because nobody wants to admit that they wished they'd just plain done something else (not in a loud voice anyway). Nobody wants any implications that their children are of anything less than tantamount importance in their lives.
So, you're the STAY AT HOME MOM. You get up each day to continue working on what you left off last night. You didn't finish everything last night, because it was 9:00, and you were tired, and if you don't PUNCH THE CLOCK at 9, you won't get any time to yourself. Ever since you parted with your old life, and started caring for people round the clock, time to yourself is more precious than anything else. So, that load of laundry getting more wrinkly in the dryer can wait till tomorrow to fold.
Because you're never really going to complete a task anyway. It's hard, non-stop work, and it's not always very satisfying--let's be honest. You don't get any praise for getting the stains out of the whites, for rotating efficiently through pasta, rice and potatoes during the week. There is no yearly BONUS for your efforts. Nobody leaves a five dollar bill on the table after eating. You get verbally abused by your children every day because they have behavioural problems, or developmental problems, and it is exhausting.
You're the bread winner. You had to settle on a career that you never envisioned for yourself, because it pays really well and has good benefits. You can't switch to another career, because you'll be starting at the bottom of the ladder, and your family can't afford that smaller salary. You have to work long hours, and be accountable at nearly all times, and it's funny because you always thought you'd get a job in animation. You never imagined you'd become a spread-sheet master. Oh, and don't mention that commute. It's tedious, and traffic-crammed and it nearly does you in by the end of the week.
What's your fantasy? When I'm at the sink with another pile of dishes, sometimes I imagine I didn't go to university IMMEDIATELY after finishing highschool; that I took some time to think about what the hell I wanted to do, instead of fumbling forward without direction anyway, hoping I'd just fall into what I was supposed to do.
I'd have saved money and gone AWAY to school, instead of staying local. In my fantasy, I'm a registered dietitian. I have an amazing job that I'm actually interested in. I have a tidy little apartment, and my bedroom is really pretty, and I have a fluffy white cat and no children. I date when I have time, but mostly I go on really fantastic trips when I take vacation time. I go to places like Norway and Luxembourg, which I once heard has more castles than anywhere else.
Oh, but you're prickling over this scenario. No children? How could she have a fantasy with no children and no husband??? Doesn't that mean that she doesn't truly love them?
To this I say, relax. It's only a fantasy. I've already figured out that 99% of humans can never be truly satisfied with anything anyway, so we all know I'd be lonely for a steady man, that monstrous biological urge to further the species would never be quiet, and the white cat would drop fur balls all over the place.
The travel would probably be great though...if I had the nerve.
Still, don't you have one of those friends on facebook? She's never been married? She has no children taking up her time, and she has amazing pictures of places around the world she's lived and worked in, because hell, she had no attachments, so she can just pick up and take that risk. She looks rested and happy and smiling in every picture and you envy her...just a teeny bit???
Meh--she's probably not that happy either. I'm telling you: none of us are happy : )
That being said, level with me: I want you to tell me your other life fantasy. It's okay: we're all friends here.