Or do I?
I catch a glimpse of other people’s lives, sometimes, and I don’t want what they have. I don’t want a thirty-five hour working week with twenty hours in front of a tv and two evenings in the pub. I don’t want a zumba class and 2 point four kids and a cat (actually I want at least two cats), and two cars parked on the drive of my link-detached 1980s executive home. I don’t want to retire at sixty and help out with the grandkids. I don’t want two holidays a year and the odd weekend in Paris or Amsterdam, or, maybe, Brighton. I don’t want four nights a year in London for dinner and a musical (unless it’s to watch the daughter being brilliant). I don’t want this season’s designer jacket and to be a size ten. I don’t want my husband to shut up about the football and sex, and I don’t want to start fantasising about that boy whats-his-name? Robert Pattinson, or even that man George Clooney.
We were talking, the husband and I, about our life-clocks the other day. If our lives are represented by an hour on a clock, how many minutes of it are filled? And, of those, how many minutes are filled with things that we value?
Well, some of that is simple: the minutes that are filled are filled with things that we value. We simply don’t fill our lives with stuff we don’t want to do, and we haven’t for a long time. We don’t fill our lives with junk, either; we don’t watch tv mindlessly, and we don’t kill time or chill in that haphazard way that achieves nothing. Life is short and we don’t just wander randomly through it.
On the other hand, we’re not terribly dynamic people. We don't get out much.
The most stimulating environment I know is our home. It’s nice to get away and stay in a hotel for a night or two, but here, I have everything I could want at my fingertips. No hotel suite can possibly compare to the environment that we have built together for ourselves.
There are certainly some minutes left in the hour of my life, though, and of our life together, and they’re minutes that I’d like to fill with something stimulating.
We love to spend time in galleries and museums, and those are minutes well-spent on our clock, but we could add more travel time to our hour. We could spend more time in foreign cities and landscapes, just so long as we can avoid globalisation. I don’t want to eat McDonalds anywhere in the World or buy from the Gap in every major city on every continent or shop at Marks and Spencer in Muscat, Oman. I want the World to be a bigger place, not a smaller one.
I’d like there to be more people, too. I love the people that are in my life already, and the first step is, surely, to spend more time with them, to be more interesting to them, and to value them more. I’ve begun that process by organising girly weekends away, and I hope to make them a regular feature of my life-clock.
When that is done, I’d like to meet more fascinating people that I can say hello and goodbye to in single meetings, and then remember them forever, and I want to form new but lasting friendships with amazing men and women; I’m just not sure where to start looking for those people, or whether they have any interest in knowing me.
I’d like to find properly exhilarating company, but to do that, I guess I must first evolve into someone worth knowing, someone who can offer a bit of exhilarating company in return.
You see what a tall order that is? There’s a drawing board to get back to, I guess, and a big old blank sheet of paper, and an abyss of thought.
Oh well... Nothing ventured...