What I Wish I Had More Time For………. explaining why this title is all wrong because it ends with the word For.
I wish, I wish, I wish.
I wish I spent more time doing dick-all. Going to work and putting money in the bank and feeding and housing myself keeps me from dedicating more time to the lofty pursuit of complete inertia.
If you want the actual truth though, I believe I’ve given up on the whole idea of wishing in general and I’m just enjoying being immersed in the present moment in time living in this beautiful universe which is unfolding as it should.
Gawd, it sounds like I’ve had too much to drink. (I wish.)
I know I’ve said this many many times before, but it’s the best advice I ever got so I have this uncontrollable compulsion to pass it on. BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR.
Case in point, the guy who wished to be married to a much younger woman so the wish fairy made him 99 years old. Your wishes can backfire.
So I’m officially taking back that wish for doing nothing because with my luck I’ll end up in traction in a coma, or totally dead. As opposed to mostly dead, which might even be worse.
Not wishing for something more intelligent to pop into my head or for more inspiring prompts. Or less rain and more sunshine, or the other way around. I wish for nothing that I don’t already have, or possess the power to achieve or to obtain. Life is good. I think I’ll live it, and not wish it away.
Imagine that you’re blind, but you have been granted one day to see. What day would you choose? A day from the past? Today? A day in the future?
If I had to do this I suppose I would choose today just to get it over with. Starting right now. Because the first thing I’d like to do is look that deluded sight-granter in the eyes and tell him what I think of his stupid gift. Unless its some kind of punishment or a cruel joke, in which case it all makes more sense.
Not to appear ungrateful or anything but why would you want to do that to someone? What a terrifying experience for me if I’ve been blind since birth. Twenty four hours of trying to cope with a whole new reality and then back to the way things were. Except for the nightmares.
And what a crushing blow if I’ve lost my sight, accepted my blindness and learned to deal with all the changes and then suddenly I get my sight back for a measly DAY just to have to give it up all over again.
There’s a reason why strange things like this aren’t possible and bizarre wishes don’t come true. When you’re given a choice of this hell or that one, your third choice should always be ‘neither of the above’, thank you very much, please go away now and leave me alone. Inflict your miracles on somebody who asked for them.
Is there anybody out there who loves to fly? Who wakes up in the morning with the fervent wish to just hop on a plane and fly around for hours and hours? Do pilots and flight attendants dread having a day off where they have to content themselves with wandering around on the ground? Maybe that’s the thing that needs complaining about. I don’t get to fly to Paris for breakfast today! Damn, my life sucks. But I could if I really wanted to. There’s a certain beauty in that.
Travelling from one place to another has never been my favourite thing, but when it becomes necessary, I’m happy that there are so many choices in how to get from here to there. And so far flying is the fastest. Everybody has had a “bad” experience on a plane; screaming children, long delays, crazy turbulence, a seat mate from hell, luggage lost, cookies tossed. The ultimate worst case scenario would be to crash and die, and if you keep that in your mind while you’re zipping through the air at ridiculous speeds it makes the rest of your complaints seem a bit silly.
So I’m very reluctant to pick one particular flight out of the many I’ve taken and gripe about it. Because every one of them got me to where I was going or got me back home in one piece and here I am, alive and happy and able to talk about it, and not so annoyed that I’ll never do it again.
Life is short. And in the grand scheme of things, so are flights. How incredibly lucky we are to live in an age where travelling anywhere in the world is possible. All you have to do is buy a ticket and get yourself and your passport to the airport and the rest of it is all done for you. Think about that when the in-flight movie is boring crap. Your flight might not be perfect, but it’s perfectly amazing that you get to take it.
Yesterday I talked to a man who had only one leg. He came rolling into the Vision Centre in his wheel chair with a beaming broad smile on his face. It was a smile so fiercely beautiful I had to smile back. I don’t know how anyone who looked at him could hope to do otherwise.
While his glasses were being adjusted, cleaned and repaired, (all the helpful mundane things we do all day), we had one of those little chats that strangers are prone to having. Is it getting any warmer out there as the day goes on? Do you ever remember a spring so late? He told me it was snowing again and he said it with such delight. You should come out to the parking lot and see it! All those gigantic flakes just floating down. You can catch them on your glove – they’re like tiny bits of lace. Fragile, but captivating and wonderful to look at. So perfect it’s amazing!
But in my head I could see our driveway, and the snow shovel, and the banks and the horrible roads. So I gave my head a shake to get rid of those pictures in it. I said we don’t think to look at the fascinating side of things often enough, do we? It’s so easy to focus on the negative instead. But you’re right, this kind of gentle snowfall has a certain charm if only we choose to see it.
I didn’t look at the place where his left leg should have been, although my eyes wanted to. I didn’t let them. I didn’t ask him how long he’d been without it, or how hard it might be to get himself dressed in the morning and in and out of a vehicle and across a snowy rutted parking lot. And what do you do with all those left boots and shoes and pant legs? How horrible has your life been and how hard was this to accept?
I said none of those things that were in my head, because we were just two ordinary people having an ordinary conversation, being pleasant and accepting of each other the way we happen to be at this moment, no deep introspections required. He got his glasses back and he was on his way.
All afternoon I kept thinking good thoughts about snowflakes. I thought about those airy little bits of lace, there for a moment on the back of his glove, and how they made his face so blissful. His mood was so intoxicating, I wanted to give him a hug and thank him for that.
But I didn’t. I wish I had.
My sixteen year old self would not have paid the slightest bit of attention to this spaced out old lady spewing her well-meaning but scatter-brained advice. So I know there’s really no point in saying anything to her at all.
There are wishes I’d like to make for her though, if I were able to fling them back in time and spin them around her so-serious little self and somehow make them come true for her, even for one glorious day .
She is a waitress at the Bluewater Tea Room on the shores of Lake Huron, wistfully gazing through the screened windows at her little yellow Valiant parked in the sand and baking in the sun.
Wishing she could be somewhere out there on the beach herself, instead of in here serving foot long hotdogs and home cut fries to skimpily clad tourists who keep tracking in the sand. Wishing they would just get back on their stupid boats and sail off into the sunset and take their gawky teenaged boys with them. (Not to mention all those cute little blue-eyed blondes with their long bronzed limbs – it makes her sad that she isn’t one of them.)
She is wishing it wasn’t so hot, and that ‘el groucho’ in the back sweating over the grill could think of something nice to say for a change. And that she could smack the leering face of the next smirking moron who asks her what time she gets off work today. Because after her shift she is almost always too tired to do anything except drive home and kick off her stinking sneakers and shower the smell of the deep fryer grease off her skin and out of her hair.
If I could, I would grant this sixteen year old self a little more empathy for the guy in the kitchen who works all those long hot hours trying to keep his little business going. In a few more years he will have to give it up and the tea room will be torn down, and she will never learn what becomes of him and his food splattered apron and dangling cigarettes and snarly old face.
I would grant her a moment of amazement, of unbiased objectivity, just the very briefest of epiphanies when she looks in a mirror so that she can realize the great worth and the special beauty of that brown-eyed girl looking back at her.
I would let her feel the power she possesses to bruise an ego and to break a heart because she has no idea she is capable of doing either one of those things.
I’d let her know it wouldn’t kill her to be a little more pleasant and less uptight, and that it’s perfectly okay to smile more and to laugh out loud and to tease people back, even if they’re scary strangers. It’s okay to have fun.
I would grant her a greater appreciation of the warm breezes off the lake, the smell of the water and the scent of suntan oil, the sound of the gulls and the sight of them circling in the sky and swooping down to squabble over some scrap of food. I would make her really look at those famous lake sunsets that she always takes for granted.
I would draw out more laughter, more sparkle, more joy – because they were always there, deep inside her, trying so very hard to get out.