Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Vicarious Living

Vicarious living is fun.  It is similar to day dreaming, imagining you are someone else.  It typically is harmless, unless you become obsessed with it – or them.  But for the average person, it is meant to serve as a little mental getaway when the brain goes on overload.
When I was married, I would sometimes live vicariously through my single friends.  They would be out at night, dancing and drinking, while I was home changing poopy diapers and bleaching the mildewed grout in my shower.  Of course when I was single, I lived vicariously through my married friends.  While I was struggling to support myself and discovering there were no single nice guys to be found, they were enjoying candlelit dinners in their beautiful homes with adoring husbands.  You can see from this description, vicarious living is directly associated with the grass being greener.
I actually have some friends who are living vicariously through me right now. Since deciding to live life as a turkey sandwich, they envy my lifestyle as a part-time freelancer and full-time granny who seemingly has no schedule and works in her pajamas.  Of course they don’t experience the daily fear of running out of paying jobs, rejections of hundreds of queries and the fact that my soul mate is 1000 miles away.  I must admit I no longer live vicariously through friends doing the 9 to 5, one-hour commute, sit-at-their desk-all-day stuff.  Though my lifestyle has its uncertainties, punching a time clock and ducking from a looming monthly mortgage payment no longer have appeal.

All in all, my life is pretty satisfying at the moment.  I love being closer to my daughters after six years away, I adore my grandson who gives me a reason to smile every day and I get a thrill each time I complete a written piece and see it published.  But it’s still not the perfect life and I believe I need the vicarious-living getaway on occasion. So I have decided to live vicariously through my grandson for the following reasons:
He never gets tired or bored with a simple act.  He will pull himself up to standing, wait for you to say “Go boom”, drop onto his butt, laugh out loud and start the process over again.  So long as you stay engaged in the act, he will repeat it a hundred times, laughing just as hard each time.  Perhaps this is how assembly line workers get through their day.  Sometimes we just forget to appreciate what we have and we are too quick to give up and go in search of the new fix.

He thinks my electric toothbrush is the funniest thing in the world.
He always wakes up smiling.

All you have to do is ask for a kiss and he gives it to you – no questions asked.
He watches and analyzes before making a move, especially if it is potentially dangerous – like touching the cat’s tail.

He gets to take naps twice a day and to sleep for as long as he wants. 
He gets to watch animated television programs without anyone saying, “I can’t believe you’re watching that stuff.”

He does not get accused of being drunk if he chooses to crawl into a room.
Someone else picks out his outfit every day – and it’s never too tight.  He also has really cute shoes to match every outfit.

You can see, choosing him is a no-brainer. However, I am reserving the right to also sometimes live vicariously through leggy, gorgeous, shiny-haired, twenty-something girls – just to know how it feels.

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