Monday, March 17, 2008

Plodding Along

We are in our late 30’s, early 40’s; the drudgery portion of life. When I was younger I assumed the 40’s would be great - the kids would be older, we’d be settled in our careers, established in our house, all would be good. Only now that we’re there, or nearly there, it doesn’t ring true. We’re tired of working so hard and having little to show for it. Yes, we have a house, two decent cars, retirement accounts. But, most of our monthly income disappears into mortgage, insurance (car, house, life, disability), student loan payments, preschool tuition, ballet lessons, lacrosse. . . at the end of the month there is little left. And when one realizes they just worked a grueling fifteen hours to pay the government, well, it leaves something to be desired.

So, we’ve been fantasizing. Let’s move to Canada. Things would definitely be better in Canada. How you ask? Simple, it’s not America. It’s different. It must be better. The latest suggestion was the African bush. Perhaps I could get a job tranquilizing and tagging lions. The hubbie would drive the Hummer full of tourists. My hubbie, however, wasn’t amused when I asked if there were cardiologists working in the bush, just in case. OK then, how about Norway. Why? Why not?

Yesterday, in the middle of the umpteenth load of laundry, cleaning the girls’ room (can you say Sara Cynthia Sylvia Stout?) and organizing the garage I’d had enough. I needed to get out of the house. We couldn’t go to a foreign land so we packed up the kids and headed to a local fish hatchery. First we stopped at a little bakery off the main strip then went to feed the fish. We wandered through the pine trees admiring their size and strength. Chatty red-winged black birds reminded us spring was near. And we sincerely admired the fish - rainbows of light playing hide and seek, splashes of silver as the pellets hit the water, huge sturgeon hugging the bottom. We had a great time on our simple outing - the kids did not want to leave. I was reminded that we live in a gorgeous place. Many people would give their right foot to live where we do. And we need to take advantage of what sits right before us; no transatlantic flight necessary.

Yesterday our fantasies changed too. We dreamed of buying a fishing cabin, something cute, rustic, close. A place to read, fish, relax and get away. Or how about an Airstream - we could pimp it out 40’s style and camp every weekend.

Truly, there is nothing wrong with fantasizing; imagining what could be. But these fantasies need to be countered with an appreciation of the every day. This house, this life, these kids - this is the stuff that dreams are truly made of, bills or not.

Today I’m continuing with my housework. I’ll bury my face in the towels fresh from the dryer, I’ll inhale the ginger scent thrown by the vacuum, I’ll grab the baby and squeeze her tight and I’ll dream about the curtains for the Airstream that I’ll never buy. I'll keep plodding along.


Bridge said...

Oh! I feel your sentiment exactly! I am actually resigning from my job because we just feel so "tapped"!
I am amazed at how quickly the money flows in and out. It actually seems that we spend a lot more because I work. Thus, we are hoping for a shift in lifestyle. We have been taking a class called Financial Peace, its helping us to be more concious about everything, cutting our the unneeded things, etc. However, some days I am just too tired to even look at out budget. ::Sigh::
Its going to be fine. Let me know where your cabin is and we may follow suit.

Honorary Indian said...

OMG. If you knew how my life has been going lately, you would know that you have echoed my thoughts exactly. I'm so glad I'm not alone in wanting to just shake things up a bit...I'm so GLAD I'm not the only one who get so lost and down about the ho-hum lives we lead.

But, I'm so GLAD there are people like you who help people like me realize that what we have is pretty darn great.

I really, REALLY needed that reminder today. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

"The drudgery portion . . . " well put. If you're lucky, that is. Time to crack out the good dishes. The martini shaker. Get this party started.