My writer’s group is continuing to journey through the pages of Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write. I believe we’ve been working through this book for almost two years now. Does this show our great commitment to the process of growing in creativity, or simply reveal our sluggish natures? Hmmm. Hard to say…
In any event, our last assignment from this collection of inspiring essays asked us to spend forty-five minutes describing our ideal life:
…the unimaginable life. The life that might truly make you happy. It takes courage and vulnerability to admit our deeper dreams…Allow yourself to dream on the page. Allow yourself to be surprised.”
In accordance with her suggestion, I set out to do just that. I lit a candle, started some instrumental background music, and began writing.
And I was surprised, but not in the way I expected to be. It turns out that I am either a) lacking in courage and vulnerability or b) my deeper dreams are not so deep after all. They revealed themselves to be more like the kiddie pool at the local YMCA: suspiciously murky, but in no way a challenge to navigate.. You see, after forty five minutes describing the ideal day in my ideal life, I found that was basically recording the life I already live.
Sure, it was a touch more mystical in the details, I’ll grant that. There were no calls from annoying telemarketers, and the kids left for school without the usual morning bickering. Also, my coffee magically made itself and no one argued about whose turn it was to do the dishes after dinner. Other than that, I found myself writing about a typical day in the life I already have.
Look, I’m not saying my life is perfect, or even that I don’t complain about it because I do. I wouldn’t mind a little more money for traveling and visiting my family across the country, and a little less money going to pay student loans. But overall, I’m pleased with my life. I suppose it could be argued that my expectations are too low, but I think I’m simply happy.
Happy and content – and why shouldn’t I be? I have a loving and supportive husband and great kids. I have the support of my extended family, both near and far. I live in a safe and caring community, and have true friends. No, I”m not independently wealthy or famous, but my life is ideal in the sense that I have the freedom to always be striving toward those things that make life meaningful – toward healthy relationships with people and God, toward creativity, toward love, toward healing and health. I enjoy a sense of balance; I am content with my life as it is, while simultaneously looking forward to my future, with hope and expectation that more good things are coming.
Honestly – what more can I ask for? I feel…complete. Joyful. Whole. (And I have life experience enough to know what a blessing this is, and not take it for granted!)
Yes, my life is sweet, just as it is.
if you twist my arm…
I suppose there is one thing that I would admit I dream about changing in my life::
I would really appreciate it if I never found the toilet roll dispenser empty ever again. I have held in depth tutorials with various family members over the years, but I am now resigned to the fact that I am the only person in my home with the skills to accomplish this seemingly simple task.
So, there it is. My ideal life is just like the one I’m living now, with the additional benefit of an unlimited supply of ready toilet paper. And if you don’t think it took “courage and vulnerability” to admit to that, then I guess I didn’t understand the assignment after all!