Saturday, December 29, 2012

Paradise Found. Kinda Sorta.

I’m not sure how it happened. Sometime over the last 21 years or so, I went from being an irresponsible teenager who believed the world was her oyster to an overburdened 30-something working mom-of-two who’s just trying to muddle through this life as best she can. I suppose the transition is inevitable. With maturity comes the realization that sometimes ya gotta do the responsible thing even if it’s not your most appealing option.
Por exemplo: Should I quit my day job and write full time??? OH HELL YES!!!! THANK YOU FOR THE SUGGESTION!!!! Now sign me right up!
Oh, wait. I have eight mouths to feed. (I’m including pets in the mouth-count – all the way down to the goldfish the girls “won” at some carnival in August and has beaten all odds to stay alive more than 24 hours.) The people (and critters) attached to those mouths have really gotten used to eating every day (several times a day, even!) and living in an enclosed shelter that boasts climate control and indoor plumbing (for the humans, anyway). If I take that great leap of faith and quit my paying job to follow my dreams, my family would end up on the street. Hungry. Dirty. And highly pissed off. 
Don’t get me wrong - I love my new job. I’m working on an interesting project with supportive people who seem to value my contributions. The only thing that would make it more perfect were if it were closer to home and it paid, like, quadruple what I’m making now. Since neither of those scenarios are likely in my lifetime, I’m perfectly content.
And yet.
There are days, especially when I have been busy in all facets of my life and have failed to eat properly and get enough sleep, when my escape fantasy bubbles to the surface and I’m tempted to hide under my desk and try to find my happy place. 
Ohm, dammit!
Picture it: The inside of my head, every few weeks or so. I am entering the lobby of a swanky DC hotel on a weekday morning. See, my boss won’t miss me because I’ve called in sick. Oh I have a terrible flu; I would not want to share it with anyone at the office. *cough cough* And my family won’t miss me because they think I’m at work. Oh I have a horribly busy day. I’ll be in meetings for like, 10 hours straight. And there's no cell phone reception in the conference room.
How could they possibly doubt me?
Anyway, the swankier the hotel, the better. Only gazillionaires stay here – CEOs of large companies, celebrities, athletes, and royalty. The cavernous rooms in this pimped out piece of paradise have comfortable beds, big ol’ honkin' bathtubs, big ol’ honkin’ flat screen TVs with all my favorite channels, in-room massages, and room service that would cause a riot of happiness among anyone's taste buds.
After sitting by the water fountain in the palatial hotel lobby and watching people come and go for a few minutes, I would go up to my room, climb into the clean and comfortable bed, and sleep until my body decides it’s time to wake up. No alarm clocks. No ringing phones. No barking dogs. No little people pounding on my shoulder to demand care and feeding. Just amazingly peaceful sleep.
After yawning and stretching and checking out what's on TV, I’d take the best bubble bath ever drawn. Yes, there are candles. Yes, there are fresh-cut flowers. Yes, there is soft music playing in the background. No, there are no cats meowing their demands that I turn on the faucet so they can get a drink. No, there are no little people barging into the room to tell me their sister is stupid. No, there is no impatient husband calling me from the other room demanding to know if I'm ever coming out. It's just me and the bubbles and the water and my thoughts for however long I want. 
After emerging from the spacious bathroom in the thick terrycloth robe provided by the hotel (yes, it's in my size), I'd check out the room service menu and decide what to order. All this luxuriating has made me hungry. Nice thick steak? Yes, please. Perfectly matched wine selection? Yes, please. Decadent seven-layer chocolate fudge cake? Yes, please. No Kraft mac & cheese. No inexpensive hot dogs. Nothing that requires ketchup, for that matter. My meal is all fresh, organic, perfectly seasoned food that is magically free of calories. (It's my fantasy, I can have calorie-free cake if I want to.)  
After enjoying my perfect meal, eaten without interruption by colleague, child, or pet, it would be time to call the hotel masseuse. I have not decided on the gender of the masseuse, but he-she must be a conssumate professional with strong hands and the ability to work out every knot in every muscle until my body is as loose and floppy as a sleeping cat’s. 
Now THAT'S relaxed.
By the end of the day, I would be fully restored and ready to go back to my run-run-run-busy-busy-busy lifestyle. Not only would I feel better, but my family and colleagues would notice the difference in me. Sassfats, they’d all say. You seem so peaceful these days! And efficient!! Thank you for being so awesome!! 
Why yes. Yes, he is pointing at me.
There is one major hitch in my fantasy - I ain't got no money. And I don't ever anticipate having enough money to make that specific fantasy come true. Alas, it shall remain a fantasy. The closest I get to having that total peace in real life is after everyone goes to bed at night. Granted, staying up late just complicates the whole “I need sleep” issue.

But still.

By the end of the day, after all the other humans have gone to bed, the animals have all been fed, the dinner dishes have been done, and I can call my to-do list close enough to done, I need that time alone before I can turn in for the night. I get full control of the TV, my brain can wander wherever it wants, and don’t nobody need nothin’ from me. For reasons I can’t explain, that little bit of time every day when I can just be me helps me prepare for the challenges of the next day. And that's just enough to get me through.    
What about you? How do you decompress at the end of your day? Got an escape fantasy you're willing to share? Go on, spill yer guts!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Go on, spill yer guts!