Yesterday, my son asked a very interesting question, “ If you could be anyone for a day, who would you be?”
Without too much thought, I told him “Me.” The puzzled look in his eye showed that he doubted my answer so I elaborated. “If I am anyone else for a day, I miss you, your sister and mother for that day. I am lucky to have a great family and don’t want to miss any more time with you than I have to.” I went on to explain that we are already pulled in many directions: school, work, after school activities and more. Every day with my family is special.
After he went to bed, I thought about his question even more. There are times when our family is apart: trips for the parents, kids off at a friends house or camp, these are all necessary and fun things. Believe me, my kids need time away from their parents (at least from their father)! But as the old saying goes, absence makes the heart grow fonder.
I also went on to say that wanting to be someone else doesn’t appeal to me. I’m not jealous of Bill Gates for his wealth or Michael Jordan for his fame. These people have their own lives and I hope they are happy. Why would I want to immerse myself in their space for a day, just to get mesmerized by the trappings they encounter every day. Would I come back only to want more?
Too often we are overwhelmed by the want of what everyone else has. Don’t get me wrong, I want more than I have: a new pick-up would be nice, maybe a fancy family trip each year, who knows what may strike my fancy even this afternoon. But wanting to be someone else almost extends beyond the material goods and says that person has a better life. I ten to think my life is pretty darn good. Would I like less conflict some days, yes! Would I like to stay up late every evening and wake up when my body is rested, you bet! I’ll get that some day, but you have to pay if you want to play, so right now I have to work, I have to get the kids up and ready for school, no matter how much they want to sleep in.
For now I am quite happy being me. I hope my family is happy with who they are, each is extremely talented, smart and loving. My goal is to never want to be someone else. I’ll stick with boring old me. There is enough privilege to seeing my beautiful wife and exceptional kids each day to outweigh being a superstar for just one day.