Wednesday, October 26, 2011

On having a life

Last night, I went visiting teaching. As much as I would like it to go away, visiting teaching always manages to be part of my life because in every ward I've been in I a) get partnered with the Relief Society president, b) the Relief Society president is assigned as my visiting teacher, or c) I get called as a visiting teaching supervisor. Every stinkin' ward. Without fail.

Yesterday's visit was enlightening on many levels. The other two girls spent an hour gabbing about dating, random trips they take every few months or so for no reason, the TV shows they watch, the different cultures they've experienced, and the plethora of people they have come across in their many adventures, and I just sat there and thought, "Wow. I have no life." It's normal for me to sit and say nothing while conversations are going on around me, but this time it was because I had no similar experiences to draw from, not because I wasn't assertive enough to raise my voice and say something.

That hour opened up that window in my brain that has been getting smaller and smaller since Jr. high, the one that tells me that if I want to have a life, I need to spend my weekends having awesome adventures so that I'll have legitimate stories to tell others on Monday. These girls were taking advantage of their freedom from family and the poverty of student life to truly go out into the world and experience it. It made my little goals to enjoy the little things in life look feeble and pathetic.

Before I started to slide into the self-pity corner of my brain, though (which has also been getting smaller since Jr. high), I remembered that I am most definitely not a social butterfly and I certainly wouldn't enjoy plopping myself two states away just so I could get to know the people there. I don't like going to parties unless my sisters are there to entertain me, and most of my hobbies are of the solitary, introspective type.

So how do people like me make sure they "have a life" and live life to the fullest? Smell the roses and watch the leaves change? Drink a Dr. Pepper? Find a way to change my personality so that it suddenly becomes possible to go to social activities without having to bribe myself with a brownie or a new shirt to make myself go? (Which rarely works, by the way.)

Despite my musings to the contrary, though, I'm having a hard time making myself feel guilty about the way I've spent my life. Yes, I've probably spent too many Friday nights at home, and I really should step outside of my comfort zone more than I do, but I've been pretty happy, even though many would call my life boring (including myself at times . . .).

However, I think it's possible to live life to the fullest without climbing Mt. Everest or being the Dating Queen of the century. I'm pretty sure that those of us who see playing cards or cross-stitching as the ultimate sources of entertainment still have a shot at having a life. If life makes you happy, then you're seizing the day.

I'm pretty excited that I've figured this out. Otherwise, I would have to change who I am in order to satisfy my desire to have a life. And that wouldn't be fun for anybody.

1 comment:

  1. See - the truth is, you actually know how to enjoy your own company and spending time with yourself. Few people can do that, as they don't consider themselves interesting enough company. I think you actually have the better life, frankly.