This morning as I was walking to my garage on my way to an early morning chiropractor visit, I noticed a car pulled up to the next apartment unit and a man exiting the car with a basket over his arm, looking for the apartment of another resident. We live in a sixties and over complex and it wasn’t hard to imagine that this was a young elderly gentleman who had been dispatched from his own home by a young elderly wife who had prepared something from her kitchen and placed it into the basket. I conjure up the image of the wife calling the intended recipient, perhaps a friend from her church who had recently taken ill or had a fall or perhaps a joint replacement, asking for details that she then communicated to her husband as she sent him off on the mission. “Here you go Dear, Hilda is waiting for you, and she’ll leave the door ajar. You don’t have to stay, just drop this off”
I’m sure that this scenario is one that is played over and over again in this area that I currently call home. After all, Cape Cod Massachusetts has the highest per capita senior population in the country we’re told. It’s a lovely scenario and I must admit, I have been on the receiving end of just such a gesture on more than one occasion but…….it reminds me of my own personal list of things that would qualify me as the kind of person I wish I could be.
I wish I were the kind of person who bakes cookies or meatloaves, wrapping them up in an oversized gingham napkin and along with the perfect little note, tucked into the most charming basket, sends them off to the home of a friend or an acquaintance, one who would be a delighted recipient. I wish I could do that, I really do. I wish I wouldn’t worry that the recipient might not like what I sent, that it might get re-gifted or simply thrown in the trash.
I wish I were the kind of person who did not have to sweep the floor and vacuum or wash the floors before inviting anyone in or even worse, before doing those things that are so much better for me like taking a walk, writing a story, polishing my nails, applying moisturizer to my dry body parts or baking a meatloaf for a friend.
I wish I were the kind of person who would visit a friend who is lonely, hold a hand of a person who is scared, take time to wrap a gift as if it were the last one the birthday person will ever receive, get in my car before cleaning my house, drop everything and stand by someone who I know is alone and would love to have me present, without feeling that I was intruding.
I wish I were the kind of person who could put my personal health and fitness above all other things, go to the gym, talk a walk every day without failure, floss my teeth, only use dermatologist recommended face soap, use Clinique’s Three Steps each and every day and when I ran out of the products, immediately bought more. I wish I had the determination that it takes to get rid of the big fat abdomen that prevents me from feeling like the person I wish I felt like. I’d like to look like her all the time. She’s wearing my clothes; the ones that make me feel like I like to look when you see me.
I wish I were the kind of person who did not constantly seek approval and who totally bought into the “I’m doing it to make myself happy so screw the rest of them” notion. I wish I did not have to feel that every creative pursuit had to have a plan before starting. I wish that the craft supplies in my closets were worn out. I wish that I did not get such a rush from simply buying and owning them, that the papers, glitters, paints, glues and little canvases were strewn everywhere, as if they were soldiers on a march, instead of neatly tucked into the Elfa drawers that bear labels from my label maker machine that I proudly purchased with yet another Michael’s fifty per cent off coupon.
I wish I were the kind of person who knew the names of the huge variety of birds that I see in my backyard and the ducks in my pond. How I would love to say “I saw a hammerhead chickadee today and watched it build a nest” or “if you look very carefully, you will see a thump-backed pond duck down there…..oh there she is, in the same spot she is every day at ten in the morning”
I wish I were the kind of person who could sit down every day, book in hand, with full attention to what I was reading, not feeling guilty or unproductive. I wish I were the kind of person who can remember the name and author of that very book, even before I finish it. Same for movies. Same for restaurants.
I wish I were the kind of person who could actually stop wishing I were some other kind of person. That would really make me the kind of person I wish I were.