I have a list of things I fervently wish I could do but that I know if I ever had the time and money I most probably would opt to not get around to it.
I wish I could do nothing for a year but lie around and read. I’d pick a list of books – the classics – and read one a month.
I wish I could live in a different city every year, divide it with an imaginary grid, and visit every street.
I wish I could live someone else’s life. Not forever. Not instead of mine, or because I don’t love mine. Just to see. For example, I wish I could rent a small apartment in a tiny town somewhere and find a really nice, neighborhood café where I could be a waitress (my favorite part of the job would be to wipe the counters clean).
Or, I wish I could work in a furniture store. Or be an elementary school teacher in Peru. Or, do something in construction, where I’d start out being pretty bad at everything but would eventually learn how to build something, like how to install a hardwood floor. I’d come back to the life I have now and see it with different eyes and change the tile in my bathroom to blue.
I wish I could buy an old house in disrepair and make it more beautiful than it ever was (with my new extensive experience in construction). It would look like a barn, but only from the outside.
For a few months, I wish I could go somewhere where I don’t speak the language and take care of someone’s young children and run the house like a well-oiled machine, because I know I’d be good at it. I’d come back grateful that I don’t have kids and completely fluent in German or Japanese.
I wish I could rent a huge property somewhere further south, like Santa Barbara, and host an enormous, month long gathering of the most interesting, weird people I know (meaning, my family and closest friends). They would not all visit at once, so I could enjoy them a few at a time, but they’d somehow briefly overlap so we could all have a meal together seated at a big, round table.
So there you have it, a partial list of the things I’d like to do but never would if I really could. Wishing doesn’t have to mean you want it to come true.
(Photo: Sunset Magazine)