I was listening to The Splendid Table show on the drive home from the grocery store yesterday. Lynne Rosetto Kasper was introducing a guest who splits her time between her farm in Provence and writing and teaching in Paris. Lynne closed with, "And yes, we're jealous."
And I thought, "Well, gosh Lynne, people might be jealous of the life you lead."
And I thought, "What makes me envious of my friends who live in other places that seem to me exotic: Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver, Vienna. Or even those who live in my own town yet who lead such a seductively energetic life?"
And then I thought: "What could I do that would make someone want to live my life?"
And then I hit on the big thought: "What could I do that would make me envious of my life? Were I to take a look at my life from the outside, what would make me go, 'Gosh, I'd love to be able to do that'?" The trick being, though, that I'd be doing it.
This is related somewhat to my working through Mark Forster's book How to Make Your Dreams Come True, in which he suggests an exercise in which your future self, who has attained all that you want to attain, counsels your present self. The dialogues you write between these two personas help you over time to build a bridge betwewn now and the future.
Related to that: Liz and I compared notes last night at supper that, here we are in culturally rich Durham, and we've never been to the documentary film festival, haven't been to the ADF in years, haven't been to the Blues Festival ever, and haven't been to the Eno Festival in years. Thinks: could there be clues to my dilemma here?
So a thought experiment is in order. I'll be interested to see what comes out of it.