Every time I drive home and it’s dark enough to see inside people’s lit homes, I sneak a peek. Doesn’t everyone do that? The lights are on and you can see what is happening inside the home. I can’t help it. I try to imagine what the people inside are doing, what their day was like, what their talking about. I want to know their story.
Sitting in the passenger seat today, heading home, I gazed out the car window into the house windows. I saw the same in each. Soft light. A lamp. The kitchen. TV glowing. And I could imagine a person or people seated on the sofa nearby, watching, losing themselves in the TV show.
And I wondered if this is how they wanted to live. They worked 8 hour jobs, came home, ate, and then surrendered themselves to the TV. Relief. Fantasy. Not reality. Maybe they needed the TV to forget the torture of the real life they were living. Maybe it was a distraction so that they wouldn’t overthink life and create an uprising of sorts.
And then I thought, isn’t this such a weird way to live? Everyone inside their boxes, looking at a screen…day after day after day? What about the real life that is here? What about the real life that is passing by each and every day? Life doesn’t just happen on the weekends, but on Monday and on Wednesday and Thursday even!
I don’t want to live my life in a TV show. I want to feel every moment, every breath so that when I am 80 and about to finally kick the bucket I can say that I felt life, that I was present in every second of it. And sometimes this thought overwhelms me because this is all we have, we won’t get a do over, there is no encore, there are not repeat performances here. It is final clearance, everything must go.
And then it brings me to ask, is this how we want to live? The more I think about this question, the more I see that I don’t want to live with an 8 hour commitment that doesn’t make me happy, I don’t want to go home and lose myself in other lives because my own is too painful, I don’t want to just look forward to the weekend (“Good morning!” “Happy Wednesday!” “Yeah, one day closer to the weekend!”).
I want to know that when it is my time to go, that I didn’t live life, but rather lived.