In a Perfect World . . .

“I’m fairly certain that given a cape and a nice tiara I could save the world.”

Author Unknown

If only I were in charge. A dear friend and I have discussed this often, our need to try to fix everything. Is it a character flaw or just a loving desire to want what is best for everyone? If only the other humans would cooperate!

How arrogant of me, at times, to believe that I could even begin to know what is best for someone else. Yet, it is my calling, this need to fix, to take care of, and to help. It is also my burden. To save sanity I must remember that it is not my job to fix everything. It is not my place to walk another’s path or to learn their lessons. This is especially hard with adult children. After all, I gave birth to them. Why wouldn’t they want to take advantage of my never ending stream of motherly wisdom!

In a perfect world they would gather around me regularly enraptured by my stories and bits of advice. They would do all the cooking and cleaning for these family gatherings. They would bring with them only friends and partners that I have approved of and blessed. There would be no squabbling among them, except for the occasional disagreement over which one of them adored me more!

Of course, in this perfect world I would still be a size 5. I would be living in a house meticulously cleaned by my staff of unionized, liberated domestics who only chose to work this job to supplement their more-than-adequate incomes as artists. When they finished the work they enjoyed so much, we would share coffee and wonderfully, intelligent political discussions were we would always agree. The gardens would be meticulously kept by me, and neither weeds nor bugs would ever be more than a passing annoyance.

Yet the older I get the more I realize that life will never be fair or perfect or predictable. It does not keep me from dreaming. No, my life did not turn out the way I hoped. I don’t live in the Brady Bunch house with six perfectly behaved children. I am not living happily ever after with my husband (or any of my husbands for that matter). Then again, maybe a perfect “Stepford” life would have been boring. Maybe the path I’ve taken instead was the one I was meant to take after all, filled with lessons, love and enlightenment. Let’s go with that!

In the meantime, if granted a cape and a tiara I would make the following changes:

In a perfect world, the woman in the car in front of me at the four way stop sign would have some freaking clue about what to do next, seriously!

In a perfect world, politicians would think of the people who elected them and not of their next election.

In a perfect world, soldiers would only need to put on uniforms to march in parades on the Fourth of July.

In a perfect world, college would be free and crime would never pay.

In a perfect world, our beloved dogs would live with us until we were both old and grey and we’d have the option of “putting down” husbands after ten or twelve years instead.

In a perfect world, football players would have to get “real” jobs in the off season in order to afford their lifestyles and teachers could actually make ends meet year round and not need second jobs.

In a perfect world, babies would only be born to loving parents and loving parents would always be given babies!

In a perfect world, Scotty could actually beam us up when needed.

In a perfect world, people who love each other could always get married, anytime, anywhere no matter who they were or who they loved.

In a perfect world, the printer would never freeze up ten minutes before the paper, proposal or project is due, viruses would only transmit colds and PC and Mac users could live together in harmony.

In a perfect world, children would not be taking drugs in the streets while elderly people skip needed medications they can’t afford.

In a perfect world, good deeds would always go unpunished!

In a perfect world, we would not still be arguing about the necessity for birth control, reproductive choice or health care coverage for everyone.

In a perfect world, we would never have to utter the words “but he was so young” at another funeral, ever, ever again.

In a perfect world, Santa would be real, leaves would be the beautiful colors of orange and red all year long, and rainbows would always, always follow rain storms!

In a perfect world, clicking our heels together would really bring us home whenever we needed to go there.

Of course, maybe my perfect world wouldn’t be your perfect world and maybe that’s okay. Maybe the founders of our country were on to something when they set up a system in which we have to constantly have the conversations about the best ways to take care of everyone. Maybe they knew that we would never all agree but the point was to keep having the conversations until everyone was heard. Maybe I can trust my adult children to remember all the lessons I taught them, and to learn new lessons of their own.

Maybe my life didn’t turn out the way I planned but maybe that is what made me who I am today. I am happy with that and it’s been a wonderful adventure and maybe that means it is just perfect the way it is!

*parts of this blog were originally posted in October, 2011. 

Karen Foley

About Karen Foley

Karen Foley, has successfully been writing her blog for the BDN since May 2011. By successful, she means a few people read it, and she has not been sued, stalked or fired since starting it.