Other People’s Lives

Do you ever feel like everybody else must be living a way more exciting life than you?  It was bad enough when it was just friends and coworkers who always seemed to have crazy stories of their adventures to share, but now I have an entire blogosphere of people talking about all the wonderful, amazing and astonishing ways they spend their time.

And don’t other people always seem to have an awful lot more time in their day?

During the week, my life pretty much consists of sleeping, having a couple of meals, working and getting stuff ready for the next day. Weekends are largely taken up with household chores and running around doing errands. If I’m lucky I get to squeeze a bit of socializing in there. Sometimes the socializing has to be done in conjunction with chores and errands. (i.e.: “Hey wanna come over for dinner? I have to cook for the kid anyway and to work up an appetite you can lift the furniture so I can vacuum under it!!”)

 After my exhausting weekend, I go read some blogs and find out other people are having parties every weekend or going to parties every weekend or hanging out in clubs on weeknights, going to concerts, plays, galleries, festivals and other events. Or they’re busy saving the world by going to protest marches or knitting sweaters for the homeless. Some even have time to write books, paint pictures, play in bands, sing in choirs, perform with mime troupes,  take classes or build stuff.

And then there are the mommy bloggers who not only have a household to maintain and kids to raise, but also seem to find time to have home businesses, chair committees, bake pies, have piles of fun with their hubbies and extended families — and still find time to blog!

And what about those bloggers who are always talking about the trips they’re taking?  Some people are off on one sort of vacation or other 4 or 5 times a year. A weekend in New York, a couple of weeks in Rome, a few days in the Caribbean, a week at the cottage, business trips to “the coast” and a quick trip or two out of town in between —  just to unwind.

In case you haven’t noticed, I almost never blog about how I spend my time. Because … well…who cares?  Would anyone want to read about how I tried to get into my workplace with my MetroPass instead of my building access card this morning? There I was wondering why the door wasn’t opening, when “D’uh!” It hit me! Har har har. I was using the wrong card. Ah me oh my. Poor dopey me. Did the Commissionaire and I ever have a chuckle about that one. Yup. And what a great blog post that would have made!

See? I often feel like poor old Emily Bronte who lived almost her entire life in the same house in which she was born. She rarely spoke to anyone outside her immediate family. Went to school only for a brief stint.  Lived a short, dull life and yet managed to produce a novel. And not even a novel about how lame and boring her life was – nope. She produced a pretty freakin’ amazing novel, actually.

(Not that I’m comparing myself to Emily Bronte in the literary sense, [not even a little bit,  because she’s one of my literary heroes]  just in the writing-stuff-in-an-excitement-vacuum sense)

So, anyway, now you know. That’s why my blog posts are about a lot of random stuff instead of about what I’m doing. But please, ya’ll, keep writing about your own raucously zany lives so I can live a raucously zany life vicariously, through you.

And if you’ve never read Wuthering Heights, why not give it a whirl?

27 responses to “Other People’s Lives

  1. I not only wonder how people do so much, I also wonder how I used to be that person. If you saw my schedule from the eary 90’s you would be maybe half as freaked out as I would be. Because it really freaks me out to think about it. I still shake my head when I think about those days.

    One blogger that I used to read was always doing stuff in the evenings and has school age kids. Her husband is in the restaurant business which is not really a day job, and I was always wondering who was raising the kids.

    I guess the experts would say it’s really all about time management. I don’t know what that is anymore, but I am good with deadlines. Thank goodness the only ones I have are self-imposed.

  2. There have been places or events I’ve thought about going to mainly because I thought it would make a good blog post. Then am disappointed if nothing particularly blogworthy happens. Now, I’m finding that if I don’t think I’ll get good photos or a good post out of going to the event, I’m just as likely to say: screw it, let’s see what those people in France are up to instead.

  3. Tip #1 Stop with all the housework. Dust bunnies have to live too and actually cause no permanent harm.
    Tip # 2 Sell the kid. Good money can be had for a cute teen and there will be far fewer dust bunnies, less laundry,cooking etc.
    Now with the extra cash and time you too can have an exciting fulfilling life like most of the rest of the silly servants cavorting around Ottawa.

  4. I went through a phase in Grad School, where I was constantly broke and struggling with my studies, working evening and weekends.

    Meanwhile my parents were going on all these exotic trips. So were my double-income yuppie siblings and their double-income spouses.

    Which was okay, except that my family sometimes gets “in-your-face” about their trips. They love to go on about how great their vacations were.

    Like there’d be a big dinner conversation about New Zealand, and I was left out, because I was the only one at the table who hadn’t been. I found it kinda insensitive.

    And if I tried to mention this, I was the “bad guy”. They made it clear they werent’ going to stop talking about it on my behalf. And they almost seemed offended that I wasn’t HAPPY for them.

    Meanwhile, I couldn’t CARE less. Not at the time when my idea of treating myself was to get a take-out pizza, and NOT work on a weekend.

    Now that I can afford vacations on my own, I remember those times, and I try not to do what some of my family does.

    I probably still spew off to some extent, (I know I blog about my trips). But I try to keep things down to a minimum. (At least I hope I do)

  5. Well, I’m reading this between cleaning the cat box and firing in the laundry . . . I will do book work (for our consulting business) later, spend some time with the DeWalt rechargable fixing some things to the wall, try to get to the beer store before my commuting husband gets home and cook dinner.

    Your blog posts are the kind that feed me while I live my less-than-zany life.

  6. Geewits – I was never that person so I can’t for the life of me figure out how people do it. I have friends with kids who are out gallivanting every day of the week, too — shopping, visiting, volunteering, going to shows and stuff. Maybe they don’t sleep?

    Dr. Monkey – How droll.

    Violetsky – Well there’s one advantage of never doing anything — I never do anything just for a blog post!! And ya, those people in France live like every day is a lovely vacation. When are we moving there again?

    Bandobras – I don’t know. I just don’t feel right if my house is a mess. I wouldn’t enjoy the cavorting.

    Friar – Tsk, tsk. They’re your family. Why wouldn’t you be happy that the people you love are enjoying their life and sharing their adventures with you? Just because you weren’t able to join them physically at that time in your life doesn’t mean they should have to pretend around you that their life is boring and miserable, should they? I love hearing about other people’s travel adventures even when they’re not family. There’s so much to do and see in the world that second hand knowledge is still better than no knowledge, in my books.

    Grace – Really? Feed you, you say? Well, I’m glad. And thanks. (And thanks for reminding me to clean the cat box. That will be my adventure for tonight. Shall I blog about it tomorrow do you think??)

  7. Yay for living vicariously! I’m pretty busy with various activities but I enjoy reading about how other people spend their time.
    Some people are pretty boring, but some people really get out there and try to live it up while they can. It’s very inspiring!

  8. Interesting. I’m always thinking what a fabulous intellectual you are that you don’t have to blog about your life and can instead manage to come up with thought-provoking blog posts every. single. day. As I type this I have one child crawling under my legs and at least three baskets of laundry behind me. Very glam. very raucous, eh?

  9. Oh Heathcliff, poor, tortured Heathcliff. I think I will re-read and see if it has the same impact on me that it had when I was late teen (and full of angst).

    I go through spurts of intense socializing (the first part of November was insanely busy and fun) and then boom! last weekend, we sat on the couch in a vegetative state (and quite happy to do so I might add!)

  10. @XUP

    Easy to say. You have to be there, to actually experience it.

    I don’t mind listening to people’s vacation stories, and I DO feel happy for some. Friends, for instance, who dont’ have much money, and who dont’ get to get away too often.

    But for some double-income earners, it’s just one exotic trip after another. Multiple times a year. And you eventually get tired of hearing about it.

    It’d be the equivalent of paying $100 for a dinner at a gourmet resataurant. Sure, it was fun.

    But would you go on and on about how great it was, to a Welfare recipient who can barely afford KD?

    Or would you show some tact, and when you’re talking to them, you’d tone it down a bit?

    I’ve seen it from both sides of the coin. When you’re short of funds, hearing rich people brag about stuff you can’t possibly afford can only be annoying, but can actually feel hurtful.

    We need to realize that.

  11. Being happy isn’t about having a lot of activity. Sometimes it is about having the time to do nothing at all. Envy is also a strange thing. For example, I envy you for living in such a great part of the world. I am grateful that I do get the occasional opportunity to travel but I would really love to be living where you are.

  12. Hannah – Different strokes for different folks, I guess. Being out and about all the time would drive me crazy. I need lots of quiet alone time.

    Julie – Ha ha ha HAHAHAH – “Fabulous intellectual”. You ARE amusing. I think I just have some sort of attention deficit disorder and my brain wanders in all sorts of directions and writing it all down sort of helps relieve the overwhelmingness of all that. Enjoy your domesticity and your child. It’s what life is really all about.

    Meanie – I read all these novels when I was a young teen – Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, all the DH Lawrence’s, Thomas Hardy, etc., etc. and I thought they were all terribly romantic. Then I get to university and find out what’s really going on in them. So, I would probably advise against re-reading it, if you have fond memories of the book.

    Friar – Okay, I guess these things can be overdone. Rich as they are though, they still seem to be taking pleasure in their vacations. Better than if they got all blasé about world travels. That would really be annoying. But I take your point. Like gushing over all the kids and babies when there’s a family member who is unable to have kids or something.

    LGS – Believe me, I’m very happy to be living in this part of the world. And if it means that much to you, is there no way you can make it a reality?? I agree completely about real joy sometimes being in having nothing at all to do. That’s when I’m happiest.

  13. @XUP

    You got it.

    It’s like when my BiL once complained, because they didn’t go to anywhere interesting all summer. Just Georgian Bay, and the Rocky Mountains.


    I tried to explain to him, that some people haven’t ever been there, ONCE.

    Like a cleaning lady I talk to at the Factory. She makes minimum wage, and works hard. For her, it’s a big deal to visit her sister in the Big City, just two hours away.

    Bet you she’d love to trade places with him.

  14. We-e-e-ell, I will admit my life is raucous, but not in an out-clubbing-and flying-off-to-Paris sort of way. More of a “If you don’t turn the sound down on that Wii I will kill BOTH of you and eat your livers. And I don’t even like liver, so that will only make me more angry!” vibe. I’m not sure that’s better than an excitement vacuum.

  15. Would anyone want to read about how I tried to get into my workplace with my MetroPass instead of my building access card this morning? There I was wondering why the door wasn’t opening, when “D’uh!” It hit me! Har har har. I was using the wrong card. Ah me oh my. Poor dopey me. Did the Commissionaire and I ever have a chuckle about that one. Yup. And what a great blog post that would have made!

    Actually XUP, with your wit I’m sure it would’ve been hilarious.

  16. “Would anyone want to read about how I tried to get into my workplace with my MetroPass instead of my building access card this morning?”


    Welcome to the World of Twitter.

  17. I keep a simple motto in life 2 keep sane. anyone who seems to have a more happening life than me are either lying or they will soon have a mental breakdown due to the exciting and unruly life that they are living.

    I tried hard and came to a new country [couple of thousand miles from my country] thinking geography will improve my life. Pope will want to saint me [no sin due to lack of opportunity]. But in the new city the only places I happen 2 visit are university, library, grocery store and my kitchen.things cudn’t have been more spicy.

  18. Friar – You are surprisingly bleeding heart all of a sudden – weren’t you the guy who used to have no sympathy for poor people? I’ll have to go back and see what exactly you said…

    Loth – Yes, your life is one of those I sit back and read about with awe and amazement. Jetting off to the maritimes; then up to the fens; kids with matted hair; a livingroom full of clutter; not going to the gym; whoopin’ my ass at WordTwist… the mind…it boggles

    Jazz – What do you mean “would have been”?? That was the entire story, right there.

    Friar – Nooooooooooo

    Ramblereed – Where are you from? You can’t run away from yourself, dude. Whatever baggage you have, it comes with you, no matter what your geography.

  19. Ah yes. My exciting life. It would make a great prime-time drama I tell ya. Must-see TV. Tonight: I clean out the fridge. Tomorrow: laundry. Friday: jet off to Prague, nearly fall off a bridge and into the arms of a British spy, help narrowly avert an international incident, have wild fling. Saturday: get snow tires put on the car.

    (One of these is made up.)

    (Those who know me know that it’s Saturday. I never get my snow tires put on until after the first blizzard.)

  20. Dahling, I was just telling Buffy and Tad about your exciting blog the other day, while we were sipping juleps on their one-hundred-footer in the Mediterranean.

    You absolutely keep me grounded, while I flit hither and yon, seeing the sites and keeping up the busy social life of the playboy jet-setter.

    Now, if only I could get Liz and Phil out of the horse barn at Windsor Castle, and get them to spend a moment or two reading your daily missives. Such snobs, those two.

    Tah for now, Dahling. Lots of air kisses for both you and your progeny.

  21. Alison – See? You had me at the edge of my seat even with a simple comment — even though I never believed for one minute that you cleaned out your fridge

    Bob – Who knew you were a fiction writer along with all your other talents?

  22. i’ve pondered that myself about the mommy bloggers b/c over the past few months i’ve not only been able to spend time writing but reading blogs too.

    only thing i can figure is that they don’t give themselves much of a break and it’s go go go all the time. i can’t live like that. i have, when i was working full time and traveling (for work) i rarely had any spare time at all.

    i’ve often wondered how you write so much, and how you do it SO WELL. do the words just float out of your fingers? do you have a method or do you just write whatever comes out?

  23. Nat – it’s a date!!

    Leah – You’ve been busy reading and writing today, too!! And no, I have no method. I just always have a lot of random stuff swirling around in my head. It’s kind of like therapy for me to write it down and work it out.

  24. yes i am trying to catch up with my beloved writers such as yourself. it might take me a bit to get over here but i do b/c i love your topics and thought processes 🙂