• Last modified 2747 days ago (Jan. 12, 2012)


If I had one wish

© Another Day in the Country

Didn’t I read it in The Marion Record? There were people making a wish for the New Year, right? I only remember a couple of them: 1. No amusement rides at the fair, 2. Better roads, 3. More gravel on Kyle’s road. That’s all I can remember.

Surely someone must have said something about world peace, they always do. As I recall their wishes were for Marion County, so we could make it county peace or just peace within our little towns.

My California daughter and my one-and-only grandson just spent 10 days with us in Ramona. New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day (traditional resolution time) were pretty much like the rest of the 10 days we were together. We made meals, I did laundry, we played Cars (endlessly), we laughed a lot, every night I rearranged toys so we could walk in the living room and then we went to bed. We didn’t make a single New Year’s resolution unless resolving to get plenty of sleep counts.

My kids were recovering from colds of one breed or another and needed lots of sleep — which they hadn’t had much of, with all the sniffling, coughing stuff. So, I was glad to cooperate with early bedtimes.

And then one morning at breakfast Jana said, “I’ve been laying in bed this morning thinking about what my wish would be if I had just ONE wish that could magically come true this year.”

Really? Well, I guess that is a good thing to be thinking about at the beginning of 2012 and when you are on vacation, far away from your normal life.

Jana, who is a Fencing Instructor, first thought, “I wish to be the top fencer in the world!”

I mean, while you’re wishing, you might as well go straight to the top.

“And then,” Jana said, “I thought, what would that accomplish? Fencers are notoriously poor. The only way to make any money fencing is to teach fencing and I’m already doing that, so I scraped that wish.”

Every time she would settle on a wish there were ramifications and extenuating circumstances associated with just ONE wish so she’d hop to another idea.

Personally, I like the three wishes fairytale story where you can hedge your bets a little, like saying, “No. 1, I want plenty of money; No. 2, good health; and No. 3, three more wishes.”

Right off the top of my head, I thought, “I’d like to live closer to my kids,” and then I remembered what it was like to live closer to them. I did see them once a week, at least, instead of once every three or four months; but living close didn’t necessarily mean quality time or length of time together like we have when we visit one another now. I also remember what it was like to be so privy to their lives, wishing I could do something to help them, finding that I needed to just let them live their lives as they so chose.

“I think I’d wish for money,” I said. “Money solves a lot of problems. Surely plenty of cash would lower one’s stress level. For sure it would help you get health care that you needed. You could go to spas, have lots of massages, a personal trainer. You could travel …” my fantasy faded. I know people who have lots of money and I don’t know that they are all that much happier.

“After going through a long list of wishes, I thought I should be altruistic and ask for world peace,” Jana said with a chuckle, “and then I wondered how long it would last and if people would really be happy with peacefulness. Maybe they’d think peace was boring and lackluster.”

Knowing what I know of small town life, and if what people watch on television is any indicator, I don’t think the average person would like having world peace thrust upon them. If our thirst for reality shows on television, with constant drama, quarrels and fights, is any indicator, peace is out. Big drama (the opposite of peace) seems to suit most people’s taste whether it’s books you read, video games played or shoot-um-up cop-shows ruling the ratings game.

Perhaps every 10 years of life, it would be nice to decide on one wish. I wonder how it would change? As a teenager, I probably would have wished for the perfect mate. In my 20s, perhaps a great career. In my 40s, maybe capitalizing on a strength, being a world famous author would have been a good wish.

Now, being older and wiser, I finally settled on good health as my one wish. With health, I can find ways to make more of that illusive wealth. With health, I can travel, take care of my home, help others, and just enjoy life. Health trumps everything in my book! And the wonderful part is that I don’t have to wait around for a genie to come popping out of a bottle to grant that healthful wish. I can start doing something right now to make my wish come true on just another average, ordinary, spectacular day in the country.

Last modified Jan. 12, 2012