Yesterday, I had so much time before the AP exams. Yesterday, I had months of time. Today, I have minutes. I’ve taught my students nothing. They’ve learned nothing. It’s all been a huge waste. I could have used this time wisely. I could have been better than ever, if only.
The worst two words in my interior monologue.
Visiting college friends last weekend, I easily fell into envy. My daughters referred to our hosts’ large home as “the hotel.” If only I’d made different choices with my education, my money, my time.
Odie is worse than I. These are his classmates, not mine. It feels like the success and prosperity they grabbed was within his reach. His proximity to them, and all.
“Are they really happy?” My coworker asked.
“Not any more or less than the average person, I guess.”
“Then the money doesn’t help. All you need is love. Health, your children, your family. That’s what life’s all about.”
Yes, that’s the philosophical argument. Money can’t buy happiness or love or health. Thing is, when you have a bunch of money, you can buy happiness. I hate cleaning my house and doing laundry. I could pay people to do those things. Boom. Money just bought happiness.
It also buys top tier health care, preventative medicine, fitness equipment, personal training, and Botox. It buys you advantages for your children. The best schools, nutritious food, a nontoxic environment.
Our wealthy friends do enjoy good health. They have darling children. They live close to family. They also have three boats.
In her 1997 Chicago Tribune column, Mary Schmich wrote, “Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long, and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.” Maybe I’m a better AP teacher than I was last year. I know I kept my commitment to spinning. My favorite instructor just recently had me pick the music for the class on my one-year anniversary of spinning.
I’ve recently had a birthday. Don’t the years just go by in a sneeze? The kind that you almost lose, but then, right when you think you’re not going to sneeze, it comes back and surprises you.
Surprise! Bless you. And also, you peed.