I tell my friend that Chris is going on a work trip, to Budapest, my favourite city.
“Can’t you go with him?” she asks.
“I wish”, I reply.
I see the post on Facebook, the red brick, the blue sky, “Are you ready to walk through these gates yet? #Chq2017”.
I tag my friend Lynn. I type 2 words: “I wish”.
My Auntie Po is in Australia. I see her lovely photos – places I visited, places I lived, the faces of our family.
I like the photos, but also, I wish.
It’s fine to be a little wistful, of course. A little dreamy and nostalgic.
But then there’s envy. There’s discontent. There’s sighing over your kitchen sink, sighing over your right-now-life.
Marian Vischer writes about learning to receive her own summer life. I am learning this too.
‘Real life is not lived in highlight reel moments’, she says. ‘When we receive those moments, they are worthy of celebrating. But the mundane moments matter too. And to begrudge them because everyone else seems to be living their best summer life now, well, it makes a mockery of our beautiful, ordinary lives.’
I have had some life-changing, memory-making summers, and I’m grateful. I’ve been to some beautiful places, packed backpacks, talked under the moonlight.
But we’re memory-making now, I think, with welly boots and library cards and another trip to the same old park.
Here’s this beautiful, ordinary life and if I’m honest – when I sat by lakes, legs dangling off piers, talking all night long – wasn’t I a little wistful for this? For a future that was still a bit blurry, a bit hard to imagine.
If you had shown me a snapshot, then, of pink rain suits and stick collections and Lego cities, of a house that smells of Apple Crisp and 2 girls that won’t come for dinner because they’re reading… I think I might have said… “I wish”.