Friday, November 6, 2015

Living Life Vicariously

"If you're living vicariously, stop it. Get out and live life for yourself. Vicariously means that you're experiencing something indirectly, like when your friend's adventure feels like your own."* (From the Latin vicarius which means "substitute".) (*Quoted from
Only the very young do not experience life vicariously; theirs are lived by constant sensory exploration:
Petting a dog
Holding a fish
Brushing a kitten's hair

Playing in a box
Catching rain drops on the tongue
Riding a camel

Splashing in a rain barrel
Or playing in dirt

I began living life vicariously after I learned to read. I discovered new lands, different ways of thinking and behaving, romance, adventure, mystery and history and words, oh how I loved learning new words. I would be so involved in the story I was reading that I literally was in another world.

Then real life came along. School. Work. Raising a family. I was living the life of myself - the good, the bad, the sad, the happy. From the highest highs to the deepest lows. My life wasn't always what I thought it would be which made living vicariously sometimes attractive....again, a good book or a movie, entering into a friend's story or conversation....getting outside of myself.

One thing I realized early on, as Jim Croce sang, "There never seems to be enough time to do the things you want to do once you find them.." (or money). The time runs down as does the ability to do some of those things you found you wanted to do. Which is where living vicariously comes back into play.
I'm never going to get to visit Italy -
- but I can look at this photo of my niece and her husband on a boat to San Marco and love that they got to go there. I can imagine the sun and wind and the canals. So even though I'm not going to make it to Italy I can still go there in other's photos and in books.
I'm never going to be able to hike to Ramona Falls in Oregon -
- but I can experience the Mt. Hood wilderness and see photos of the falls and imagine going there.
I'm never going to author a book -
- but I can be so very proud that my little brother has already written and published two with more on the way. (And who knows, perhaps when I'm gone one of my kids or grand-kids will get enough material from these blogs and make it into a book?)
Until then I will keep living my life, doing what I can to experience it, but enjoy living in the past with memories the old photos invoke -
- and looking forward to the future, being with the great-grands and watching them grow up -
- and having my day brightened every time a new picture is posted online.
Even going to the Y every day although I complain about it -
- because although I'm never going to be able to run again, I'm very grateful I can still walk.

I don't see any way I can expunge living vicariously from my life. It is only going to become more and more a part of it - reading books and blogs, enjoying my own and other's photos, listening as stories are told - even watching a day-time (and more than one night-time) soap opera.
No, living life vicariously isn't all bad.

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