The following is a humorous article I wrote a few years ago and just came across again.
I Want a Magazine Life
I want a magazine life where my perfectly decorated home is spotlessly clean, where books and papers are only in evidence when artfully displayed. The dishes all match, my clothes are artfully assembled in my closet or on my toned body, and even the occasional wrinkle is artfully placed to suggest casual insouciance.
The towels in my bathroom are of coordinating pastels and are stacked pleasingly in my airy white cupboards, which coordinate with my vanity and wall-coverings. The wicker basket holding the artfully folded washcloths never collects dust that is impossible to remove without a pressure washer. It remains as fresh and gleaming as the day it arrived in my sunlit ensuite.
Of course, my children (had I any still at home) are dressed in the cutest designer clothes, which never get dirty. The dog is perpetually well groomed and poses like an ornament on the fashionable yet comfortable chair in my subtly lit living room. This family pet, which has a delightful name reminiscent of someone's uncle, never sheds, never tracks in mud from the garden, and never, ever throws up on the carefully chosen dining room area rug.
Yes, I want a magazine life. My meals will appear before me at the appointed times looking like works of art created by the hands of a world-renowned chef, with no effort at all from me. My stylish and glamorous friends, glowing with good-health and joie de vivre, gather round the table on my architecturally designed patio with glasses of superbly aged white wine in their natural-looking yet impeccably manicured hands. And they are all smiling at my latest cleverly delivered witticisms.
In my magazine life, I walk barefoot on warm beaches with my chic linen pants rolled up to just below my knees and my designer sandals swinging from my slender fingertips. The gentle breezes caress my flawless skin and lift the strands of my perfectly casual hairstyle away from my precisely bronzed cheekbones. Everyone in my magazine life is carefree and smiling.
Nothing ever goes wrong in my magazine life. Toilets never back up, dishes never get dirty; my spouse never catches cold and leaves a trail of used tissues all over the house. The children never squabble and scream at each other, slamming doors and shouting nastiness through the walls. No one, heaven forbid, procrastinates! My life is never out of balance. I never have a sleepless night, a crabby moment, lost keys, or a few extra pounds. I never don a paint-stained sweatshirt and wear it all day. Dust balls never accumulate under my furniture like they are breeding. My house never smells of last night's fried fish.
Yes, a magazine life is the life for me, with its host of advisers, editors, decorators, coaches and stylists. How immaculately flawless, how splendidly serene.... how perfectly dull it would all be!
I love magazines, and I appreciate the images that their publishers work so hard to produce - a life of bliss by anyone's standards. I also know that it's important to realize that the photos of the effortlessly impeccable lives portrayed on the magazine pages have been created by people who get paid to fashion fairy tales.
We must remember when flipping through those glossy periodicals, that the magazine life can be a source of inspiration, entertainment or escape, but never a cause for comparison with our own lives. If I compare, I will invariable find my own situation wanting in any number of ways, and unless it really inspires change, there is little to be gained by that.
Let's choose to live lusciously by doing what we are able to do, enjoying what we have, adding those things that have meaning or increase our joy, and loving ourselves as we are. The perfect magazine life may be out of reach, but a beautiful and fulfilling life is not.
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