Getting a Life

When I mentioned to a new acquaintance that I often walk two hours a day, she gave a snide little laugh and said, “You have no life.”

Getting a life seems to be a common concern in recent years, but what is a life? And where do you get one? Lifes R Us?

I don’t know how that odious terminology came into being or what it means. Often, especially in movies, “Getting a life,” refers to dating and looking for a mate, but since the woman who accused me of having no life had also recently lost her mate, that couldn’t be what she meant. Does having a life mean having a job? I’m in a transitional stage right now where I don’t have a job, and am not currently looking. And anyway, I’ve never found working for others to be particularly satisfying, so a job can’t be categorized as a “life.” Could “a life” refer to emotions, to feeling? Well, recently I’ve had enough emotions to fill an oil tanker, so that can’t be what she meant, either. Could “having a life” mean having fun? But that takes us into a whole other discussion: what is fun? Most of what people do for fun seems torturous to me, so I’ll stick to walking.

I’m only being a bit facetious here. The truth is, if you are alive, you have a life. It might not be satisfying — it might even be painful — but it is a life. Life is experiences, both good and bad. Life is waking and sleeping. Life is being with friends and being alone. Life is reading and writing. Life is eating and dieting. Life is success and failure. Life is tears and laughter. Life is everything we are and everything we wish to be. Life is. 

Get a life? I have a life. And so do you.