Okay, bear with me. Let’s just say you’re a normal person leading a normal life with the normal litany of gripes: my KID wanted this dog, but now I have to walk them every day?; if I have to mow this grass one more time I’m just going to pave it and paint it green; AND OMG Philadelphia airport(!!), why do you have to put every single terminal 5000 miles away in its own zip code??
Then rummaging through your attic one day, you lift up a board to uncover a lamp that had been there probably since the invention of attics. Being dusty, you rubbed at it with some old nasty sham wow in the corner to clean it up a bit, and it starts smoking. You’re like, whaaat it’s a bomb!, spike it, turn to get out of there when you hear a deep sonorous voice.
“Whoa there cowboy. I’m not a bomb. Just a Geenie.”
A Geenie?? Shut up!
“I don’t think you actually want that.”
Right! Sorry, there Aladdin. Can I call you Al?
“No. Not even a little bit.”
[big pause as the nameless Gennie just stares with his big brown droopy eyes]
Alrighty then, I get 3 wishes right?
“Whoa again, you get 1 wish, and I already have it picked out for you.”
One? What a ripoff! What happened to three??
That’s not a thing.
“Oh, it’s totally a thing. We’d gone thousands of years giving 3 wishes until Millennials came along.”
“Yeah, they starting wishing for infinite wishes. They found a loophole. And we were putting in SO much overtime granting silly wishes like job security without actually DOING anything, participation trophies without actually DOING anything, living in their parent’s basement without DOING anything, that we created the new contract. One wish. I pick.”
Wait, so how do you know what my wish is?
“Um, Geenie! I know what you’ve been thinking this whole time. Sooooo …”
At that moment, a cloud of smoke poofed and a sound like Rice Crispies crinkled in the air.
“I’m going to write into my official log that I gave you 30 seconds to get down stairs and onto the couch, because you’re going to need it, and I’m just a nice guy like that.”
“Tick tock, brother!”
Giddy with possibilities, this was like Christmas morning. Quickly you settled in and waited the 30 seconds. Nothing. HEY GEENIE, you yell up to the attic, WHAT THE …
“You don’t have to yell. I’ll keep my voice in your head for a bit. And because I like you, I have granted you many of your wishes all in one. You no longer have to mow the yard. You no longer have to walk the dog. And you no longer have to suffer through the endless bad planning decisions of the Philadelphia Airport Authority. Congrats, man.”
You feel awesome! Then, when you try to get up to get the phone to call your wife and try to explain this little X files dream sequence, you realize you can’t move. It just doesn’t work. None of it. You’re paralyzed.
Geenie, wait! Put it back, you plead like George Bailey calling out to Clarence, I want to move. I want to mow and walk the stupid dog and I know zero people want to be in Philly’s airport, but I’d even go there!
“Nope. One and done. Plus, now I gotta go. Union rules.”
But Geenie, I can’t play with my kids any more. Can’t go where I want when I want to. I’ll have to be waited on by others for the rest of my immobile life, I hate this!
Here’s why we need to change how we think about movement. It is a gift and a miracle that, if some tragic magic befell us and we suddenly lost it, we would long for the inconvenience of movement.
Here’s how to start thinking about movement. You move because you GET to, not because you HAVE to. Hold on to that blessing with both hands, because the more you move, the more you will be able to move through your life.
Joni Mitchell sang, “Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone. They paved paradise, put up a parking lot.” Just seemed an appropriate wrap up to this article.