never married, over forty, a little bitter

hollow victories

I spoke with a friend of mine today, a never-married woman who has spent the last several years on the opposite coast working in a prestigious position. She is around my age, fit and attractive and well-educated.

We both admitted that we are unhappy but afraid to leave posts that have provided us with decent incomes, impressive identities, and access to people high on the food chain. None of this has done us one iota of good socially or romantically, however, and we are both stressed out, frustrated, and ready for a change. I confessed that in my heart, I have become extremely envious of people in much less “desirable” jobs but with much less stress in their work lives.

My potential year of idling is morphing into a year of big, big change.

the flip

My friends and acquaintances who are moms often talk to me about the things they do with their children on the weekends– the Pixar films, the gymnastics lessons– as well as their visits to their children’s schools and the meeting of their teachers.

These activities do seem to bring them feelings of purpose, connection, and joy, but 2013 is proving to be the “big flip” for me in that, when I hear these stories, the only thing I feel is palpable relief that I don’t have to deal with any of it and a lack of understanding as to where in the hell people find the time.

My hours off work are crammed full with swimming and dance and reading reading reading and cooking and the occasional night on the town with friends and once in a while a movie or TV show. I am waking up to the fact that it’s just how I like it! The burdensome tasks I have to carry out for myself– laundry, doctor visits, cleaning up– are more than enough.

I’m sure if I had children I would adjust, but I don’t, and I realize I’ve gone too far down the other path now.