I was on a retreat last week and met a number of lovely single women. Women who look like they are in their late twenties/ early thirties but are actually in their late thirties/ early forties. Women who live in hip urban neighborhoods and hold down professional jobs, although in careers like PR and marketing that may have been temporary choices that are now stretching into a lifetime. Women who are healthy and fit and adventurous and willing to travel by themselves and meet new people.
All, seemingly, alone. Or at least, they live alone and have no children. Unfortunately we had so little time to talk that I didn’t have a chance to find out their full stories, and there wasn’t the time or place to broach the sensitive subject as to how they felt about being childless.
But even meeting them briefly gave me lots of food for thought.
I want to go to an event with those types of people… what was it called?
I sent you an email with the name.
I love your comment that their jobs “may have been temporary choices that are now stretching into a lifetime”. Encapsulates perfectly my life situation. If I’d have known that at 46 I’d still be working full-time, with no husband, and no children, I’d have made more informed decisions regarding my career choice. I always just took ‘jobs’, never expecting them to last for more than a couple of years before I got bored and moved on to something else, all the while thinking that at some stage in the future I would have the house, the kids, the husband, the ‘perfect life’. Little did I know that these dead-end jobs would be my only means of support and that I would still be working at them when I was nearing 50!! Advice to my younger self: don’t assume it’ll work out like you think!!
I do have a career but it was chosen under the same idea– that I would quit one day to raise children or at least be in and out of the workforce while I raised them. Or even if I continued working, my income would be secondary and my primary focus would be on my family.
Although I would like to be part of a couple, I have never wanted to have children. (Given how things have turned out, that was fortunate, as I have not had to mourn the loss of that opportunity, although I’ve certainly mourned the ever-dwindling chance — now nearly infinitesimal — of my ability to find a decent man.) Anyhow, because of my utter lack of interest in having children, when I was young I chose a legal career with no intention of ever giving it up or scaling it back to raise a family. I have now been a partner for many years in a law firm in a large city. I ended up specializing in “high net worth divorce law” (ironic, huh?) and I must say the silver lining to that rather grim specialty is that I have no illusions about the “grass being greener.” Doesn’t mean I don’t long for a committed relationship, though.