Over the holidays I saw an old friend who is married with three kids. She seems quite happy, although she has little downtime with all the housework. When I mentioned that I won’t be having children, she replied with, “You don’t know that.”
Ahem. I’m almost forty-four with no relationship in sight. I think I do, in fact, know that. It seems a little nuts to me that people would think otherwise!
Another friend of mine here is a single mom of a child who is now in high school. She has spent the bulk of the last fifteen or so years building a life around him. Outside of one disastrous relationship, she hasn’t dated. Instead, she has created a cozy home and cooks healthy meals on a daily basis. She routinely takes her child on fun and educational outings and trips. It seems like a rewarding life, and certainly it is a socially-sanctioned one.
Unfortunately for me, once again my life is up in the air, and I’m unsure where my home will be in 2014. I’m flying out to L.A. this month for an interview, and I’m waiting to hear back about a few possibilities in this city. If I do move back to L.A., I’ll miss the “homesteading” vibe of this place. As articles such as this one illustrate, it’s a growing trend in smaller cities:
Regardless of where I end up, I’m trying to adopt the mindset of my single-mom friend, minus the kid. It’s not an easy thing to do without that central organizing principle, but I’m creating a focus on my home as a peaceful sanctuary–one that is clean, quiet, comfortable, and filled with good food–and on enriching experiences that have nothing particularly to do with dating. And I hope to carry this idea of sanctuary with me wherever I go.
The last paragraph of this post was beautifully written. I am going to aim for the same goal–keeping a hospitable home.
“A little nuts”? I’d say “full-goose bozo”! I’m 46, and I’ve heard the same thing: “You could still have a child.” Sure as a man, I wouldn’t be the one carrying the child, but still, I know from my own experience you don’t have as much energy in your 40s as you do in your 20s. Whereas little kids are nothing but energy. No way I could keep up with one. And then guess when the kid will be heading to college? Yep—kiss retirement goodbye.
Oh, and the person who handed me that line? A woman in her late 50s who never had kids…because she didn’t think she could afford one. And she said it right after I’d lost my job—a job she knew barely supported me. What’s the phrase? Oh, yeah: “Easy for you to say.”
I wonder if these people are really thinking things through before they speak…
I’m trying to get better at keeping my “home as peaceful sanctuary.” it can be difficult to get motivated when you’re on your own, but I’ve vowed to make it a priority this holiday season. Best wishes on your job hunt — I hope you get clarity on that front in the next few weeks.
I hope so too. I can’t believe I might be moving again though!
I think that will be a very positive/healthy thing to do. That is why back in LA I suggested get rid of the depressing carpeting and put something else in because you deserve it! (and because the rent was low). I really agree with this on several levels. Having a lovely home will be inspiration in you and will awaken other positive feelings. It will give you a new vibration and give you a feeling of living in the moment. It will be a declarative statement that your life is worthy right now and to not put off joy. Helen Gurley Brown suggested this…make your home lovely. I think she had a lot of wisdom although sometimes a bit throwback.
Welcome back Yogagurl… hope you have had a good year.