Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Maybe It's Time to Reassess the Situation

Six people I know have died in the last month. Six! None were family members, thank God, but still, they were people I knew and cared about. Also, my cousin gave birth to twins. Plus, I’ve got a new boss who is, how shall I put it, insane. And my neighbor has a new rooster who never stops crowing. All since July 1. What a month. Makes a girl think and reassess.

I’ve been whining a lot lately about being alone and childless. I won’t lie. It’s hard sometimes. Saturday, when I arrived at a funeral that was not held at my own church, I found myself alone in a sea of families. And when the folks in front of me told me all about their children and grandchildren, I felt awful. So alone. I went home and cried and only partly for my neighbor who died. But part of that is my own fault for being too shy to introduce myself to strangers and make them friends. I'd rather feel sorry for myself. My friend Pat talks to everyone. Within five minutes, she has new friends, so she’s never alone. Yes, she has children, but they all live far away. She has a husband, but he’s currently disabled and can’t do things with her. Her own health isn't great. We’ve all got problems.

But you know what we also have? Blessings. One day last week when I just couldn’t face my work anymore, I got in my car and drove to the beach. I hung out on the sand until lunchtime, then treated myself to an expensive lunch at a posh restaurant with a fabulous view. Later I went shopping, and I drove down some roads I’d never tried before. I did not have to arrange childcare or consult with any other human being. I just went, and it was great.

I watched 13 episodes of “Orange is the New Black” in one week last month. I’m not sure that’s good for anybody’s brain, but again, no one to consult, no child or husband to feed, nobody whining that they wanted to watch something else.

My dog Annie and I walk almost every day through the woods or on the beach. Between us we have six good legs and we’re healthy. That, my friends, is a blessing.

I eat three delicious meals a day and have money left over. I am so lucky.

Many of you have partners whom you love. You might be making each other crazy over the baby issue, but stop for a minute. Set that aside. What do you love about this person? What does he or she give you? Sex? Love? Support? A hand to hold when you’re scared? That’s something a lot of people don’t have.

Do you have a home? Your health? Parents? Siblings? Cousins? Friends? Pets?

Do you have work that you enjoy?

I know. This baby thing has you all tied up in knots. You worry about the future. Will you regret not having children? Will you end up alone? Will your relationship last? Should you leave? Should you stay? It’s hard.

But today, right now, count your blessings. Life is short, and we never know when it will end. My fingers are getting tired of playing funeral songs. But I’m grateful that those fingers can still dance on the piano keys and I can still sing.

How about you? Perhaps you don’t have babies of your own, but what DO you have?

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Anonymous said...

I agree, we all should count our blessings. To get through a grief period this year, I started keeping a diary and forced myself to write down at least one thing per day, that I was grateful for. After 6 months, it really turned my attitude around. Now I can fill up a page of things I am grateful for, even though my career did not turn out as planned, and I did not have children. Here are a few things I'm grateful about today: 1) I slept the entire night without waking up or having hot flashes; 2)my husband's hug before he left for work; 3) the weather is beautiful and cooler like we are entering Fall; 4) my sisters, my niece, and still having my mom in my life; 5) my boss took the day off and I can feel at peace at my job; and 6) my bunny is happy and excited every time he sees me. All this and it's only 8:39 a.m. Can't wait to see what else happens throughout the day that makes me feel blessed.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Anonymous Aug. 6, Thank you for sharing this. May your day continue to be full of blessings.

Anonymous said...

I am so grateful to have found this site. My husband had two kids from a prior marriage. We talked about having kids and I always wanted kids, but over the years we've struggled financially and the time never seemed right. Finally he admitted that he really didn't want to have any more kids as he was getting older and we are just now getting back on our feet financially. I love my step kids but we don't see them often. As I am also getting older I know the probability of physically having kids is slim to none. I've had bouts of sadness and tearfulness as I feel this is a loss in my life that I have to mourn. My husband has absolutely no concept of this and thinks I'm crazy to feel this way. When I found this site, it was a huge relief! It's so comforting to know I'm not the only one. Thank you!

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Anon Aug. 8, you are not alone. I'm so glad you found us.

Anonymous said...

Anon Aug 8 - me too! I find it so hard, especially as my husband just doesn't understand at all. It really helps to come to a place like this and find out we are not alone! Take care.

Anonymous said...

My daughter and her husband were ambivalent about children and now he does not want kids and my daughter does. Marriage is rocky so daughter has decided to stay and work on marriage. This means I will not be a grandma. My life as a non-grandma among my peers is similar to not moms; loads of grandchildren pictures, non-stop stories and my feeling sad. This site brings solace to me as I share many of the same feelings. Thank you.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Thank you for your comment, Anonymous April 29. I'm sorry it turned out this way. It does seem like grandmas are everywhere, doesn't it?