45, Single, Child-Free and Joyful
I am a 45-year old woman. I am single. I am child-free. And I am joyful.
I am also grateful for my good health. I own and run businesses. I adore Italian cheese and wine (preferably while in Italy). I dance a lot. I invented a patented product. I love as much as possible. I try to be a generous human being. I like piña coladas AND getting caught in the rain.
So back to that single and child-free status. Acknowledging that I do not want children was very personal and very liberating. I did not have an a-ha moment one day at 31 years of age, rather, I always felt that way. In fact, the writing was kind-of on the wall when I was a kid.
Remember that fortune telling game called “MASH” that we played in elementary school? It unsystematically predicted if you would live in a mansion, apartment, shack or house (hence the acronym); who you would marry and how many kids you would have using that “actuarial scientific” method of scrawling lists and swirls on paper.
The task of picking four prospective husbands freaked me out since marriage was not MY fairy tale and I simply could not think of anyone suitable to be my “happily ever after” (except for Rick Springfield, of course). For the kids portion of the game, my number choices were zero, one, two and three to keep the number of offspring to a minimum. This made me the odd one out because my young friends were choosing two, three, four and five, or, GASP, three, four, five and six! In retrospect, they probably thought that I was nuts. Who picks zero? Doesn’t everyone want to be a Mommy?
The idea of being responsible for another human being was never a goal of mine. Selfish? No. Self-aware and honest? Yes. Motherhood is not for everyone, even when you are considered a “natural nurturer” and “amazing with kids.”
Fortunately, there are many ways to care for people, so I can let my nurture flag fly. The strong feelings I have about this intimate topic do not diminish my love for other people’s children or my unwavering support of my family and friends who are parents. Moreover, I have infinite empathy for people beset with fertility challenges or who struggle to adopt. I have a boundless compassion for those who have children because I recognize that child rearing is a brave, lifelong commitment.
The marriage “thing” is a bit of a different story. Even though I am a never-been-married independent single woman, I am open to being in a committed relationship when the timing and chemistry are right. It just has not happened for me. Being a “we” because of societal expectations or out of fear of loneliness doesn’t cut it and, I am not in a rush.
Not in a rush at 45? Isn’t that a bit past the point of rushing, you may ask? Well, as the expert on me, I define what works for me. There is no time clock on love in my life. Relying on my gut instincts has served me well so when I meet my match, I will embrace it. There will be no settling for less than that because my joyful solo gig is too damn good to compromise.
However, if you do know an available gentleman (i.e. completely single) who possesses strength of character, emotional intelligence, likes Piña Coladas and getting caught in the rain, write to me!
In the meantime, I choose to live an authentic life, which means being true to my personality, spirit and character. Sometimes I nail it, sometimes I miss the boat entirely. I owe it to myself to keep my eye on the prize and when I do, the joy seems to follow.