Earthquakes in Mexico. Hurricanes and flooding in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and other places, wildfires burning up the western United States, terrorist attacks everywhere. The news keeps bringing more shades of awful. Is the world ending or what? We’re safe so far on the Oregon coast, but the way things are going, I wouldn’t be surprised if the long-feared tsunami came today.
At the beginning of September, people now dealing with natural disasters had homes and jobs. They shopped, ate out, went to church, played sports, and made love. Now it’s all over. Many of those who survived have lost everything, including loved ones. Life is short and unpredictable, my friends.
A woman named Nita recently wrote on the Childless Not by Choice Facebook site that her husband had passed away this year at 64. A few months later, her sister-in-law died, and now her brother-in-law is dying, all of cancer, all too young. In the midst of her grief, she urged people, “Please make the most out of your lives now, do things you enjoy together, laugh together, love together, make amends with family members whether or not children are involved because after it is all over with, you won’t get another chance.”
She’s so right. We don’t know what’s going to happen. If we spend all our days grieving for what might have been, we never get around to appreciating what—and who—we already have. Sometimes we just have to curse a little and move on. You didn’t get the life you expected, but take a look at the life you have. Don’t waste it. I know how hard it is. I was mired in anger and self-pity for years. But give it a try. The water could rise or the earth start to shake any minute.
I hope you’re all okay. If you’re in one of the disaster zones, you’re in my prayers. Consider this: If you don’t have children to take care of, you’re freer to help those who do. Please be safe.
Me, I’m taking care of my dog, who is huddling close, frightened by the thunder and lightning happening right now in our first big storm of the season.
On a more cheerful subject, I leave for the NotMom Summit in Cleveland, Ohio in two weeks. Imagine a conference where nobody is talking about their kids because they don’t have any. I’ll be speaking about aging without children. If you have thoughts about what I should include, please share them in the comments. And, if you’re feeling adventurous, join us Oct. 6-8. Tickets are still available.
8 thoughts on “Treasure the Childless Life You Have”
You are 100% correct that we must embrace the life we have or risk missing out on life completely. Life has not turned out how I expected, but I wonder if anyone’s really does…. We just have to look for our blessings. They are there!
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I was angry and bitter about my childlessness and angry at my husband because he was unwilling to go through Super IVF with me (our case was pretty complicated). Then he nearly died (51 days in the hospital, mostly in ICU). I am sooo lucky he survived (it was a ruptured brain aneurysm). I learned at 45 that life is just too short and every day I am thankful! Life is too short for us to live it in bitterness and anger. Hugs and thanks for this post!!!
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Wow. Thank God your husband made it.
I am going as well! I look forward to meeting you!! Awesome article!
Awesome article! I am going too and can’t wait to meet you! I will come introduce myself!
I look forward to it.
I’m envious of you going to the Not Mom Summit.
And I love this article, and the comments. I’ve been reminded once again recently to make the most of what I have NOW, because we never know when it will be snatched away. I blogged about it last week on my Separate Life blog that is just about life, not about not having children. In fact, as I wrote that last sentence, I realised that just having that blog forces me to appreciate my No Kidding life, what I can do, and how lucky I am.
Sue, great post and so apt for what is happening right now in the world. I agree that it is so important to be grateful for what we have. This is something that has helped me heal, not just from childlessness, but from my life not being even close to what I expected. Take care!