Maybe It’s Time to Reassess

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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