So what’s really important?
Whatever the hell it is you are focusing on right now.
And then it will be the next thing.
If it’s work. It’s work.
If it’s loosing weight, it’s that.
Finding a date? It’s that too.
Your spirituality, your money or lack thereof. The list is infinite. You know what yours is.
Whatever it is that is nagging/propelling you to action in the morning, and laying down with you at night, that is what is most important to you at the moment. And frankly, all we have is today, tomorrow isn’t promised, so yes, whatever it is that is predominating your thoughts is what’s most important to you right now.
It could be anything. And don’t beat yourself up. Whatever it is, it’s not too shallow, or silly, or ridiculous, because it’s taking up way too much mental and emotional real estate for you to ignore, and you shouldn’t ignore it.
Like me, you may be juggling a number of pressing matters of importance. I like to give myself a break, work on one thing, then go back to something else.
For people in their late 20s and into their 30s- particularly single people, and especially single women- there is a mental battle raging between family and career and the guilt that comes with choosing one over the other, and the regret associated with whatever emptiness comes with the one you chose instead of the other. How can you win that? Either road is going to have wonderful advantages and difficult disadvantages. Have the choose your own adventure books as a kid taught us nothing?
It’s a battle I’m choosing not to fight.
When I was a kid, I was pretty sure I would have been married with a family and running my own magazine right now.
Not quite. But you know what? That’s really just fine until it won’t be fine anymore. Those thoughts float around, but they don’t dominate my mind right now.
These days, professional satisfaction, money, my spirituality, my creativity and getting myself to a place where I’m ready to and can comfortably accept the role of a wife and mom, are the things are front and center.
Over the last decade, I’ve seen three types of tracks unfold among the women I know personally and the ones I went to high school with as seen on Facebook.
The married moms, the unmarried moms, and the single, childless career women.
The married moms seem to have what we all thought we wanted. The loving husband and the family, but they seem tired all of the time and seem to not have very many other interests, let alone time for themselves. Their identities have been taken over. A lot of their wants and desires put on the back burner. Their kids and their man come first.
The unmarried moms seem to be struggling all of the time. They juggle work, their children and the voluntary and sometimes inconsistent or non-existent contributions from the men they had their child[ren] with. These women love their children and don’t regret them, but they know they would be at more of an advantage if they made different choices.
The single, childless career women kept their heads high, and killed em with the no, and kept climbing that ladder.
They have closets full of great clothes, shoes and bags, they travel when they please, but over bottles of pino, lament that they can’t find Mr. Right.
Each kind of woman wonders what life would be life if they chose the other two paths instead of the one they are on.
For me, I can poke holes in all three lifestyles. Maybe that kind of insight is helpful to me.
If there’s one thing I keep learning and relearning, is timing truly is everything.
Some would say I should panic because I’m turning 30 and there’s no man, no kids and I don’t own my own home.
I’ve learned that before I have those things, maybe there are more lessons for me to learn so that when I get them, I’ll be ready for them and it will be the best thing for me at that time.
Age is a number. Not a set deadline to accomplish some very important things that affect you and other people for a lifetime.
Maybe I’ll get married (I’d like to). Maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll have children (Still not sure about that one), maybe I won’t.
So what’s important? I’m a writer. I’ve been working on a book for probably four years now. I’d like to see it complete.
I have a business I’d like to launch. I want to see it happen.
I wrote a short, one woman play, I’d love to see it produced on a small local stage.
I want to make more money. I want to feel great about work three out of five days a week, if possible.
I want to always have enough money for emergencies and to travel when I need to get away.
I don’t want to lose what is important to me in exchange for a family right now. I have a certain degree of selfishness still in me. I know my priorities are going to have to change when I do have a family, but I’d like to achieve some happy medium. I have a grand fear of losing myself, my creativity in exchange for long days at the office and coming home to a house of ungrateful people eating up my food and my paycheck in health benefits. I’m afraid of coming home to a man who doesn’t find me sexy anymore and won’t wash a dish when I’m about to lose my mind.
Having it all is unrealistic, but my fears are very real and maybe that is why I am currently single and childless. But I think that’s ok.
I’ve revamped and reworded my prayers in terms of wanting a husband and family.
“Lord, prepare me properly to be ready for a family someday. I want to be mature enough and selfless enough to do it right and feel satisfaction in my service to them. No regret, no resentment. Give me the wisdom to pick the right man qualified to assist me in this and who will nurture my heart and my spirit.”
You have to grow and evolve into certain phases of life and everyone grows at different rates. Some folks are ready in their 20s, or have to be forced to be ready for their own good at early ages. I prefer not being forced to find out, and I’m thankful I haven’t been.
Nina Simone has a funny take on marriage and references some of my fears… Love this song.