Last time my Not So Stuffy colleague wrote about her life as a concious single without kids and the reactions she got from people around her. Now it’s my turn. I’m also single, not necessarily desirable but also not unhappy and without the kids I always longed for.
What I learned early on in life is that John Lennon was right when he sang: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” In high school I was faced with chronic illness. This has had lots of impact on my every day life, and my dreams. Almost everything I wished for when I was young never happened. And on the one hand that’s very dissapointing, and on the other…
I always wanted the standard image: I wanted to marry when I was around 30, children when I was around 35, I wanted a big mansion, a good job (with a work week of at least 32 hours after the kids had arrived), enough money to live easy and travel lots, a fit body and doing lots of sports … What I got: (now) single life without any kids, fulltime dissability payment on minimum wage, a rented flat (and a very cute one since this May, I might add), a sick body with lots of infections, a lot of pain and starting over with my fitness condition over and over again. Well, that does not really sound like my dream, right?
And still, even with all the meds and the numerous visits to the hospitals, the minimum wage and being single, I can’t say I’m unhappy. Yes, I would still want for (some of) my dreams to come true. But I also got other things in return: I have my own small company, I’ve written a book for the chronically ill and it has been published by a good publishing agency, I help other people with chronic illness, I do volunteer work, Not So Stuffy was created about 3 years ago and it gets more interesting by the day, I go on lovely trips, I have a great apartment, sweet family and friends and the most important thing: I use my (scarce) energy very wisely. I really choose to do things that I think are important. I used to not do that. I think it is really a gift to myself.
Everyday I choose conciously what I do with my hours. I’m only active on mornings and evenings. My body needs quite a lot of rest so I choose wisely to do things that I enjoy. For me it’s a habit. I can do this in all sorts of different ways. Of course I also have to do things I don’t like (like taxes, hospital visits…) but after that I’ll have a lovely drink, or I’ll read a great book, or I’ll plan something enjoyable with a friend like a walk in the woods, I listen to birds singing, I draw, I stare at the drifting clouds, make a great cake… anything! There’s really soo much I enjoy in life. Really really enjoy. And for me, this focus on those joyous things really is succesful living 🙂