A long time ago, I was in the situation where someone asked me “How can you be busy? You don’t have any kids!” I’m not sure how I responded but I don’t think it was very well. I know the perception behind it – this person was raising four kids and had a very active life. But that didn’t make me feel any better. I was busy. Just with other things than she was. That does not in any way diminish me and my life.
In the past week, my sister gave birth to her third child. It was a whirlwind for us as she was coordinating childcare, delivering her son, and then caring for him. Along with her husband and other kids. We’ve been helping her a lot and as I am spending time taking care of her kids, I am understanding what the other side of busy is. I can take care of them for a few hours and I’m wiped. But you know what? It’s a good wiped. It’s something I wanted to do and I wouldn’t trade time spent with those kids for the world.
Then there are nights like tonight. I worked until 8pm, made dinner and sat down in a state of exhaustion. There are different types of busy. There are different walks of life. I didn’t choose to be single. I didn’t choose to not have children. But that is where I ended up. For now. I just get extra time to choose 😉 But here’s the thing – I’m not less busy than someone with kids and a spouse. I simply have other things that keep me running around like a crazy person.
There are people who feel I need to “go find someone” and then there are those are jealous of my “me” and free time. Guess what? That’s just the way it goes. Do you know what the other side of the coin is? People tend to think that because I’m single, I must have all this free time and therefore I can pitch in and do things for anyone and everyone. I am totally generalizing here because there are many people who are sensitive to this and can relate. However, this happens more often than not. Even people very close to me have asked me to change my situation to accommodate others just because “you’re only one person”.
**side note – be careful about doing the same to married people without children. The same rule applies.
I’m here to say that being a single unit is not always easy. Sure I go out to dinner, hang out with lots of different people and go fun places. I’m a very lucky chick with a lot of awesome friends. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have the same responsibilities of a home and finances and whatever else life has to throw at me. Just think carefully the next time you put singles in a box with “They have time. They don’t have kids.” That box just may break on you one day.
Ever notice how we take our friends for granted? Or even how you don’t expressively think of people of friends per say – until they do something very “friend-worthy”? Like when you get a crazy idea you want to try and a friend comes along for moral support just to make sure you’re safe? (And it turns out there was a VERY good reason??) When you get involved in a situation you have no earthly idea how you got in and they are right there to laugh the way out of it? Or how about that random friend from work that shows up early to set things up because they know you’ll inevitably be running late? Who listens to all your crazy stories to try and help you see another perspective? Then there are the ones who have everything you thought you wanted but get frustrated with you because you have everything they don’t. And you can both laugh about how crazy that is. Because you have been through so much together. And then there are those you have known longer than you can remember who are always there – no matter how much time has passed.
Do you sometimes feel something is missing from your life? That you can’t experience life the way others do? Completely? Because you don’t have the same things they do? Well, I’m here to tell you I have a full life – and I take every chance I can to experience things I’ve never done before. From sporting events to wine strolls to traipsing through a cold creek in the mountains. And do you know how I experience those things? With my friends. Because of my friends. Those who allow me to do things that are completely crazy, or senseless, and they help me do them anyway. They have dinner with me, send me cards and laugh at all my corny jokes. Why? Because they’re my friends in high places.
The best part about having friends is being a friend. So look for opportunities this week to be a friend to someone who needs it. You may never know just how much it means to them. (Or me.)
I thought of the name for this blog the day Tom Petty died. I was working on some posts when “Learning to Fly” came on my Spotify playlist. It made me sad but as I was listening to the lyrics, I realized how far influence goes. It is something that continues long after our physical selves do. Like these lyrics…“some say life will beat you down. Break you down, steal your crown. So I started out for God knows where. Guess I’ll know when I get there. I’m Learning to Fly.” Kind of what this blog is about. Life is a crazy ride. Sometimes you ride the high and some days life just plain sucks. My life looks nothing like the ten year plan I drew up when I was in my early 20s – it’s not a bad thing, but it is nothing like I imagined for myself. This is not to say that I don’t love my life, cause I do. Life is what you make it. It is all how we approach and react to the things that happen to us. Sometimes it is getting up and moving to “God knows where” and spreading our wings in a different situation. Or maybe it is fighting for our place in our current situation. Why? Because three songs later, “I Won’t Back Down” came on.