Friday, 8 June 2012

More on finding my purpose

In my quest of find my life's purpose I have been finding some interesting information that is starting to mesh together.  I should however say that I'm not sure that I have or even desire to have one clearly defined life purpose - but something to move towards at this stage would be nice.  I found this interesting post on the difficulties that childfree women can have in finding their life purpose in a pro-natal world.  The question - what do I want to create and bring forth in my life? reminds me of a conversation I had not that long ago.  I know I want more love in my life and some (not many - but at least a couple) of relationships with close connections.  So rather than have some kind of ideal picture of what this may look like and my GOAL being to achieve this ideal picture - following Acceptance and Commitment Therapy I can instead VALUE love and connection more. 

Values can be defined as:
A chosen direction in which an individual can always move, no matter what milestones are reached.   

So by valuing love and connection I can  notice when and where I feel love and connection in my life so that I can set myself tasks and direct my life to bring more of this into my life.  So for now valuing love and connection seems as close to a life purpose as I need - it may change - knowing me it will undoubtedly change - but that's life.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

How the hell do you hook up with a man?

A post on the bitterbabe was the impetus for this post

I have the view that you can meet men anywhere and yes facebook seems as good a possibility as anything.   I've pretty much given up on Internet dating, but have been going to meet-up groups.  One of them is a boardgamers group, which I really like and there is a man who goes who is interested in me - but it's not reciprocated.  He's about 11/12 years older - not insurmountable but after a couple of divorces doesn't have a cent to his name - earns ok money now but rents his place and seems to have no intention of saving.  He's also got a bit of a pot belly and well he's kind of annoying.  Honestly I don't think I'm that fussy these days but I do want to be with someone who brings something to my life to make it easier - i.e. cooks, shows an ability to save money, is a handyman, is loving and caring - I don't expect the full gamut - but at least one of those would be nice.

Then on the weekend I went on a walk with a group I hadn't been out with before.  Met an English guy who seemed quite interesting - we talked for quite a bit and he seemed interested in me.  Bravely as we were having a drink at the end of the day I said it would be nice to stay in contact and suggested exchanging numbers - he said he'd like to so as I didn't have my phone with me he texted me - when I got home I texted him back said something about sore legs and that I'd enjoyed meeting him - he responded with the same.  So I'm thinking - sounds good.  Then a couple of days later I texted him about the transit of venus - I knew something was happening with venus when we met and couldn't remember what - so when I found out I just texted him with the web address and that I'd found out what was happening with venus.  I got nothing back - not surprising I guess, as a male friend said I should have given him more of an opening.  But I don't know - I think if he's interested he's going to respond in some way.  Anyway this same friend thinks I should contact him on the weekend and see if he wants to catch up for a coffee - but it feels really try hardish - isn't the man supposed to chase the woman....honestly I don't know - I think I'm a lost cause when it comes to dating - it exhausts me trying to work out what one should and shouldn't do and when one should decide 'he's just not that into you'.

What do I have to be proud of?

I played tennis the other day (for the first time in years) with a guy I met through internet dating.  At the end we somehow got onto the topic of children - he has 4 from a previous relationship.  He was saying that having children is the best thing he's done in his life, or something along those lines.  I probably should have just smiled and been happy for him, but I didn't.  I said - "Don't you think that's a bit of an insensitive thing to say to a childless woman?"  Yes full on I know, why can't I just be nice like normal people.  I then went on to say that when people say that it feels like my life is meaningless or at least desperately lacking because I haven't had children.  I know that's not what he meant and it's probably all my issue, but I do feel that people should show a bit of appropriate thought in what they say.  Anyway he took it alright.  We then had a pretty full on conversation with me talking about our pronatalist society and the lack of recognition, acceptance or space for childless women in our society.  His solution was that I should have a child, because he knows a 42 year old who had a child.  He didn't understand why that made me quite angry - I said "Yes we all do, but I can assure you that for every one of those women I know at least 10 who have struggled without succes".

I also talked about how I'd heard of having a child as being likened to a 'get out of jail free' card.  He could see the analogy and didn't disagree - however he then went on to say that he should stop talking as he was feeling quite smug - because he'd gotten out of jail free - largely due to having the title 'father', even though he currently doesn't see his children.  I'm not having a go at this guy at all, I was actually quite impressed with how he handled me talking so directly and at times emotionally.  But at the end I was feeling kind of shit about my situation and he was feeling smug about his.

Anyway tonight as I lay in bed trying to get to sleep, I was doing my usual trick of replaying the conversation.  In my bed without the feeling of needing to perform I was better able to think about the reality.  Really what does he have to be proud of - he got his wife pregnant 4 times - not much to be proud of there (especially as by his own admission there wasn't much love in the relationship) and then he financially supported a family and helped raise his children - of course that is something to be proud of - if he's done a good (or even reasonable) job of it, but then it's not something most people don't do.  So then I thought well actually I can be proud of the fact that I'm living a different life from the norm and from what I desperately wanted and I'm surviving.  Of course I'd like to be doing it with more grace and poise - but to  be surviving and to be able to talk about it like I did today - what it can be like for a single childless woman in our society - that is something to be proud of.  I'm not trying to sound smug and I'm not trying to take away from what this man or any parents have done - but I am trying to acknowledge that there is something I too can feel proud of.  Obviously surviving is not the only thing in my life I want to feel proud of - but for now it's something pretty big.