On my morning walk I passed the neighborhood playground. An adult was sitting alone at the picnic table talking on the phone. No kids in sight. I walked on.
On my way back I noticed the car was still parked at the playground but I couldn’t see anyone around. I scanned the equipment.
“Huh. If I was them, I’d sit on the swings,” I thought.
Alone. 35, swinging by myself on a playground. No kids.
I’d be sad. I’d wish I had kids. I would be in search of the right person to create a family with or have heartache that I didn’t have children yet if we had been trying.
I know plenty of people who are jazzed to live their grown up lives without children, who don’t feel they are missing out on anything -and this is not a message that life is only fulfilling with you follow genetic tradition: 1) grow up 2) make babies 3) die. (Which was the frightening perspective I had about child-rearing before we had our first.)
Lately I’ve been struggling with what I want to be when I grow up. I have a successful business, multiple streams of income, but my passion and drive is deflated. (Picture an untied balloon let go, sputtering all over the living room until it flops on the floor. That’s been me the last few weeks.)
But when I passed the playground today, something clicked.
I have what I need and what I want. I have my beautiful people, we have enough, I have so much freedom, and we have each other.
I was overwhelmed with a sense of profound happiness and contentment. The worries I’ve been wrestling with shrank down to plastic army men size instead of towering Decepticons. (Yep, I’ve got an 8 year old.) And strength made it’s way back into my veins as the stranglehold of fear broke.
What’s tomorrow going to look like? Next month? Next year? Heck, I don’t know. But we’ll work it out. I’ve got my people, and I am so thankful for having everything I need to make a meaningful, purposeful, joy-filled life right at this very moment. I know we’re all different, but this is my happiness. And, man, am I thankful for it.