Such a cute and sad pic – Titled: All Alone
Procrastinating by hanging out with my mum in her kitchen the other day raised something I have not really given much thought to. Who would come to my 60th birthday if I don’t have children?
Like so many of our conversations I am not sure how we got to the topic. Perhaps we had commented on it being nearly a year since her 60th celebration, that it will most likely be her last big birthday celebration (by choice, not death), that as she gets older she doesn’t have as many people in her life but is happy with just a few important family members and a friend or two to talk with. Primarily she has me and my sister, her sister and her children, her ex husband (my dad), and one or two close friends she confides in regularly. I’m not sure if it was her or me that first stopped and realised that I am likely to not have the same network/family at her age.
There was an awkward pause, where each of us sort of ‘umm-ed’ and ‘ahh-ed’ for a moment. With a considered choice of words mum said “I suppose…despite our situation [being divorced]…well, I guess I’m lucky to have that”. We both knew what she meant – that it is quite likely that I won’t have a husband and children, or even children without the man, or maybe not even a long-term companion; my experience of turning 60 will be quite different to hers. For the first time I could see she realised the grief I could experience…have experienced…do experience when faced with the potential of not fulfilling my need for a partner and children.
Of course my response was to deflect and use humour, “I like to remind myself while others’ seem so happy now their relationships wont be as glorious as it seems and they are 50% likely to be divorced and bitterly unhappy within five years”. It only helps a little.
Who will come to my birthday?? C’est la vie!
I thought I posted this early last week. As it turns out I left it as a draft and didn’t get to posting … so here it is.
As the old adage goes, ‘If life gives you lemons make lemonade’. Basically if you experience something horrible and sour then turn it into a positive and sweet experience.
So here I was last night feeling sorry for myself and unable to think clearly enough to make any sense of complex PhD content. I just happened to have quinces thanks to a neighbour of the house I am housesitting (just another part of my life) so I did what I could do – cook.
When I moved into this house a few weeks ago the instruction note I was left included “…and do something with the quinces”. My first thought was “what on earth would I do with quinces!”. Last night was the night I decided to work that out.
On to Google I went and simply searched ‘quinces’. I had thought about jam or jelly/paste but figured I wouldn’t have enough for that. Ha! Boy was I wrong. Only 4-5 is needed for a jar or two of jam and a heap of jelly. Clearly I have never done anything with quinces before but I knew quince jelly was a sweet taste sensation that goes wonderfully with crackers and cheese.
After a quick glance at various quince recipes I decided on a blog post recipe for quince jelly from the ever sweet and delightful Julie Goodwin.
This managed to take my mind off my self-pity, at least when I was chopping, stirring, and stirring some more. I also didn’t think too far ahead with regards to the time I was starting this process. Needless to say I decided not to stay up until after midnight and instead took the sticky mixture off the heat after about 3 hours (instead of the recommended 5 hours) and poured it into a dish for it to sit overnight.
After a big sleep in I checked my jelly – you can see the little corner I cut out to taste test. The mixture was still too much like jam and not set like a jelly should be so into a very low oven for a few hours it went.
Now it is nice and firm and ready for tipping out and dividing into pieces for sharing. Only those who are familiar with jams and jellies will realise that I actually burnt the mixture on the stove. Otherwise it is absolutely sweet and delicious!
Back to PhD agony today.
So my post today is both one of happiness and… Actually, scrap that. I’m not sure there is a lot of happiness at all.
New life should be a time of happiness and joy.
Well … In this case it is fraught with confusion, anger, unknowing, and insecurity.
I have a great friend who was/is a grandma at a young age. She called me last night to tell me she was going to be a grandma again…not because the same child is having a second baby but because her youngest is going to be a dad. He is 20 years old and has his first girlfriend. They’ve only being seeing each other for 6-8 weeks. The girlfriend is pregnant.
Besides the obvious speed of this, there are many mmmm let’s say they are ‘issues’. Firstly, she’s nuts…I normally can and do get along with anyone but she gives me the creeps. I don’t know why but as soon as I met her I couldn’t look at her like I would anyone else. It seems ridiculous especially as I’m old enough to get past these sorts of things…but I just sensed badness! Secondly, she is now emotionally manipulating this young guy into feeling guilty about not being able to provide financially. He has been presented with lists …a pile of lists…of baby stuff and medical appointments that she says he needs to pay for. He is an apprentice and has no money. What ever happened to sharing costs or working together? Finally, he wants to spend some time talking with her about all of this but she has been so nuts he can’t get in a clear conversation. She wanted him to go to a party but he suggested that before they go out and pretend to be ok that they talk before then. that didn’t happen, so he didn’t go. She proceeded to show up at my friends place (he lives with his mum…as you do at 20) and storm through the house and yell at him for not going to the party. Oh, and he was asleep as he gets up for work at 3-4am. Their relationship is not going to last and she will make this much more difficult than it needs to be. He is trying to hold it together and wants to be involved fully because he knows so well what an absent father feels like. There is something about all of this that just doesn’t seem to add up, that is too convenient within a range of circumstances that are beyond this post to explain.
Why is it that those who are not in a position to have children are super fertile and those who desperately want children are not? How do two young people who haven’t had sex before get pregnant (even with condom use) and I can have sex for years, even unprotected sex, and not once have I ever thought I could be pregnant?
I know it’s horrible to be judging the situation and to be taking some of it personally but I can’t help but wonder what the hell do the higher powers think they’re doing!?
This was forwarded to me recently by a friend and colleague after a discussion about young women, older women, choosing parenthood and not.
I would choose to ignore the ranting discussion at the end of the article if i was you. It goes a bit off topic about what the topic actually is. BUT the point of the article is that statistics on age and conception that have lead to fear and anxiety for many women in their 30’s and above desperately need an analytical eye and updating. This is an informative article and provides a refreshingly positive perspective on ability to conceive beyond 30.
I am also particularly interested in the authors point about the likelihood of women conceiving after 30/35 has more to do with their fertility overall rather than their age. It certainly may take the anxiety of getting older out of the equation. Enjoy!
I’m currently casually chatting with a man who identifies himself as a 40-something US military soldier posted in Libya.
What strikes me first is his language use.
You see I have marked many many student essays and am very familiar with international students writing style. I can pick a student who doesn’t have English as a first or primary language. Interestingly this skill has come in handy for online dating and avoiding scammers.
Of course I am immediately suspicious – which I am anyway because afterall how many soldiers from the US can possibly contact me in a lifetime …I am in Aus by the way. So what alerts me is this: “I see your online, was hoping I get talking to you, hoping we be friends and see how it goes from there..my eyes would be glued to the computer waiting for your reply”.
There are more things wrong with this than just poor literacy or grammar.
My experience communicating with men across the world tells me that it is men from middle eastern or African countries that hope to be friends straight away.
When I ask questions about what he is looking for he delivers lines such as “love…a long lasting relationship” and in a woman he wants “a beautiful heart”. When there are multiple compliments in unnecessary places in the conversation that isn’t really happening I am also dubious. When I am the only one asking questions to seek some sort of an idea of who the person is that is wanting to be my friend and hopefully more I am dubious. And these points don’t just apply to those I know are scammers … This is part of my criteria for anyone I talk to – be interested as well as interesting, show me you are genuinely interested by asking questions or clarifying details. This also tells me you can think and hopefully communicate.
I always give them a chance…just incase I am wrong. I ask a few questions, and may even re-ask in slightly different ways because maybe they misunderstood. Nope, my intuition is usually right. In this case I thought I would be clever in my answer to his only question of “what time is it there”, to which I replied “just past 1900”. Nothing, he doesn’t even notice. In my experience of communicating with real army/military personnel they are usually impressed with my use of the 24 hour system.
So this is a warning…learn by reading what isn’t being said rather than having to experience the tragedy that might unfold without you even realising it.
My most recent dilemma has come in the form of my date dating another. While normally I have no issue with this, in this circumstance I am quite confused. I just found this article Uncommitted guy dating different women: Is it wrong? (yes it is from a Christian perspective but has the necessary points that apply to this discussion broadly).
This circumstance started with him telling me he had a date. There are two things that concerned me most about this:
1) I had believed he was after a relationship with me (a number of interactions and discussions lead me to this)
2) We had sex.
As well as telling me about the date and wanting to be honest with me out of respect for me he also told me he didn’t want a relationship [with anyone] but hoped what we had would be more like a friends with benefits situation. This is because he has a very busy work life and is likely to be moving back overseas within the year but still wants the companionship. This is fine by me [I would have appreciated knowing earlier] as I too appreciate the friendship and intimacy. BUT if this is the case and we have the friends with benefits situation he is after then why is he still seeking dates? Why, when he said he has no intention of sleeping with her, has no intention of forming a relationship with her, does he continue with the date?
Obviously I have stopped communicating with him as this isn’t ok with me. I have had a friends with benefits situation where we had an agreement that as I was seeking a more serious relationship that still seeking such dates was ok and that when I did date that we would stop the ‘benefits’. Simple. But this man I was dating isn’t seeking a relationship.
Is it ok to have multiple friends with benefits?
Is it ok to go on dates even if you have no intention of forming a relationship?
Is it ok to not tell people up front about your intentions of dating?